SchoolArts Magazine

February 2015

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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schoolartsonline.com 19 and Coltrane's improvisational solos. I then fast-forward to the piano solo and most students readily recognize this instrument. They can more easily hear the bass during the piano solo, as the saxophone is silent during this segment of the song. Abstract Watercolor Painting After listening to "Giant Steps," students review which shapes repre- sent which instruments in the book, then begin the first part of this two- part project: an abstract watercolor painting. Using 7" (18 cm) squares of scratch foam board, students trace a snowflakes represent the piano, and a black kitten personifies the saxo- phone. Each page illustrates the layer- ing of these shapes and colors, so we talk about what new colors are created through this overlapping as we review primary and secondary colors. Listening Next, students listen carefully to Col- trane's song, "Giant Steps." I empha- size that our goal in listening is to differentiate between the instruments. Usually, students easily hear the saxo- phone and the drums. I point out the difference between the song's melody square onto a 9 x 9" (23 x 23 cm) piece of watercolor paper. Students next use liquid watercolors (substituting magenta and turquoise for red and blue, as these are warmer and mix better secondary colors) to paint three turquoise raindrops, three magenta squares, and three yellow snowflakes inside the 7" square. The shapes should not overlap. Students then repeat three more of each shape, this time overlapping along the edges of the shapes to create oranges, purples, and greens. The last step is to fill the negative space inside the 7" square with tur- quoise, magenta, and yellow. Students should try not to overlap in this last step so that all of the primary and secondary colors stay clear and bright. The result is a beautiful, abstract, col- orful painting. At the end of this lesson, we listen to a song called "Jazz on a Saturday Night." This song is a jazz version of the words from the book of the same title by Leo and Diane Dillon. The song clearly illustrates the sounds of each instrument and helps students differentiate between them. Printmaking To start the next lesson, we look at the illustrations for Jazz on a Saturday Night, which show repeating patterns and shapes emanating from instru - ments. On the foam board pieces used in the watercolor lesson, students each draw three raindrops, three squares, and three snowflakes, reviewing what instrument each shape represents in John Coltrane's Giant Steps. Dull pen - cils or old ballpoint pens work well for impressing lines onto the foam board. Students are inspired to create overlapping colors and shapes and listen to how the overlapping of rhythms and instruments in John Coltrane's music creates new sounds. Continued on page 37.

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