What is music? A discussion with the 2nd grade

 As a provocation for the second graders, their teacher Laura brought them to the studio to think about music and sound. Here is what they said when we asked "what is music?"

Abigail "Music is where you take some thing, and you could blow in it, or you could bang on it,or you could smash it, or you could ring it, or you could hit something, like a triangle...

Eliza "Well, everything in the world can be music

Anna "I read a poem that said this; 'the music of the leaves'. What would that be?

Abigail  "the swish of it coming down... or the crinkling that you step on... or up when it's a tree, the wind blowing it... and when it's still..."

A. "How about, what would be 'the music of children?'

"what they do... and how they talk.. and listen... and laugh

"making can be a sound.

Ryan "sound can be anything, music has to have a tune...

Theo "But music is different...

Abigail "Music and sound are related, because music has to have a sound, so technically, they're the same. But music is usually something you create. You take something, and you create sound with it. So, you take sounds and you make it into music.

Theo "When a bird goes like this with his beak (mimes a bird whistling), that's music. That is music."


  1. The sound of children's voices exploring their world and learning.... that is music to MY ears!

  2. This is one of the things I love most about the Reggio approach, teachers provoking discussions among children, but then stepping back without giving into the urge to "steer" or "correct." And, of course, the commitment to recording the conversation.


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