Last Wednesday I started talking about the concept of color intensity and how it can be used to integrate visual art, writing, and social studies. Here are ways to connect theater, movement, music and science through that same concept.
How do you make those colorful characters, real or fictitious, come alive on stage? How do you make the spoken word more colorful? Try reading a line to your students without expression. Then add an appropriate voice, then facial expression, then gesture and posture. This is a great lesson in the actor’s tools of voice and body to add color to her/his performance. Perhaps the character is not a colorful one and the lack of intensity is the character. How does exaggeration of delivery in voice and body to portray the intensity of a character in theater relate to adding black or white to change a color’s intensity in art?
This theater connection relates so directly to dance or movement. Create a simple movement like bending one leg and reaching with one arm. By using that same idea of more or less exaggeration create a deeper or less deep bend in the leg or a longer or less long reach of the arm. How does that change the intensity of the color of the movement? Which version of the movement seemed more “colorful”? As students create movement to demonstrate other concepts you study in the future, this lesson can help them revise their choreography to make it more effective.
Now the students are primed to explore “timbre” or color in music. Have them listen to Danny Kaye’s recording of the Hans Christian Andersen story “Tubby the Tuba.” In the recording, a melody is tossed around the orchestra played by violins, piccolos, cellos and finally by Tubby who is tired of playing “oom-pahs” and longs for a melody of his own. It’s a great way to hear how the timbre of the instruments change how the sound “looks” to the mind’s eye. Which instrument was the most colorful or had the greatest intensity? Why might a composer choose one instrument over another to play a melody?
That leads us to the science of color and sound. What is it that actually makes one instrument sound different from another? Why does the violin sound so different from a cello and create such a different color in the sound? And what is color anyway? This led me to looking for different websites that discuss the science of color for elementary, middle, and high school students.
Here are a few that I found to help you explore those questions with your students!
I hope these ideas of connecting curriculum through the concept of intensity of color inspire you to find other ways to connect and integrate the arts in your teaching![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]
Deirdre is a teaching artist and AI coach in the San Diego public schools dedicated to helping classroom teachers make arts an integral part of their teaching. Deirdre has an MEd in Arts Integration and over twenty years of classroom and performing arts teaching experience. Email Deirdre.