Rockademix: Drawing Upon Success
Don’t get me wrong – all of the various pieces of the Rockademix curriculum are cool. The songs tailored to the standards, custom-made materials and artwork, our original blogging platform, and corresponding books in print and online – they all contribute a great deal to the program. But perhaps one of my most favorite parts of Rockademix is the “How to Draw” videos teachers can use when implementing the program.
For years in my own classroom, I often considered how much of an impact art can have on students. I saw how amazing music was and, when able, witnessed how much more meaningful materials became when students could recreate and manipulate images themselves. I would frequently discuss with colleagues how appropriate and helpful it would be to do more art, but how?
Despite my musical abilities, art has never been my forte. As a result, I was always hesitant to use a great deal of it in my teaching. Not only was it one more thing to plan for and fit into the already packed school day, but also I just wasn’t confident in my own ability to show the kids how and what to do. If I couldn’t recreate a picture of the first airplane or steam engine, how could I expect one of my students to do the same?
When I left the classroom to focus solely on the creation of the program, I knew art was something that I wanted – and needed – to incorporate. So, with each song has come a number of custom art activities that I’ve had an artist create to my specs. The art lends so much to the learning experience – it makes everything more understandable and relatable, and provides the kids the opportunity to recreate and most importantly, they love it.
So to begin, Rockademix has created a set of blackline masters that can be projected and traced by a teacher. The kids are easily able to follow along, step-by-step, drawing freehand on a blank piece of paper. The activity encourages concentration and creativity and the results are always unique and amazing. Take a look…
But, the art piece of Rockademix that I’m most eager to share is the “How to Draw” videos that also use technology to teach. Along with the blackline masters, Rockademix has enlisted the expertise of a professional animator to create step-by-step videos to teach kids how to create the artwork. Unbelievably, the teacher’s job becomes even easier – they simply play the video and pause it when the kids need a moment to complete a step.
An even better way to use the videos is to teach the kids how to stop and start the video – this way, the teacher is free to circulate and provide help as necessary. Plus, the students can make use of the videos in school or at home since they can be downloaded to any device. Anyway, take a look at some of the things that have been created with the help of the videos:
No matter how you slice it, at the end of the day it’s about creating and using standards-rich materials that are engaging, meaningful and interesting. Because really, if the materials are something kids want to experience and learn from, think about how much more they will gain..