Music without music- inquiring about systems

Central Idea 

Systems are developed to maintain organization in communities.


Grade 2 began their inquiries this week by asking guiding questions: What is a system? What other systems do you know? What are you wondering about?

Beginning by discussion with their previous unit, students made connections with the lines of inquiry using a Language Learners strategy- Inside Outside Circles. Give a single instruction and diagram, they were asked to organise themselves into the circle, reflecting on how they managed to organise themselves.

Here’s the result.

<p><a href=”″>Inside Outside circles</a> from <a href=””>shillinberlin</a&gt; on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

With their end of unit, ‘museum of landmarks’, how did the visitors know what to do, what strategies did we use?

By mapping out ideas we quickly realised systems supported the visitors.


Following this students were introduced to the City Rings Sound Art Project as a system

They were invited to investigate various objects to determine different sonic qualities that could be produced. Using a felt pen we found out over 10 ways to make sounds!

Playing back the various objects, students decided to perform the sounds as an orchestra, including a conductor.

How can you record sounds?

I was impressed with the range of recording applications that the came on to our list:

Soundcloud, iMovie, Voice recorder, Book Creator, Puppet Pals and GarageBand.

They had familiarity with desktop GarageBand so we inquired further how to use iOS GarageBand, which makes field recordings easier.

Here is the system of workflow they developed:


  1. select voice recorder
  2. turn off metronome and count in
  3. check volume level
  4. record
  5. label sound clearly including object name
  6. Playback

Using different areas in and out of the classroom and the cue ‘recording’ students captured different sounds made with their sound object- creating high v low pitch sounds resulting in the above performance.

Tomorrow they will perform a live accompaniment to the City Rings film- a 2 minute soundscape of travel.

Can you watch a film without images?

Listen to music without sound?





One thought on “Music without music- inquiring about systems

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s