Posted in Edublogs

Art, Poetry or Music

desert-749692_1920EduBlogsClub Prompt #18:

Prompt: Write a post that uses art, music, or poetry.

Write a poem or song, draw a picture, create a meme/gif. Get creative!

Or write a post that shares how you use art, poetry, or music in the classroom.

I love art, music and poetry. I remember the few classes I had in those categories over my K-16 career with much fondness. I wish I had received more formal training in those areas and that they had not been treated like fun “extras.” It’s that sentiment that has me rather hyper focused on the arts for my 7th grade son. He had expressed an interest in music from a young age. In my school district, students are not provided any music education until 4th grade. So I asked around and eventually my son ended up at a local university for their community school of music. There he spent a few years learning piano, which served to be an excellent foundation for him picking up other instruments as he got older, including saxophone, trombone, and guitar.

In elementary school I remember being so excited to be a part of the choir. I had wanted to learn how to play the oboe, but family finances prevented that from happening. I also remember enjoying dance, but again, money stood in the way of any extensive lessons. In middle school, I remember balking at home economics (it was the young feminist in me) and signed on for art. I enjoyed the class, but felt I was rather bad at it unfortunately. In high school, my interests turned more toward writing. I really enjoyed my English Composition and AP English classes. I recall enjoying the depth that we dove into various texts. Then during my undergraduate years I remember loving my humanities courses, especially art history and philosophy. It was in college when I finally became a published author, it was a poem I had written for our local literature publication. I could not find it in time to share with this post, but it had been called “La Gitanita” (the gypsy) a poem I wrote in both English and Spanish to represent both sides of my life experience.

There seemed to be little room in my life for art after that. I have to admit I rarely did art in my own classroom for a few reasons…one of the big ones being the fear that doing too much art would be frowned on as the connections to state standards wasn’t strong enough, and the other main reason being having to manage 30+ elementary students excited about art and doing whatever they wanted with the supplies instead of the intended task.

I wish my students would have just been allowed a time for art, just to explore and create, without having to be held accountable for standards. The maker movement makes me think that education is finally coming around to allowing students to just explore, without standards needing to be a major factor.  They key is being at a school with an administrator who supports student exploration. I was at a school like that, and I was allowing my students to explore. While my experiences with traditional art were not strong, my experiences with technology are. I soon realized I preferred my art creation digitally. I ran an after school Minecraft Club, and while I tried to focus the students in my club on activities, I found they just wanted to be free to explore and build. They produced art digitally in Minecraft, and that is not any less valuable than traditional manifestations of art.

This leads me into what the prompt actually asked for, a sharing of art. While I can’t paint or draw or sculpt, I don’t play an instrument, and only sing in the car with the music turned up so loud I can’t actually hear myself, I can take digital photography in a virtual world that I consider art.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

How does art manifest itself in your personal and/or professional life? Share with me in the comments below. 🙂

blog-signature

Author:

Wife, mother, K-8 National Board Certified Teacher, doctoral student and dog lover. Passionate about educational technology, academic innovation, and redesigning the American educational system.

6 thoughts on “Art, Poetry or Music

  1. Hi Melanie,

    I loved this post! Firstly, did you make the images in that slideshow? The images are amazing! And how did you make the actual slideshow you embedded? I like the clean lines. This could work well on a class blog.

    It sounds like you have interests in many areas of the arts. I can relate in some ways. I never really had the chance to learn music but I wish I had have (and it’s also something I’d like to introduce to my children). I have always enjoyed art and dabble here and there but setting aside the time is hard. I feel exactly the same about art in the classroom. It feels like some people might think you are “wasting” time. And the issue with the supplies is a real dilemma too! It’s good to hear you were at a school that valued creative time.

    You will have to share your poem when you come across it.

    Great to hear from you,
    Kathleen

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting Kathleen! I am so glad you enjoyed the post. I enjoyed writing it. The arts in all their forms are so important to our kids.
      To answer your questions, yes I did create the images in the post. I have been using a virtual world called Second Life (SL) since 2007. I was actually introduced to it by other educators, and lots of educators still work with students there. I have been a regular “resident” of SL for 10 years and my avatar has evolved quite a bit over time. One of the things I enjoy about the virtual environment is being able to be whatever I like. All the avatars in the photo are me, they are just designed and personalized differently. The backgrounds in the photos are actual places in SL. I use the photo tools built into the SL viewer to adjust the atmosphere and lighting, take the photo, then edit it in PicMonkey. Lots of SL artists use Photo Shop to greatly enhance their photos, but that is a bit too intense for me. Something streamlined like PicMonkey gets the job done for for what I want to do.
      The slideshow is a feature on WordPress. It is real easy to do. I uploaded the photos to my media library on WordPress, then with all of them selected I made a gallery, which can take a number of forms. The best was the slide show. I agree, it really would make a great way for students to showcase work.
      Thanks again Kathleen! 🙂

  2. Hi Melanie,

    Thanks for getting back to me! Is it called Meta Slider? I will have to give it a try. I usually use outside tools to make slideshows so it would be handy to do it from the dashboard.

    Thank you so much for explaining SL too. I had heard of it but didn’t really know much about it! Your description clears things up a bit. The imagery is wonderful. Isn’t it great there are tools like PicMonkey we can now use? I often think I’d love to learn how to use PhotoShop but I haven’t invested the time yet.

    I’m just finishing up the next EdublogsClub post to go out later. I think you will be great at this one!

    ~Kathleen

    1. Meta Slider sounds right! I have used it before on another blog I have and I find its a nice way to get in a lot of images without cluttering the post.I don’t think I have used any outside tools to make a slideshow on WordPress blog. Which have you used in the past? I am intrigued by what the next EduBlogsClub prompt is! I have so many queued up since I am behind, but I look forward to each one. 🙂

      1. I have just posted the next prompt! It’s a 100 word challenge. I think it might be up your alley. I too have a long list of blog post ideas. It’s hard to get to them!

        I’ve used tools like Animoto (free for educators) or PhotoPeach among others. Otherwise I would often just put photos into a Google slideshow. I’ll definitely be trying the slider though.

        Kathleen

      2. Thanks Kathleen! I have used Animoto some in the past, but never for a slide show in a post. Thanks for reminding me of it. I have never heard of PhotoPeach, I will have to check it out. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s