“Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.” Lao Tzu (Course 3 Final Project)

Preface

The purpose of this project is to create an infographic that was useful and friendly for my elementary students. The infographic illustrates notable composers, their work – through icons – and when they lived in a historical timeline.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of all composers in the history of time. These composers are the “MVCs” (Most Valuable Composers) in my lessons. Every year I sprinkle new ones to keep it interesting. Shout out to our very own local composer Dana Al Fardan for making the cut! I think my students (and parents) will appreciate the addition of a Qatari composer among the primarily western composers on this list.

Limitations of the Project

Upon compiling the list of composers and their compositions for this project, it is obvious that it is primarily a timeline for western music. I have done some research on Arab music, but unfortunately they are not as well documented because of their oral music tradition. I hope to propose an idea to the powers that be – Qatar Music Academy, the Qatar National Library, the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, or someone in the QF arts and culture sector – and encourage them to document children’s songs and/or celebration songs for preservation. I think that it would be a challenging but rewarding project that, as a result, can be enjoyed for generations to come.

Furthermore, there is a lack of female representation on this list. That’s a whole different blog if you ask me. To be continued. . .

Music in time. . .

The infographic shows a musical timeline from the medieval period to 20th century music. The icons (thanks, Noun Project!) serve as a reminder of the compositions. For example, the hand representing Guido de Arezzo symbolizes his development of a system to learn music by ear. Today, we call that solfège (think “Do-re-mi” from The Sound of Music).  Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Holst’s The Planets, or even John Williams’ Jurassic Park will not be forgotten thanks to the icons. The font choice for the composer names was chosen for readability – especially for kids! The description for each time period is a bit wordy, but that’s saved for the older kids and adults who might stop by and read our display.

What do you think? Hope you have a great week!

 

A picture is worth ten thousand words

Image from Pexels by Clem Onojeghuo. https://static.pexels.com/photos/375882/pexels-photo-375882.jpeg

I love pictures. I love taking pictures. I also love drawings. I love to draw. I am by no means a photographer or an artist, but I do enjoy the hobby of taking pictures and doodling.

After taking a semester long course called Teaching ESL students in mainstream classrooms: Language in learning across the curriculum, my personal hobby of picture taking and doodling merged onto my professional life. If the text can be enhanced or better understood by the use of a photo or a sketch, it will provide additional support for our English language learners. Okay, then. Google Images here I come! I became almost obsessed with adding photos to my Google Slides/Keynote for my daily lessons, in addition to, the worksheets I created for my students. A colleague also introduced me to the Noun Project – a site where I can search for simple icons to illustrate specific concepts. Module 8 of the ESL course became a particular favorite as we assessed published texts that were used in the classroom to determine whether or not the balance of text and image were appropriate for the age level they were intended for. The module sparked a drive and inspired me to create my own materials that I deemed were more appropriate for my particular clientele.

Then came the video, Everything is a Remix: Fair Use. Hold up. I may not be tech or hip enough (yet) to transform media by re-purposing or by adding new meaning or expression, but I had a funny feeling that my race to find the perfect Google image and/or meme needed to slow down. I needed time to reflect and allow the main ideas of the video to sink in.

Wikipedia defines fair use as, “a doctrine in the law of the United States that permits limited use of copyrighted material without having to first acquire permission from the copyright holder.” Examples of fair use can include, ” commentary, search engines, criticism, parody, news reporting, research, and scholarship.”

Regulations on fair use can be a bit murky; however, when you use media for criticism (making an argument) or commentary (expressing an opinion) AND you can answer “yes” to the three-step test, all is good and well (for the most part) in the land of fair use:

  1. Is the clip you are using illustrating a point? Does it provide an example that supports your argument or demonstrate what you mean? (Side note: you can’t just use it if you like it or it’s entertaining).
  2. Is this point clear to the average user?
  3. Did you use only the amount that was reasonably appropriate to make your point?

Hmm, good to know. I should post the three-step test as a reminder when creating materials and resources for my class. Thanks to sites such as the Noun Project or Pexels, just to name a few, I can still fulfill my need of using images to support my concepts. These images are mostly free for my personal use. Google Images also provides an additional “usage rights” tab to ensure that my search for the perfect image is within the realm of fair use.  This, at the very least, is my understanding. I know I have a long way to go, but this is a good start.

So, for now, instead of racing to find my perfect image, I’ll happily cruise in the slow lane so I can check my gauges (the three-step test) and enjoy the extra clicks and views that the land of fair use has to offer.