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Wisdom Wednesdays: Non-Music Activities for Ramadan
May 09, 2022 | The CommonTime Team

Greetings, Arts Educators!

This week on Wisdom Wednesday, Michael discusses non-Music activities to keep your students engaged during Ramadan. Many students around the world are trying to balance the commitments to their faith, and to their schools. Why not help them out a bit?

For his Ramadan experience in the UAE, Michael turned his Music students into foley artists and sound engineers. Michael taught this project in different ways across 1st-8th grade Music classes.

Watch the full webinar below:

Michael took students through a set of provocations to introduce students to the idea of foley music and sound effects. The first provocation was an inquiry into what cartoons students have seen recently, and the explanation that every cartoon has artists doing what the students are about to do. Students learned that foley artists, people like us, are the only reason cartoons and other types of media have sound.

The second provocation included watching a foley artist on youtube make sound effects for cartoons. In the video, the artist shows himself playing, as well as the media clips for which he is making sound, so that students understood the full picture.

Then, the students participated in several activities:

  • First, students paired up and selected a card at random that gave them an action to perform silently. One student acted, and the second student created sound effects and foley music using only their bodies and desks. 
  • Second, students used one of their video provocations to inquire into the process of engineering sound for a movie. Students watch the clip, identify the sounds, hypothesize as to how the sounds were made, and record them. 
  • Third, students were presented with six cartoon clips to choose from. They reviewed each clip, and created a criteria by which they would choose a cartoon. 

Finally, they selected a film. Then, students followed the process outlined for them with two additions:

  • Students needed to rank the listed sounds by importance, and come up with three ways to make the sounds. This helps students show creative thinking. 
  • Students needed to create an action plan for recording by assigning sounds to different group members and creating a timeline for themselves. The students recorded using Soundtrap and got creative to make the audio easy to sync. 

To assess, the students showed their movie to someone outside the class. Did the video seem real? Professional, even? For Michael's IBMYP students, everything notated here was notated in the process journal in the students' own words.