Filed under Arts Lessons

Frank Pahl: Creating with Sound

Frank Pahl: Creating with Sound

What makes sound? What makes music? If you’d like to explore these questions, and perhaps set your students on a summer quest, consider Frank Pahl. Frank Pahl is a Michigan musician and composer who works with automatic music, or music created using automatic instruments. Automatic instruments don’t require a human to directly operate them, like … Continue reading

In the Heights: Creatively

In the Heights: Creatively

I was a young adolescent when the Beatles first appeared on Ed Sullivan. Their music sounded from every treasured 45 rpm record (yes, actual records) and boys in school were suddenly send home from school for combing their inch-long hair forward in the dreaded “Beatles hairdo.” After that phenomenon, nothing much has compared, so there … Continue reading

Acorn Elves, Just for Fun

Acorn Elves, Just for Fun

It is autumn in Michigan, that beautiful season that fills me with equal amounts of awe and dread. Crisp fall days with glorious leaves and (pre-COVID) cider mill trips are some of the most beautiful of the year. But we all know what’s coming next. Winds come, leaves fall, and November gloom descends before we … Continue reading

Jarrett Lerner to the Rescue

Jarrett Lerner to the Rescue

Want to make a comic book? Create a character? Play a scribble game? Do you really really need some summer fun when activities are closed?  Author/illustrator Jarrett Lerner has your back. Lerner, author of books like EngiNerds (and Revenge of the EngiNerds!), has a wonderful website, full of treasures for teachers, students and parents. There’s … Continue reading

Need a Shape? We’ve Got a Template for That!

Need a Shape? We’ve Got a Template for That!

Ever scratch your head wondering how to make a coffin shaped paper box? OK, I haven’t either, but now that I’ve thought about it, I’m curious. The thing that sparked my musings, about coffin-shaped boxes, paper polygons, “exploding boxes” (no actual explosives involved) and even a paper icosahedron—along with other paper platonic solids—is a fascinating … Continue reading

Try Some Star Spangled Imagery

Try Some Star Spangled Imagery

I’m not a sports fan. I almost never care who wins the Super Bowl. I’ll admit this year I rooted for the Pats, but that’s mostly because the older I get, the more I appreciate Tom Brady’s longevity. But regardless, when the Super Bowl comes, I want to see the ads. This year my favorite … Continue reading

It’s a Snow Day

It’s a Snow Day

Here’s a special post for those of you who, as I do, live in places facing record-breaking windchill temperatures this week. All of us wait anxiously to learn which activities are moving forward and which are cancelled due to snow. And, of course, everyone listens for school snow days. This week some clever administrators from … Continue reading

Google Doodles for the New Year

Google Doodles for the New Year

Whew! Is anyone else feeling as if the new year is progressing at warp speed? After several weeks of madly finishing fall semester, celebrating the holidays, and building courses for the winter semester, classes have started and I can take a breath again. Fortunately, along came Google Doodle to make me smile–and perhaps provide just … Continue reading

Go to High School, Make a Record

Go to High School, Make a Record

I love it when I hear stories of students whose creative contributions astound me and bring me hope. That’s how I felt when I read about the students in the Creative Musical Arts and Sciences program at Arcadia High School in Phoenix, AZ. These students, in high school, are earning music credits while essentially operating … Continue reading