Did you know that schools with music education report an average attendance rate of 93.9% while schools without music programs only report an average of 84.9% attendance? Music has also been shown to correlate with higher academic performance across all areas and creates a positive social environment in schools. PenPal Schools’ project based learning unit, A World Of Music, is one way to incorporate more music into your school day. During these lessons, students collaborate with each other to create a final project that showcases all of their hard work!
Today we’re excited to celebrate the work of a special group of students (or should we say DJs?) from Poland who recently participated in A World Of Music. Congratulations to PenPal Stars Antek, Maja, Szymon, Maciek, Piotr, Daria, Kasia, and Zofia from Mr. Sompor’s class!
These PenPal Stars studied musical elements, learned about instruments, and analyzed popular songs. Then, they created their own DJ playlists to share with their PenPals around the world! We reached out to Mr. Sompor’s class to hear more about their lives in Poland and their experience learning about music around the world.
PENPAL SCHOOLS: How did you feel when you found out you were going to be featured as a PenPal Star?
ANTEK: I felt fantastic and I feel fantastic also now!
SZYMON:I am so excited about that, I'd love to be in PenPals Stars VIPs. :)
MACIEK:I was shocked, but very happy. I didn't even dream to be PenPal Star! It is fantastic experience. I am so proud of me and my team. :)
ZOFIA: I was very happy. I never thought about that I can be one. :)
What do you like to do after school or for fun? Are you in any clubs or activities?
ANTEK: I like to play football. I'm in the football club. My trainings are on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
MAJA: I go to music school 5 days in a week. I play on violin and I have some interesting subjects. I play in orchestra.
SZYMON: I like to work or play on my computer, and I am in cooking club.
MACIEK: I am playing tennis on Mondays and I go swimming every Thursday. In free time I like playing video games, reading books and listening to music.
PIOTR: I really like to sing i'm in Warsaw Boys Choir.
DARIA: I have additional classes such as art circles etc. and after school i go home, do my homework and play with the dog
KASIA: After school, I rest or play in The Sims 4. I go journalism club and ICT club. I go to the pool once a week.
ZOFIA: Every Monday I have extra English lesson and every Tuesday I go to swimming pool.
Tell us about the final project you decided to publish in the showcase! What did you choose to create, and why? How did you come up with that idea?
ANTEK: It was our own playlists. My playlist was about Polish songs that Polish community likes the most.
MACIEK: I did a playlist with my favourite music of 2016 - 2018. I imagined I am a famous DJ. I came with that idea with my friends - DJ Sajmon and DJ Peter :)
PIOTR: It was about a radio DJ set my idea was to do the best hip hop playlist ever.
ZOFIA: My last project was DJ. I could hear other people favourite music. I wrote only Polish songs.
What has been your favorite thing about learning with PenPals?
ANTEK: This was a great experience. We want to share our feelings with people. Everybody likes music and it doesn't matter what kind of music somebody likes. [ I liked that when] I wrote something and people that read it asks me a question.
MAJA: I could write with [older] people and I learned few new things.
MACIEK: Other people's cultures. I like learning new things about other countries and people.
PIOTR: We can broaden our mind and learn how to cooperate with other students.
DARIA: [My favorite thing was] being creative and doing the project.
KASIA: My favourite lesson was being a DJ.
ZOFIA: Being a DJ was intresting.
How has your project changed the way you think about the world?
ANTEK: I learned about their favourite songs. [Before] I thought that everybody around the world likes music. Nothing more. But after the project I know that all around the world feels the music and want to show it.
MACIEK:You don't just listen to music from your country. Listen to different music. Maybe these will be your favourites?
PIOTR: [I learned] that friendship is the best thing that we can have.
Why do you think it's important to learn with other students from around the world?
ANTEK: To understand everybody. If we want to be understanded, we have to understand the others.
MAJA: It's very good for us because we can learn something from other students
SZYMON: I think about it, because it's something new in my life.
MACIEK: You can know more about the world, knowledge is the best weapon. Who knows what will happen in future.
PIOTR: Yes because we can learn about their culture.
DARIA: We can share our interests and ideas.
ZOFIA: Because you can learn about people and they countries.
At the end of the unit, these PenPal Stars applied what they learned to create their own DJ playlists! Their collection of songs include several different genres and feature a variety of instruments. Check out their final PBL Showcase entries:
Want to listen to all of the music from these PenPal Stars’ playlists? We’ve created a playlist on YouTube! This is a great idea for Showcase projects, too. With YouTube, students can not only design a playlist, but create it, share it, and track how many people listen to it!
We always recommend that you preview any media before bringing it into your classroom and sharing it with your students!
Thanks to these PenPal Stars, students around the world can enjoy Polish music! Each student had agency in designing their projects and it is clear from their work that they are proud of their final products. Their final projects are amazing, but it’s important to remember that they worked hard throughout the whole unit to create them. During lessons, they analyzed and shared music with students around the world. This process helped them discover new music and finalize their playlists.
ANTEK: The song that I prepared for you is created by Zbigniew Wodecki[*] with Mitch&Mitch called "Rzuć to wszystko co złe". In this song you can here all of the instruments in orchiestra like violin and drums. Here you've got a piece of concert. Link below:
MAJA: One of my favourite polish songs wrote Janusz Radek. It's "Ten Kot". This song is about stroking a cat, about that cat is moving its whiskers and finally is falling asleep. It's very nice song. Here's link to this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5D_jDwUr6U
SZYMON: Song what I'll write about is: Enej- Lili / Catch link, and try this song out! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Xsl-Z20qoQ / Genre of this song is: Pop music In this song we have: Trumpets, guitar, drums, electric guitar, acordeon and saxophone. Write if you like it, because (I don't know what about you) I like it.
MACIEK: Małomiasteczkowy is my favourite Polish song. The type of this song is Pop (I guess xD). It was made by amazing singer Dawid Podsiadło. This song is about a person that loves his small town, he tells us what is in his town, where everything is small [ The title of this song has got Mały - Small and miasto - city so it's about small city ] I love it because it has got nice lyrics and amazing music. (Link to "Małomiasteczkowy": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2XWBcd5jn0 )
PIOTR: My favourite Michael Jakson's song is ''Beat It''. In this song we can hear a guitar, drums and human voice because human voice is a vocal instrument. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRdxUFDoQe0 I think that you will enjoy this song as much
KASIA: The song chosen by me has a title po co. This is not my favorite song. I like this song because it has meaningful text. link for this song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IELSg25_6Rg&list=RDQMD9Cc_iSGgGA&index=25
DARIA: My favorite songs are a songs called Where are you and Solo...I like them for being calm and so in my type.They have a very good rhythm and are just cool.
ZOFIA: I wrote about "Początek" again, because it's my favourite song ;) It's rock and pop music. We can hear there percussion, electric guitar and piano. What's intresting, piano plays only when Kortez, one of three singers, sings. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRxH-II0OsA
Congratulations Antek, Maja, Szymon, Maciek, Piotr, Daria, Kasia, and Zofia! We’ve loved exploring different types of music around the world with you, and we’ll be playing your playlists on repeat in the PenPal Schools office!
Your students can join A World Of Music and share their favorite songs with other students around the world, too!
Want to see more project based learning examples from PenPal Stars? Learn about their experiences here:
PBL Example: Ahmet Adem from Turkey Gains Global Citizenship Skills Through PenPal School’s World Explorer Project.
PBL Example: Students in Illinois Compare Schools Around the World
PBL Example: Student from the USA learns about financial literacy and money management
PBL Example: Student Investigates Fake News Examples from around the World