We are ten years and counting in our educational program designed to acquaint grade school students with the workings of the pipe organ. The Kotzschmar 4 Kids, a study of the pipe organ, is a curriculum that integrates language arts, mathematics, music, science and social studies, using a small, portable pipe organ as the focus for activity-based instruction.
School Curriculum – Bach & Messiaen
In an effort to reach young people, FOKO has worked with the Mt. Ararat Middle School, Topsham, (our pilot program school, that ran for 9 years), Loranger Middle School, Old Orchard Beach, Hartford Sumner Elementary, and the Breakwater School, Portland. The curriculum which includes the composers Bach and Messiaen is structured to comply with the Maine State Learning Standards. The program is designed to be flexible for different learning environments and continues to be developed featuring a number of options for teachers to integrate lessons and activities into the classroom. Artist-in-Residence visits presented by an organist will meet with students several times during the period of study.
More info on the Messiaen lesson plan in our Education Resource post.
School Curriculum – SoundWave Energy
FOKO is pleased to present this curriculum based on concepts found in middle school science study of soundwave energy and its relationship to the pipe organ. It is the product of ten years of active in-classroom teaching.
FOKO’s Education Committee chose this concept because it:
• is a major science curriculum concepts for middle school;
• applies the scientific method during the experiments;
• provides a link from concept to a real world example of application;
• is a distinct contrast to O. Messiaen and J.S. Bach featured in another FOKO curriculum.
Central to the curriculum are the two Artist-in-Residence visits presented by an organist, demonstrating with a pipe organ. There are also several pre-visit activities to prepare students by exploring sound wave energy concepts and functions of the pipe organ.
View the downloadable SoundWave Energy Curriculum PDF
A major part of this program features the portable, demonstration organ that FOKO commissioned by David Wallace, specifically for educational purposes. The organ, affectionately known as “Kotzschmar Jr.” or “KJ”, has been constructed with exposed pipes and Plexiglas panels so that students can see the inside workings of the organ and play the instrument by manually pumping air to its pipes or by observing the electric blower do the work. It also provides a concrete example of how sound is produced. During the two-three week study period, it will reside in a classroom so that students have access to it at all times.
A festival of integrative arts and science, Kotzsch-O-Rama is an all day immersion in the music of Bach or Messiaen through various stations of activities in art, creative writing, movement, science, creating in various media to the music of one of these composers. This festival day can be tailored to all ages of students, involve the entire school or a grade level and can be the culminating event of our in school experience.
Our goal is to give every child an understanding of and appreciation for the pipe organ, especially the Kotzschmar Organ, through an integrated educational exploration in the areas of math, science, music, social studies and history, as well as to experience a live performance specifically geared to grades K-8, at Merrill Auditorium. For more information contact us.
Want more information on the Kotzschmar’s concerts and other educational events? Download the education brochure!