Discovering Sound through Rhythm and Movement
Project or Program Summary
Please provide a summary of the project/program as demonstrated in the case study:
I first experienced beat tubes (capped PVC tubes that produce distinct pitch) while playing in the ensemble of fellow Young Audiences artist Kevin Martin. Inspired by their simplicity and immediate impact on students, I worked with a team of fifth and sixth grader teachers to begin an arts-integrated beat tube residency. Our team began with the essential question "What is sound?" Through interacting with and playing the beat tubes, students experienced the propagation of sound while applying principles of music and dance during a culminating group performance.
Portfolio Purpose and Rational
Portfolio Purpose and Rationale: Why has this case study been submitted?:
Beat tubes offer a wealth of possibilities for further exploration of arts-integrated teaching. As an instrument, beat tubes are linked in heritage to Tamboo Bamboo in Trinidad as well as numerous folk music traditions surrounding the pounding of grain into flour. This case study is submitted in the hopes of inspiring other educators to experiment with beat tubes.
What are your overall conclusions regarding the documentation gathered for this case study?:
Students learned that the phenomenon of sound can be understood as patterns of vibration through a medium- usually air. These patterns of vibration are called "sound waves." "Pitch" and "volume" are aspects of sound waves that can be manipulated by musicians to express ideas and feelings.
What conclusions have you drawn from the responses to the assessment tools you have developed?:
Students gained new insights into the phenomenon of sound. Students also improved their ability to work together cooperatively and to communicate in a collaborative setting.
Answering the Inquiry Question
Back to the initial inquiry question, can it be answered?:
Yes. After the residency, students were able to identify and discuss specific scientific terms related to sound (i.e. frequency, amplitude, wavelength) and use this knowledge to enrich their compositions. Playing the beat tubes connected body and mind in the practice of music. Students learned to play rhythmic patterns on steady beats, but the challenge was both physical (kinesthetic) and mental.
Conclusions: What Was Learned
What was learned?:
By playing the beat tubes, students were able to objectify the often confusing and mysterious nature of sound. Students were able to approach the inquiry question scientifically. Students learned: •Sound is a phenomenon that our brains perceive and process in a specific, predictable way. •The physical characteristics of sound are frequency and amplitude. •The frequency of a sound wave is defined in musical terms as pitch. •Different pitches form melodies and harmonies, both of which can be defined mathematically through interval relationships.
Conclusions: What Can Be Done Differently In The Future
What can be done differently in the future?:
I introduced the residency with beatboxing (vocal percussion) activities during the course of three days. In the future, one day of beatboxing would suffice. This would allow more time for working with the beat tubes and further discussion and analysis of the specific scientific principles of sound. I would have liked to give students more time to compose independently. Also, students can potentially be involved in the construction of the beat tubes in the future.
Conclusions: How Will This Inform The Work Moving Forward
How will this inform the work moving forward?:
This project inspired me to expand the possibilities of working with beat tubes. Specifically, I learned that vocalizations and movement are essential to successful instruction. Therefore, I will explore the elements of dance, as well as other musical traditions (i.e. drum lines, West African drumming) to improve the project. Overall, I was amazed at the possibilities of working with beat tubes.
Core Content Standards
Science / Dimension 1: Scientific and Engineering Practices:
Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
Planning and carrying out investigations
Analyzing and interpreting data
Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)
Science / Dimension 2: Crosscutting Concepts That Have Common Applications Across Fields:
Cause and effect: Mechanism and explanation
Science / Dimension 3: Core Ideas In Four Disciplinary Areas / Physical Sciences:
Motion and stability: Forces and interactions
Waves and their applications in technologies for information transfer
21st Century Learning Skills
Learning and Innovation / Creativity and Innovation:
Work Creatively with Others
Learning and Innovation / Communication and Collaboration:
Collaborate with Others
Information, Media and Technology / Information Literacy:
Access and Evaluate Information
Use and Manage Information
Life and Career / Flexibility and Adaptability:
Adapt to Change
Life and Career / Leadership and Responsiblity:
National Core Arts Standards
National Core Arts Standards: