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Thursday April 6, 2017 at 3:50pm Age: 2 yrs
Category: Intermediate, District


Over the past eight weeks, music teacher Danielle Cornacchio took her third grade classes on an eye-opening musical exploration.


“These students are preparing to start playing the recorder in fourth grade, and I wanted them to start looking at music through a much wider lens,” Mrs. Cornacchio said.  


They began by studying all the traditional band and orchestra instruments, and the instrument families they belong to. They learned about their history, how they are made, how they work and sound, and they watched video clips of professional musical performances demonstrating the full potential of various instruments.


“The students absolutely loved learning about each instrument,” Mrs. Cornacchio said. “Along the way, I noticed how excited many of them were at the thought of playing these instruments one day.”

As they concluded the study of each family of instruments, students watched short videos showing how they could have fun making their own woodwind, percussion, brass or string instrument at home. Their enthusiasm for the idea turned it into a project.


“I told the students they could create a replica of any of the instruments we learned about, or they could create a brand new instrument, if they felt so inspired,” Mrs. Cornacchio said.


Students were encouraged to use anything they could find or recycle at home to build and personalize their musical instrument. And family members were invited to partner with them in the project.


When their returned to school with their homemade instruments, it was presentation time! They named their instruments and placed them in an instrument family; they discussed the supplies and process they used to build them; they described the help they received, if any; and they played their instruments for their classmates.


“The students went above and beyond anything I could have imagined!” Mrs. Cornacchio said. “They showed great ingenuity, as well as practicality in their use of available resources. They were fully engaged in the project, and very proud of what they learned and accomplished. As a teacher, there is no greater joy than to see my students having a great time learning!”