SONG COMPOSITION AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO TEACH CONTENTS AND TO LEARN STRUCTURES IN PRIMARY SCHOOL
, A. Milletich2
, G. Turconi3
1Politecnico di Milano (ITALY)
2Scuola Elementare G.Pascoli - Caronno Pertusella (VA) (ITALY)
3Town of Caronno Pertusella (ITALY)
Although based on different organisations and study programs, primary schools overall in the world are oriented to develop fundamental abilities (to read, to write, to compute) and to provide some knowledge on history, geography, science, and so on. Besides those aspects, pupils develop other very important skills, such as ability of abstraction, deduction, inference and so on, that are not direct goals of the teaching programs, but are achieved as a result of the practices (e.g. short resumes of texts, operations on sets, and so on). Moreover, other topics are added by teachers, according to local opportunities.
The paper presents an experience carried on in the fifth class of a primary school in Italy (age 11), where the collective composition of a song was the way to develop both kinds of abilities: basic knowledge and upper level skills.
The opportunity was offered by the Waste Reduction Plan (PRR) launched by the town of Caronno Pertusella (a town in Lombardy/Italy, not far from Milan), to educate the local community on waste management and reduction. Primary and intermediate schools were involved, through several activities on the subject, from visits to waste handling plants, to recycling and reusing capabilities, to laboratories where pupils manufactured artifacts using waste objects and materials.
Within this frame, a fifth class of a primary school of 24 pupils was involved in the composition of a song, as an experimental activity aimed to explore the potentiality of different teaching means to widen pupils capability to learn.
Children wrote lyrics, as an usual composition class work, in the meantime learning how a rock&roll song is structured. This task required a long and complex (for the children) process of composition, selection, reduction, phrasing for matching metrics, and so on.
This experience was completed with the performance of the children singing the song as a choir, with the recording in a studio and with the production of a CD (with an originally composed song).
Later pupils created a choreography, set up by themselves, and made two live performances: the first in the school itself during the school ending celebration, the second during a City Council session.
The paper will describe the experience carried on by the children, the role played by the teachers, and the lessons learned in terms of problems encountered and solved, of acquired abstraction and synthesis capabilities, of deep learning about waste management, on self-discipline and team building.