What a slippery slope.
It starts with sharing this video about the typewriter orchestra with my young writers. And then a conversation about how musicians see the music in everything. And how poets see the poetry in everything.
“Mrs. Levin, that would be cool to do.”
“Yeah, it would.”… “Hey…I have an idea. For your homework today I’d like for you to go home and find something that makes music in your house. Experiment with the sounds it makes. Then make a video of yourself with the music you created and share it with me.” (patting my own flexible back)
“Mrs. Levin, will you do it too?”
(putting on big girl pants) “Yep. And I think I know what I’ll do, too.” “Come to think of it (getting big for my britches), I think I’ll do hockey.”
So I made a video. Originally, when I made this video, I was pretty proud of it. I definitely heard the rhythm in my head as I worked to tap out the different sounds with the stick and puck. I took a take and thought, “Hmm. That’s pretty good.”
But to my sons, to whom I showed that video? My teenage, hockey-loving sons? They couldn’t stop giggling at how lame it was. At how, when you look away listen for sounds, it’s just a whole bunch of random whacking noises. They just kept listening. And giggling.
And OH. They are SO right.
Here’s the link to the video. Go ahead and watch once, then look away and giggle while you hear the random whacking. (It’s OK, my big girl pants are still on.)
That got me thinking. How many times does this happen for us, or for our students? We make an effort – perhaps it’s a solid effort, perhaps it’s just a first effort. But we’re pleased with it, and we think it’s good enough.
Then we put it out into the world and realize (rolling our pride into a ball and shoving it into our back pocket) that we were wrong. That maybe we could have -should have- done a better, more mindful job.
I am going to share this video with my students for that VERY reason. They need to see that even grown-ups sometimes need a kick in the pants to do a better job.
Keep your eyes peeled for video, Part 2. As for me, I’ve clearly got stuff to work on.