“Music is probably the only real magic I have encountered in my life. There's not some trick involved with it. It's pure and it's real. It moves, it heals, it communicates and does all these incredible things.” -Tom Petty
I cannot wait for Spiral Night! This year, I am experiencing Spiral Curriculum from a different perspective than I did in the classroom for the past seventeen years. For teachers, this annual Harbor event is truly a labor of love. Spiral encapsulates how we teach at Harbor - it’s multisensory, it’s driven by inquiry and student interest, it integrates different subject areas and learning modalities. What’s different from a typical month at Harbor however, is that all classes are exploring one theme, and preparing to share their learning on Spiral Night, where the school becomes a museum, and your children are your guides.
Through their Spiral studies, the children are being exposed to different genres of music from around the world, listening to and learning about different types of instruments, studying famous and groundbreaking musicians, and exploring how music makes us feel. As I’ve visited classrooms, I’ve seen children playing found object percussion instruments, making maracas out of clay, creating rhythmic patterns on drum machines, dancing to waltzes, bluegrass, rock and roll, and jazz, and bustin’ loose to go-go. (If you’re not familiar with go-go, ask a kindergartener!) Our first and second graders are researching individual artists of their own choosing, and becoming experts on these musicians. We will get to see, and hear, the fruits of their labors on Spiral Night.
I am especially excited for this year. We’ve had some memorable Spiral themes, from Planet Earth, to Take Flight, to Insects, and Great Artists. But in all my years at Harbor, we haven’t had a school-wide study and celebration of music. It’s hard to believe really, when music is such a huge part of our lives. At Harbor, we use music to celebrate, to learn and remember, to exercise, and to relax, just about every day.
Music is a universal language. Through music, we communicate, we connect, we express our emotions, we worship, we honor, we protest and persuade. Music really is magic. Or in the words of Prince, “Music is music, ultimately. If it makes you feel good, cool.”
See you at Spiral Night!