Last week, I shared some ideas with you about how to explore Laban's concept of 'Space Harmony' in music class with your students. Now, I'm glad you're back because I want to round out our Laban discussion with 'Shape!'
What is shape?
Shape is the form that the body takes while moving or in stillness. Shapes can be:
The movement of shapes are basically described as Opening and Closing. (It's also interesting to point out that still shapes can exemplify many of the movement concepts we’ve discussed! Shapes can be sideways, or on a low level, etc.)
How do we explore it?
Let's imagine you're a rope all twisted and knotted up. Now you're untied and hanging straight from the ceiling. Now, you are looping around a tree in a curved shape. Then, you have a lot of little corners and zig-zags in an angular shape.
Try to be still like a statue; getting ready to hug your friend with arms wide open. Now, let's imagine you're a statue giving yourself a hug with your arms and legs closed and pulled in toward you.
My tip: I, personally, find it really useful to help students get started by showing them pictures with shapes that they can imitate or by making the shapes myself.
Why teach 'shape'?
The experience of exploring these shapes opens up a world of expressive movement that students might not otherwise experience. (Click to tweet!) The more kinesthetically active and expressive students are during these explorations, the more musically expressive (and accurate!) they will be.
Every year, I use the song "A New Day" to lead students through an exploration of shapes. I have heard colleagues successfully use the song with students from pre-k through 5th grade.
Now I want to hear from you! What tips do you have for exploring shape with your students?