Artist: Helen Barry
Teacher: Bríd McGovern
Class: Junior Infants (4&5yrs)
School: Our Lady Of Mercy School Convent
Session Ten was going to be our final session together. I had really enjoyed working with the children and of course with ‘The One’. I felt that I had learnt so much about teaching practice and how tone and positive language is so important when working with children. I hope to have absorb much of this new learning into my own practice.
For our last session I requested to use the hall. We were going to continue building but using very different materials, very long plumbing piping that demanded a much bigger space than the classroom. I have also been using this piping in my inventions in the studio practice situated in the National Concert Hall. I am designing and building musical installations for early years children (up to 6 years). I wished to show some of these to the children and test out how and what they could build from the same materials I was using.
The plumbing piping is not only safe and light to construct with but it also has wonderful acoustic properties. They resonate really well and conduct sound without distorting it. The pieces I have built are connected to pumps and can produce notes. I brought some of these along too for the children to lay with.
On entering the school hall the children were met with a white construction which was a little like a 2D drawing. The children looked and we tested how the sound worked through talking and listening through the piping. We took a look at how the pipes connected together and what was required to get something to stand up. The instruction tie over each group got the opportunity to build a structure of their own. We went back to working in four small groups again. Whilst one group built the others drew, played with the piping and/or wrote in their diaries.
I was quite impressed with how quickly each group built their structure, each one took a different form. One secure they tested the sound by telling stories through the piping to each other and of course they got to briefly play in it. The session went all too quickly and out time was complete.
The children had with Bríd’s guidance create a beautiful book of their favourite session. It is a wonderful document of the time we spent together. I had almost forgotten some of the things we did. It also seemed that the most popular session was the bridge building. I was also given a gorgeous pink lilies. I shall return to the school to watch the children’s performance of ‘The Ginger Bread Man’ in a couple of weeks. I am really going to miss my weekly session with this class.