School Spotlight: Eliza A. Blaker School #55
Written by: Heather Boelke, Eliza A. Blaker School #55 Arts Liaison, OCullH@myips.org
First and second grade students at Eliza A. Blaker School #55 are practicing parts in preparation to go see “Tall Tales and Long Tails,” presented by the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra at Shortridge High School. On March 8th, the ICO will perform classical favorites of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf for IPS schools. This musical piece utilizes instrumental melodies to represent characters, both human and animal.
Under the instruction of music teacher Joseph Pockrass, students at Eliza A. Blaker have been working in teams studying instrument sounds and character representations. Students had opportunities to see and draw instruments, identify which characters they represent, and express the characters’ actions and emotions. Another lesson enabled students to create stories of their own. Teams were able to decide what was happening with their characters, acting out their scenes when the respective musical parts were played.
Another important skill students have been practicing in music class is that of being a good audience member. With the development of attentive ears and understanding of the musical parts, students are well prepared to follow the performance with engaged imaginations. Students are excited about attending the performance in March. One scholar said, “Now I know every animal in the song and how they sound. I think it’s going to be funny. I think I’ll be able to feel the drums play in my feet. We’ll probably laugh a little.”