JOY & PRACTICE & ADVENTURE
WEEK 1: REMEMBERING NATURE
Dearest Studio Friend,
We are thinking of you now and each and every day that we are away from Studio. Let’s find creative and imaginative ways to play and share with each other. Let’s find ways to plant a garden of happiness and creativity each day through projects and adventures. We will explore things that you can connect to from your very own window, from inside your home, and also outside in our city and in nature.
THIS WEEK’S THEME:
Beyond your windows, where do you see nature? Do you find a cloud, a treetop, or a flower or bud that you pass and stare into? Can you find outside signs of our new season and time of spring? Perhaps there are buds blooming and leaves emerging now on trees. Are the branches less empty and barren? On which trees can you find signs of spring?
Whatever you find, take moments to really notice it. Taking a moment means finding stillness and calm in your body and observing the features of this part of nature. You can hold your parent’s hand or sit in their lap.
This nature you find: what is its color, texture, and shape? Are you able to touch it? Can you imagine how it feels, grows, or moves? Why is this piece of nature here on our Earth? Whoever your adult person is, they can write down these ideas that you have discovered about nature. You can continue to have these ideas read to you so that you can remember them throughout your week.
In particular pay attention to the color of the pieces of nature that you find. Have your adult person write down the color or colors for you.
REFLECTING AND PRACTICE:
We started the Studio year learning about elements and seasons of nature. What is nature? Where can you find it around you? Are there any signs of it within your home? A plant or some flowers? Maybe even an animal friend or two?
We now go back to nature to revisit so much of what we already know and to remember where nature lives in our environment. Finding nature in our environment gives us peace and calm, and it also reminds us of the beautiful elements that the Earth makes. We can also be inspired by looking into the details of nature around us.
Let’s share about nature elements surrounding us in our environment this week.
ELEMENT – Very small pieces and details of a larger piece.
· Leaves and branches and bark are all elements of a tree.
· Oceans, mountains, and forests are all elements of nature.
ENVIRONMENT – The space that makes up or surrounds a place where people or other beings live.
· Brooklyn is the city environment in which we live.
· Prospect Park is an environment for a lot of trees and other elements of nature in Brooklyn.
Remember the sign language for Earth. Earth is the
home of nature and people.
Here is the sign for Earth:
Remember the sign for Earth and share it a few times per day with your friends and family.
DAY TWO :
Music gives us another way to feel, see, and experience life. We can listen to it, we can feel it, we can play it, and we can greatly imagine by it. With your family or an older friend, find a piece of music to enjoy and play.
What kind of music is it that you selected to play--jazz, classical, pop, rock? Is it from a specific area of the world? What kind of instruments do you hear in the music? Where are some of those instruments from? Are they string, wind, or percussion instruments?
Play the musical piece a few different times during your day and week. Do you enjoy this piece of music? Is there a part of the musical piece that you enjoy most? Where else in nature would you like to be while listening to this music? Would you choose to be in water, such as in a pond or river, in a forest, or climbing a tree? Can you imagine flying like a bird with this music playing around you in your environment?
Here is a piece of music by famous jazz trumpeter, Miles Davis.
Miles loved to improvise as he played his trumpet. Perhaps you can play along to Miles’ music with an instrument that you have at home, or you can play pillows like drums, or hum, or clap. You can also dance!
Miles Davis – Sketches of Spain
Mandolin with Angus:
Listen to Angus play the music of his mandolin and imagine floating in the sky, and through the wind as a leaf his music. How does it feel to rock and glide and to be so high above as you are carried by the music?
Today, Angus will explore the music concept adagio in the music of this piece. Adagio is when music moves slowly. That’s just perfect for imagining floating as a leaf. You could listen as you lie on your back with your eyes closed, or you could draw a picture while listening to this music.
Angus will also play arpeggios as he plays his mandolin. Listen to the arpeggios as he announces them. Listen to the musical scales as he announces them. Once you are familiar with the repetition of his melodies, you can hum along, beginning to know those scales just by the way that they sound.
Dedicating time to movement allows us to express and give energy to our bodies and minds. It also allows us to learn with all of ourselves. With a thought about nature, share what movements and motions you would like someone in your home to join you in.
Decide upon 3 motions of movement that you’ll do repeatedly. You can put on music to this motion and take turns leading and following. Once you’d like to change the motions, do so. It is easiest to name something from nature, like being waves, a cloud floating, or trees bowing. There are so many animal motions we can also bring to our movement. Think about in what environments these animals might live and how they might move in nature.
DRAWING EACH DAY:
Each day we can draw to express our ideas and create with our thoughts. Today can you draw something related to that element of nature your saw, found, or imagined. Invite someone in your home to draw with you. Does your drawing tell a story or is it more abstract, a place of color, shape, and idea – but does not represent one specific thing? Can you give your drawing a title or name, or perhaps does it remain untitled? The work that you do is important and it should be seen and appreciated. During this time, find a place in your home where you can display your daily drawings. When they are displayed you can go back to these drawing and revisit their meaning, elements, and features. You could also make a book of drawings during this time.
Our drawing can always be accompanied by music!
IDEAS FOR DISPLAYING YOUR DRAWINGS
Find string or yarn or thread and tie them up high between two stretches of distance in a room.
Tape your drawings to the string.
Tape your drawings to a wall in your home and make this a special place of display during this time.
You can include the drawings of those who draw with you too.
Perhaps there is another surface area that your drawings can be seen and revisited and appreciated
frequently. By displaying your drawings you are creating an installation of your work and creativity!
BUILDING AND DISPLAY
Building at home is a great way to express our creativity and to take an idea and give it 3 dimensions. 1 dimension is an idea, 2 dimensions is that idea taking shape as a flat design on a flat surface, 3 dimensions is when that idea takes form with height, width, and depth, and is built up into the space and environment around us. Seeing our ideas build up and around us makes them easier to touch and feel and understand.
What can you build with in your home? Perhaps you collected pieces of nature (sticks, rocks, leaves) and you can create a building project with them at home. There are other objects in your house that you can build with, like pillows, blocks, crayons, and paper!
As you think about nature, what can you build with that would represent nature? Perhaps you will build something in the shape of a tree, a mountain, or a river. Perhaps you could use blankets and pillows and paper to design a river moving through your home! We are excited to see what you might be able to build with in your home – and on your own too!
MORNING, AFTERNOON, & EVENING:
Find three times a day when you invite someone in your home to join you as you:
· Bring your body to a still place
· Sit down calmly on the floor
· Hold your hands in a place of rest on your knees or to the side of your body
· Close your eyes
· Take 3 deep breaths.
· Take your time taking these breaths.
· Notice how you feel before and after these breaths.
· Share in a hug afterwards.
If you feel that you can further practice more time of stillness and calm, allow yourself and whoever has joined you to carry on.This will give so much energy and happiness to your day. See how consistent you can be in this practice and continue to notice how you feel.
Take a moment to share with someone in your family what you’ve seen, learned, created, or played with today. You could call someone on the phone, or share with someone a picture of what you are doing as you explore and play related to nature. What part of your creativity today felt the best? Ask someone at home to share with you about something they saw that they liked or that they found interesting in the way you discovered, created, and played today.
Finding Our Moment:
STUDIO SCIENCE AND ENVIRONMENT:
Have you ever heard of Uluru Rock?
Uluru, or Ayers Rock, is a large sandstone rock formation near Alice Springs in the middle of the country and continent of Australia.
Look how big and red and beautiful it is! Can you find where Australia is on a map of the world?
The striking orange-red hue color of Uluru is because the element of iron that is on the rock’s surface reacts with the elements of Earth’s air and atmosphere and turns red.
Uluru is a very big rock, and also a very tall structure. It is 1,141 feet tall--almost as tall as the Empire State building which is 1,450 feet tall to the tip!
Uluru is a very famous location that attracts many visitors from all around the world every year. It was named Uluru by the indigenous Aboriginal people of Australia.
The sandstone of Uluru has a brown appearance during the day, but early in the evening (at dusk), it can look red. Originally, this rock would have sat at the bottom of the sea, way underground. Over time, more of the rock became visible on land, as the land and sea changed in shape and form.
Can you draw and color Uluru rock or a shape and design that reminds you of it? Can you color pieces or elements of nature in big bold colors that remind us of the brightness of Uluru?
Andy Goldsworthy is a famous artist who loves to play and create in nature. He particularly loves to decorate nature in colors and to build with nature elements that will eventually change, fall away, and fall apart. He knows that all nature changes. And he likes to make art that changes. Andy Goldsworthy loves to color elements of nature with bright and bold hues! What colors did you find in nature? Are they like some of Andy's colors?
Being an artist takes patience and wonder. You must also love to adventure to find reasons to make art. You can see here in this video the patience he must have to make sculptures and installations in different environments and from different elements in nature.
We’d love to know how you are creating and playing related to exploring nature this week. If you’d like to share your ideas, projects, and creative work with Studio and your class, you can send your teachers a photo of something that you did, made, or displayed. Each week we will put together a mosaic to share with your class and our Studio community with all shared pieces included.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
Here is the sign for Hope!
If you have hope, you are strong. What do you hope for? Maybe you hope to go to a special place that makes you happy, like a playground, or a friend’s house, or a museum. Maybe you hope for a special toy or book. Or maybe you hope to see someone that you haven’t seen for a long time because they live far away – like a grandparent or a close friend. Being hopeful means that we believe in something that is important to us. It is important to have hope, because it makes us strong, and it helps us to believe in what can be possible.