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Overall Philosophy

Skunk Rock is based on Montessori methods that support children in finding creative autonomy within structure.

How this works

During the first couple weeks we work with Skunkers on learning a variety of different music activities. We lay out “activity cards” for each musical exercise and take turns “requesting” what we want to try next.

As Skunkers become familiar with the activities we work toward reaching the “activity goals. ”

The Mindful Music Table

The Mindful Music Table: Each Skunker has their own special spot at this table and can return to this space at any time during practice.

This table is set up daily with a variety of musical projects including instrument making, instrument anatomy, coloring pages, note writing, painting, drawing and collaging. Skunkers are encouraged to have ongoing projects and can return to this mindful space at any time during practice.

Activity Goals: (1) build one or more of their own instruments (2) work as a group on creating their own band poster and (3) complete pages in their music journal.

Musical Mats

Musical Mats: Skunkers can request to play our “musical mats game.”

Game Instructions: Each instrument belongs to one mat e.g., bongos to red, accordion to blue, thumb piano to green, etc. The Skunker with the red bongos leads the group by holding a rhythm. Going around the circle, each Skunker comes-in with their instrument. When the Skunker with the red bongos calls “switch” everyone moves one spot to the right––to a new mat and a new instrument. This continues until everyone has had the chance to play the red bongos.

Activity Goals: (1) learn to play a few simple rhythms on the bongos (2) learn to follow a rhythm and (3) learn about dynamics and the conversational aspect of music.

Band Practice

Band Practice: Skunkers can request a “band practice.”

This exercise is similar to the structure of “musical mats” but with a drum set, electric guitar, keys, vocals and bass.

Activity Goals: (1) learn a few simple rhythms to play on the drum set (2) learn a 2 chord progression and (3) write lyrics for their performance song.

Dance Party

Dance Party: Skunkers can request a “dance party.”

We talk about songs that we like and listen to different parts of them. We do stretches and breathing exercises. We move our bodies––because as performers it’s important we manage nervousness through movement and breath.

We talk about dance and how it relates to music. We learn about choreography and what it means to make up movements to music.

The Skunker who requests the dance party gets to pick a song and lead the group in movement.

Activity Goals: (1) understand the meaning of choreography and its relationship to music and (2) choreograph two short pieces for the final performance.

Karaoke Cover Song

Karaoke to Cover Song: Skunkers can request “karaoke time.”

What this means is that everyone gets a microphone and we practice singing We Will Rock You by Queen. Then we take turns trying different parts of the song on the drums, guitar, keys and bass.

Activity Goals: (1) learn to play We Will Rock You by Queen as a group for the performance.

Piano Playoff

Piano Playoff: Skunkers can request a “Piano Playoff.”

Skunkers are guided to work together and take turns learning simple melodies on the piano.

Activity Goals: learn to play (1) Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater (2) Itsy Bitsy Spider and (3) Twinkle Twinkle Little Star