TRADITIONAL ARTISTIC PERCEPTION (AP) ® CLASSICAL CREATIVE EXPRESSION (CE) Artsource CONTEMPORARY HISTORICAL & CULTURAL CONTEXT (H/C) The Music Center’s Study Guide to the Performing Arts EXPERIMENTAL AESTHETIC VALUING (AV) MULTI-MEDIA CONNECT, RELATE & APPLY (CRA)
ENDURING FREEDOM & THE POWER THE HUMAN TRANSFORMATION VALUES OPPRESSION OF NATURE FAMILY
Title of Work: concert at Skyline College near San Francisco. The visual Voice/Dance Improvisation design of the performance was shaped through costumes, Creators: sets and lighting design. Most of McFerrin’s vocals were a Dancer and Choreographer: Tandy Beal b. 1948 spontaneous response to the dancers. Some sections of the Vocal Musician: Bobby McFerrin b. 1950 dancing were set with specific guidelines for the improvisational work. One of the highlights of the television Background Information: production, which is featured in this unit, is an improvised duet Dancer/Choreographer Tandy Beal and Musician/ with Beal and McFerrin where neither knew what the other Composer Bobby McFerrin met in 1975 when he was would do. playing the piano for dance classes at the University of Utah, where she taught. Delighting each other with their Creative Process of the Artist or Culture: improvisational skill, they began to imagine possibilities for Improvisational work is very challenging; it requires a great a joint project. In 1981 both artists were on tour in Europe deal of trust, alertness, and the ability of each performing in many of the same places, but never at the person to respond fully to the other in the present moment. same time. Finally, in London a plan was set in motion for Improvisation is about playing in a serious way. Someone a collaboration. Back home they experimented with sets out an idea and others who know the rules and bound- different ways of working together. Sometimes Tandy aries of the improvisational process can engage in the play, would respond to Bobby’s vocal music and sounds and at bouncing ideas back and forth. Within the established other times he would accompany her dance ideas. The context, the ‘players’ in improvisational work do not collaboration resulted in a national tour and a necessarily repeat moves; rather, they respond over and over television special, Voice/Dance, produced in 1987 by KQED, again in new ways to similar challenges. It is much like San Francisco’s PBS affiliate. The performance was professional sports where the players, working within certain improvisational in style. Some sections were quite structured rules and conventions, overcome while others afforded extensive opportunities for improvisa- barriers in order to achieve a tion by Bobby, Tandy and the dancers. Tandy and Bobby goal. However, while a creative continue to work together. She directed choreography for response is called for in both, in the 1990/1991 tour and television appearances of Voicestra, dance all the ‘players’ win. Both McFerrin’s vocal ensemble, and choreographed the video for Tandy Beal and Bobby McFerrin The Garden from Bobby’s Medicine Music. Their most recent bring a willingness to create collaboration is an opera that will be performed in Moscow, together along with years of Abu Dhabi, Basel, andin New York for the Nikolais experience, skill and sensitivity. Cnetennial. New York Photo: Marty Sohl About the Artwork: “Some of the best moments of artistry have to do with Voice/Dance was taped during a special performance of the playing.” Tandy Beal California
Discussion Questions: • The Best of Bobby McFerrin. Blue Note Records, 1996. After the video has been viewed: • What were Tandy Beal and Bobby McFerrin doing Sample Experiences: together in this improvisation? LEVEL I • How was the Voice/Dance Improvisation a form of * • Use a selection of simple instruments to represent five playing and what made it different from playing? to seven different sounds; e.g. cymbal, drum, triangle, • Can you show any of the movements you shaker, sand blocks, recorder. Play each separately and remember from the video? have students respond in movement to its quality. • How did the sounds affect the types of dance • Select a group of five to seven sound ideas which movements which Tandy chose? How did her dance might include sighing, humming, roaring, sneezing, movements affect Bobby’s sound choices? shushing, sinking, rising, falling, popping, etc. Do an • Discuss how the length of the sound or motion, improvisation based on these sounds using both sound the rhythm, dynamics and energy affected the piece. and movement together. • Name all the ways you can communicate without • Experiment with different phonetic sounds, using speaking in words. Demonstrate each way. the letters of the alphabet. Vary the rhythm, tempo, • Can you communicate to someone right now dynamics and duration of each letter sound, playing using only vocal sounds, body percussion and with different possibilities. Make each idea into a sound movement? Experiment and then share ideas. pattern which can be repeated. Improvise different Multidisciplinary Options: movements which go with these patterns. String several • Selectively record sounds - children jumping rope, patterns together. Record it. LEVEL II video games, a sports event, people working with • Have a conversation with a partner using a variety of machines, etc. Use this recording to motivate a sounds instead of words. Repeat the conversation idea, writing assignment that uses the sounds to trigger using both movement and sound ideas simultaneously. emotions and thoughts which develop into a story. * • Use the Artsource® audio recording, Sound Phrases, to • Discuss other situations when people improvise to motivate movement improvisations. Have students solve problems or create something (scientists, listen to the quality, rhythm and duration, responding design teams, sports players, etc.). In teams, brainstorm in movement after the musical idea is heard. deas to create an ad promoting something worthwhile. • Play a recording of one of Bobby McFerrin’s voice Audio-Visual Materials: improvisations, e.g. Spontaneous Inventions. In small ® • Artsource video excerpt: Voice/Dance, courtesy of groups, work with it to create a dance movement idea, Tandy Beal, Bobby McFerrin, KQED, San Francisco using the concept of entrances, frozen poses and exits. and the American Federation of Television and LEVEL III Radio Artists (AFTRA). * • Select an environmental theme, such as jungle, sea, • Photos: courtesy of Tandy Beal. magical forest, cave, outer space, etc. and create a sound • Artsource® audio recording of a variety of short score using a combination of vocal and instrumental Sound Phrases composed by Paul Tracey. sounds. Create a clear beginning, middle and ending Additional References: and then record the idea. Improvise or choreograph a • Spontaneous Inventions: Bobby McFerrin. Compact dance to this sound environment. Disk, Blue Note Classics (Columbia Records, Inc.) 1989. • Working in groups of three or four, take turns having • Spolin, Viola. Improvisation for the Theater. one person create rhythmic vocal sounds to which the Northwestern University Press, Evanston, IL: 1999. others improvise. • Teaching Beginning Dance Improvisation. • Create a Voice/Dance duet in which one of the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company. partners responds in sound and the other responds in www.ririewoodbury.com/education/resources. movement. Reverse roles to experience both parts. 2 * Indicates sample lessons
SOUND AND MOVEMENT CODES TRANSFORMATION
LEVEL I Sample Lesson
In many cultures music and dance are perceived as two parts of a whole. Some people find it difficult to think of dance without musical accompaniment. Music and sound are often the inspiration for the creation of a dance.
This lesson will focus on the distinctively different tonal qualities (timbres) in musical instruments. These differences will be perceived by listening and then by expressing the differences through movement. Both music and dance share the element of quality. This element provides possibilities for creating and experiencing different feelings, textures and energies.
OBJECTIVES: (Student Outcomes)
Students will be able to:
• Experience the element of quality (timbre) in both musical sound and in dance movement. (Artistic Perception)
• Create movement responses to a variety of sound qualities. (Creative Expression) Bobby McFerrin & Tandy Beal • Describe, discuss, analyze and connect information and Photo: Marty Sohl experiences based on this lesson. Refer to Assessment at the end of this lesson. (Aesthetic Valuing)
• Artsource® video excerpt of Voice/Dance with Tandy Beal and Bobby McFerrin.
• A small variety of instruments which might include: a drum, shaker, triangle, cymbal, wood block, flute or recorder, autoharp and any type of stringed instrument.
• Have the students close their eyes and listen to sounds in the environment. After about a minute, ask them to describe what they heard. List the sounds on the board and discuss what makes each of them different.
3 • All sounds, whether made on musical instruments, or by objects in the environment, have several things in common. They last for a certain length of time (duration), have degrees of loudness and softness (dynamics), have a pitch (high or low) and have an energy quality (sharp, smooth, vibrating, combination). In this lesson, rhythm will be dealt with only incidentally.
• Play each instrument and ask the students to show its energy quality in movement. If seated, they can use their hands, arms, shoulders, head or torso. If there is more room, have them use a full range of movement. After each sound is played, ask them for words to describe the movement which they feel corresponds, e.g. cymbal - sustained, woodblock - sharp, shakers - shaking, etc.
• Encourage them to improvise each idea.
• Play each different instrument several times, encouraging the students to investigate different movements they can find within each energy quality. With the cymbal, for example, each time the sound is heard, they must find a different sustained movement. Encourage them to explore and use direction and level changes, try doing the movement with different parts of the body, doing one in a set spot and traveling through space as they try it again. Use the elements of dance and movement to discover variations within the energy theme.
• Ask the class to design a ‘Sound and Movement Secret Code’ which pre-determines what kind of movement will be done when they hear each sound. Explain that a code is a secret way to send messages. In this case, the sound will substitute for words which tell the dancers what to do. The following is an example:
SECRET SOUND AND MOVEMENT CODE
Drum sharp changes of body position (shape) Shaker shaking movements which travel from one place to another Autoharp circular movements Cymbal large, slow opening and closing gestures and motion Woodblock freeze
• First the teacher plays these sounds in random order, leaving space between sound cues. After the students understand the concept, select different students to play the instruments. Play the musical sounds in a variety of sequences and with different durations, causing the dancers to respond quickly and spontaneously to each.
• Let different students try both the movement and sound roles. You can vary the idea by making up new sound code combinations using different colors as prompts.
• Divide the students into smaller groups and have them devise a different type of code which will elicit movement responses. They may decide on a color code, animal code, number or letter code. Ask them to decide on a category, then select about five specific ideas. Assign each code (word, sound or gesture) an action word to be done when the code cue is given. e.g. Bear - walking slowly and heavily; Bird - floating, flying movement; Kangaroo - jumping; Elephant - swinging; Zebra - galloping; Tiger - freeze! Have one 4
student in the group randomly give the code cues. After the group completes their improvisation, the class can try to ‘crack the code.’
VOCABULARY: energy quality, timbre, duration, pitch, tempo, (see Music Glossary) code, improvisation, action words, gesture
DESCRIBE: Direct students to find words that describe each of the sounds they worked with.
DISCUSS: Discuss the experience of interpreting different timbres and durations of sound through movement. Discuss what the students enjoyed and what would they change or vary about the experience.
ANALYZE: Select two different sounds and analyze the difference between them in terms of timbre, duration and pitch.
CONNECT: Discuss the scientific information related to sound and do research to learn more about sound and how we hear.
SOUND AND MOVEMENT PHRASES TRANSFORMATION
LEVEL II Sample Lesson
Sounds, whether vocal, mechanical or instrumental, provide a multitude of possibilities for stimulating movement and dance ideas. Sound and movement have many things in common. A person can begin with a movement phrase which can be interpreted in sound, or vice versa.
Such things as duration (length of time), dynamics (soft/loud or small/large), rhythm (patterns), tempo (fast and slow), quality (percussive, sustained, vibratory, swinging) and pitch (high and low) can be easily expressed in both art forms.
These common elements provide us with opportunities to transfer what we hear into movement and dance. They can be contrasting or complementary. They can also be used in a conversational form. This lesson will give you ideas for experimenting with sound and movement in a variety of different ways.
OBJECTIVES: (Student Outcomes)
Students will be able to: • Increase their ability to distinguish between a variety of sound phrases. (Artistic Perception) • Interpret sound phrases through movement. (Creative Expression)
• Describe, discuss, analyze and connect information and experiences based on this lesson. Refer to Assessment at the end of this lesson. (Aesthetic Valuing)
• Artsource® video excerpt of Tandy Beal and Bobby McFerrin from Voice/Dance.
• Artsource® audio recording of Sound Phrases.
• Talk about the word “expression” and what the students think it means. Do they think that people communicate only with words? Are there other ways in which people express themselves (gestures, facial expressions, sounds such as sighs, grunts, screams)? Are paintings, dances, music, plays and movies forms of communication? Why?
• List on the board all the different ways students can think of in which people express themselves.
• Explain that they will be listening to short musical ideas which they will then express through movement. The process involves the following: listening, recording the sound in one’s mind, playing back (remembering) and transforming the sound idea into movement. 6
• Play the Sound Phrases audio recording and ask the students to listen to each phrase, and in the silence which follows, translate that musical phrase into movement. They should try to capture the rhythm, quality and length of time, ‘freezing’ at the ending of each movement phrase while they listen to the next.
• As they get more confident in listening and responding, ask them to add level changes and use different parts of their body other than feet and arms.
• After the whole group has tried several of the different phrases, divide them in half. One group should improvise to the sound phrases while the other group observes. Ask the observers to comment on what they saw. Switch groups.
• Using a variety of sound sources, which can include voice, hands, small musical instruments or environmental sounds (ripping paper, pencil sharpening, dropping coins, a baby crying, people shouting, a child laughing, etc.) have different students create simple sound phrases for the class to interpret. Emphasize that phrases are like thoughts and can be of different lengths and convey different feelings.
• Using a tape recorder and audio cassette, record some of the sound phrases created by members of the class. This can be done in small groups or by interested individuals. Use these sound phrases for other groups to respond to in movement improvisation.
VOCABULARY: duration, dynamics, rhythm, tempo, pitch (see Music Glossary), phrase, quality, improvisation
DESCRIBE: Describe the process of listening to the sound phrase and then moving to it from the memory of what was heard. What made this possible?
DISCUSS: Discuss the types of sounds that were used and how they were combined to make phrases.
ANALYZE: Discuss the similarities and differences between the way Tandy Beal and Bobby McFerrin worked and the way the students worked with sounds and movement.
CONNECT: Discuss other situations or jobs where people must improvise and work together as a collaborative team. What skills are required to improvise well in any situation?
ENVIRONMENTAL THEMES THE POWER OF NATURE
LEVEL III Sample Lesson
Throughout history, human beings have been in awe of nature, inspired by its beauty and mystery. Each natural environment contains certain unique characteristics which come to mind when we think of them. Even though we bring our personal experience and cultural influence to our point of view, we all conjure up certain universal images and sounds when we think of a jungle, a stormy sea, a magical forest or outer space. It is this universality, combined with our individual experience, which allows us to respond to art forms.
Creating a sound environment, using a combination of musical and non-musical sounds, is a wonderful challenge for an individual or group project. It provides an opportunity for students to create a sound score which can be used as the motivation for choreographing a dance. Students will become more aware of the relationship between music and dance and how these two artforms can combine to make an artistic statement about nature.
It is important to know that this sample experience will involve a series of lessons and workshops. The students will be more successful if they have some background in music as well as dance.
OBJECTIVES: (Student Outcomes)
Students will be able to:
• Create a sound score, based on natural or imaginary environments, to accompany an original dance. (Creative Expression)
• Describe, discuss, analyze and connect information and experiences based on this lesson. Refer to Assessment at the end of this lesson. (Aesthetic Valuing)
• Recording devices (preferably one per group).
• A variety of musical instruments which are easy to play. Students who play an instrument, such as a flute or violin, may also incorporate these with the other instruments. Vocal sounds, and sounds created from non-musical sources, should also be encouraged.
• Introduce the concept of natural or imaginary environments. Have the students brainstorm, suggesting types of environments they have experienced, read about in books, seen in films or imagined. Then ask them to select a few and create a ‘word web’ on each. This involves coming up with all of the words that describe the characteristics of each environment. They can then add creatures which might be found there. Encourage them next to think of qualities (such as soft, rugged, relaxing, pressing, erratic, easy-going, threatening, etc.) which represent their impressions of the environment. 8
• Examples of environment might include: jungle, calm or stormy sea, magical forest, cave, outer space, country, city, underground, etc.
• Divide the class into groups of about six people. Let each group work with the environment of their choice. Have them either copy the ‘word web’ created by the class or create their own. They are to select the words which best describe the environment from their collective perspective. These words will help them decide upon the sequence and qualities they wish to produce in their sound score. Let them select the instruments which best support their ideas, encouraging them to use vocal and other sound sources. An example of this would be for them to create the sounds of wind with a chorus of vocal sounds and whispered breathing.
• Encourage them to consider dynamics, rhythm patterns, qualities of sounds, pitch, texture, melody and tempo. If available, play examples of environmental New Age music (such as Andreas Vollenweider’s White Winds, or ...Behind the Gardens - Behind the Wall... Under the Tree...) to give them ideas, or classical music (such as Gustav Holst’s The Planets).
Task #1- Composition
• Compose an original musical/sound score of one minute. It must have a beginning, middle and end within that length of time. Brainstorm, then experiment and plan cooperatively. Put the idea on paper in some symbolic form which your group can understand and follow. Each group should appoint a director. Gather the instruments and sounds you need. Practice, refine, then record.
Task #2 - Choreograph a dance to go with the musical composition
• When the recordings have been completed, each group is to create a dance which interprets the musical composition they have created. The dance will also be one minute in length. Strive to capture the quality, mood and rhythm of the music in the movement which is selected. Work cooperatively to build designs and movements which suggest the specific landscape motivating the music.
• When both tasks are completed, each group will perform their work for the class. After each presentation, positive feedback and constructive critique should be given by the observers. Sometimes it works well to have the group perform one after the other in a pre-arranged order with no stopping or clapping in-between. Discussion for all groups then follows.
• Have each group take the critique given them by the class in order to rework and refine their dance, as they would with an essay or poem they have written. The process of development and editing is very important in all artforms, as well as in academic subjects. The groups should then present their works again.
• Perform these pieces for another class or for parents.
VOCABULARY: environment, composition, choreography, quality, texture, melody, pitch, duration, tempo, score
DESCRIBE: Describe the process your group went through to create both your musical/sound score and the dance.
DISCUSS: Discuss how your group overcame challenges and difficulties in working creatively and cooperatively.
ANALYZE: Review the criteria for each task and analyze how well you met each of the criteria. Using the information on creating a rubric for assessment in the addendum, design a rubric and score your group on how well they accomplished each part of the two tasks.
CONNECT: Discuss how you can apply what you learned in this creative process to other collaborative projects you have done, or will do.
rtsource ® A The Music Center’s Study Guide to the Performing Arts
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ARTSOURCE®: THE MUSIC CENTER’S STUDY GUIDE TO THE PERFORMING ARTS
Artsource® highlights works of art and artists of stature from diverse cultures. It represents early to contemporary art forms in the disciplines of dance, music and theatre and complements the programs and performances of the Music Center’s resident companies and artist roster.
The arts are ancient, enduring and universal forms of communication. Artists present their perceptions, reflections, and points of view which influence, and are influenced by, the culture and period of time in which they exist. Artsource ® Contributors
Project Director Melinda Williams
Project Coordinator Susan Cambigue-Tracey
Writers: Dance Susan Cambigue-Tracey Diana Cummins, Carole Valleskey, Madeleine Dahm, Deborah Greenfield, Barbara Leonard, Melinda Williams
Music Rosemarie Cook-Glover Ed Barguiarena, Susan Cambigue-Tracey, Barbara Leonard, Connie Hood, Annette Simons, Marilyn Wulliger, Diana Zaslove, John Zeretzke
Theatre Barbara Leonard Kathryn Johnson
Technical Production donated by Paul Tracey
Layout and Logo* Design Maureen Erbe Design *Received the LULU AWARD for excellence in graphic design and advertising, sponsored by the Los Angeles Advertising Women (LAAW) Additional Artwork & Artsource® Logo Graphic H. P. Law & Partners
The Music Center of Los Angeles County wishes to thank the artists featured in this publication for their outstanding artistry and their generosity in allowing us to share their creative spirit in the classroom. Sincere appreciation is also extended to the members of the Center’s Board of Directors and Education Council for their guidance in developing these resource materials, Music Center volunteers for their help in organizing, proofing and editing Artsource® units; the professionals who provided field review; and the dedicated teachers who tested the Artsource® units in their classrooms.
Mark Slavkin Vice President for Education Melinda Williams Director of Education