We are having such an amazing time with our Physics block so far!
For the first week we are focusing on sound and we’ve already learned so much about the world of sound. Though our task is to focus on the realm of experience and not worry so much about the concepts, in our experiences we have come to understand so much!
First, we started by exploring musical sounds vs. non-musical sounds. I began by playing a symphony for the students and I had them identify the different instruments that were present in the piece. Steiner was very clear that the students’ understanding of sound should come out of their experience of music. This seemed just perfect to me. Our experience in main lesson on Monday was the first experience many of my students had had at looking at a piece of music more objectively. That experience really set the tone for what our work in this block would be about. How can we take those experiences that we’ve had so far in our lives in the feeling realm and look at them with a bit more objectivity? Music was the perfect place to start.
The next day I had everyone bring a sound in to the classroom. First, we made all of our sounds at once. The cacophony that arose was deafening! I was quite a contrast to the melodic symphony we’d experienced the day before! Next we tried to see if we could make these various sounds musical. We were quite surprised and impressed to find that if we added instruments one by one we were able to accomplish it! The students then came up with a fantastic definition of musical sounds vs. non-musical sounds. They observed that while non-musical sounds exist on their own in chaos, musical sounds have a relationship to each other. They exist with an awareness of the other sounds that are present. I was quite impressed with this insightful definition of music.
We went on to take a look at different types of sounds classified by the way that they are made. We came up with three basic categories — struck sounds, friction sounds and blown sounds. We came to the conclusion that just about every sound we could think of fell into one of these three categories.
Today we explored the idea of pitch and volume. We played with bottles and filled them with different amounts of water and created a scale. By the end of the day we had worked our way up to playing Happy Birthday! Tomorrow is the birthday of one of the students and we can’t wait to play it for her!
Tomorrow we’ll look at the different ways sound travels. We’ll see how it moves through air, both in an enclosed space and outside. We’ll also make tin can telephones to see how sound travels along a string. So much fun!