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‘The Water’s Journey’ Helps to Get the Ideas Flowing

How students at BSB, Sanlitun were inspired by Sean Shepherd’s Tuolumne – i. Water Over Rock

  • ‘The Water’s Journey’ Helps to Get the Ideas Flowing
  • ‘The Water’s Journey’ Helps to Get the Ideas Flowing
  • ‘The Water’s Journey’ Helps to Get the Ideas Flowing

Earlier this term, students in Year 5 became engrossed in and inspired by the Water’s Journey activity on Juilliard Creative Classroom. Having worked through the activity and conducted themselves along the journey of water, they wanted to create something slightly grander and more ‘permanent’ – something that could be performed for parents!

The children’s reflections during the session had already resulted in some key compositional decisions about texture, dynamics and tempo but, recalling the Beethoven activity on musical motive, the students now decided to plant a ‘musical seed’.  Thus, the ‘drip drip’ of water can be heard throughout the final composition on different instruments.

The students took some liberties with instrumentation – eventually choosing to use the sound of real water being poured to add texture in certain places – but this just shows how much the original activity ignited the children’s creativity. The resulting piece, which included sections depicting melting snow, a stream, a gushing river, a waterfall and a calm lake, was performed to parents at their class assembly and was a big hit!

Reflecting on the creative process, it seems like a great opportunity to incorporate dance into the performance… Year 4s, watch this space!

By Matthew Champness 

Head of Performing Arts