Friday, December 23, 2011

Working Together at The Brooklyn Charter School

Art Beyond Sight recently began a collaboration with and The Brooklyn Charter School, with Mr. Pete and Ms. Marie teaching team work skills to 1st and 4th graders. Their first project was collaborative song writing. A songwriter and musician, Mr. Pete shared his song writing process. Among the things discussed were determining a theme, brainstorming ideas, tempo, the differences between a chorus and a verse. Mr. Pete explained how a chorus conveys more general ideas, whereas the song’s verses are much more specific. As the theme of our course is Hand-In-Hand, students brainstormed about what working together means to them. Ms. Marie jotted their thoughts on the board, which were then used to write the lyrics for a song. Below is one of the songs they developed. Live recording to come…


Getting something done
Can be fun
As long as we’re working in a team.
Getting something done
Can be fun
We can achieve our dreams.

Verse 1:

My friends
Help me out
Cheer me up
Make me laugh.
My friends
By my side
They’re honest to me.

Verse 2:

Is about listening
To your friends
Is about sincerity.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Morning at the Museum … NYISE Goes to the Met

About 20 students from the New York Institute for Special Education (NYISE), their teachers and Art Beyond Sight staff visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Tuesday, December 20, where we explored a variety of cultures and time periods through the fashions worn. Met educators inquired about the students’ fashion choices, asking: why do you wear what you do? What’s your personal style? When do you dress up – and what does “dressing up” mean to you? Tiascheen explained that he dresses up for dates and that his outfit will vary depending on where he is going. For example, if he were going out to a restaurant, he would wear a dress shirt, but if he were going to a movie he would probably just wear a t-shirt and jeans.

On our special tour, the Met educators first introduced a costume from Africa that was made of raffia. Students explored the different ways raffia was prepared and used in clothing; they discussed the events to which the costume would have been worn and they created patterns with pieces of raffia woven on paper. Next, students went to the Egyptian gallery where they explored Sekhmet’s outfit and accessories and discussed their meaning. They then looked at a painting depicting royal life in France during the 18th century. They examined the costumes and talked about how they differed from today’s fashion. They learned that women were forbidden to wear pants for a very long time. Students went on to sketch their own outfit.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Today we sang “Feliz Navidad” with the 1st graders and their classroom teachers, Ms. Agati, Garcia and Mr. Matt and rehearsed “Jingle Bells” with them for their assembly next week. There was so much energy it was hard to keep up (especially when we sang as fast as we could)! It’s always nice to see how music can bring everyone together in the room and be a source for community in the classroom. Mr. Pete and Ms. Marie presented each class member with a holiday surprise - everybody got their own set of colored modeling clay. Each class member explained what they were going to make with their clay (answers ranged from “a T-Rex” to “cookies” and “green triangles”), and a good time was had by all!
Ms. Hertler class received "very unique lunch boxes". As they all said they were very excited and thankful for those lovely gifts.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Songwriting for Style

The students at the New York Institute for Special Education and the Lavelle School for the Blind have been hard at work songwriting! These students have learned how to write songs, produce simple productions using GarageBand, and alter the sounds they've produced in just a few short weeks. Miss Shawna has set up some guidelines to songwriting, using the ideas of rhyming, brainstorming words, and creating stories to assist the students.

The theme of personal style and dressing for success is stressed, and major areas of popularity in this topic included hats, shoes, and what is that 'special something' that makes the student who they are. Personal revelation and exploration is really coming about in these students! Us folks at Art Beyond Sight are so excited to see what awesome talents these students have, as they are constantly evolving and even sometimes teaching us new things!

Young Designers

New York Institute students tried their hands at clothes designing. Drawing from class conversations about personal style and dress codes, they created their own outfit using fabrics, magazines, glitters and other materials. Chek out Esmeralda's hip dress!