Fifth Graders and Storytelling

Fifth House Ensemble double bass player Eric has been working closely with our classes of fifth graders at Lowell this fall teaching them about music and storytelling.  Below is a blog post from Eric about his experience with these kids and their awesome creative energy!  Also included are a few pictures of Eric working with the fifth graders on their stories.  In the first one, he’s working with one of the small groups to write out their story for their final project.  The second one is from our Lowell story circle workshop day, and Eric is collecting each of the kids’ stories.  Enjoy!


This year, Fifth House Ensemble is trying something new and very exciting for our concert series Caught: The Woods. For the first time ever, the people and communities of Chicago will be telling us their stories, and those stories will all be put together and become a part of our live show.

One of the amazing schools we are partnering with for our first show is Lowell Elementary in Humboldt Park and several of their incredible fifth grade classes. This being our first time putting together this type of series, as well as our first time working with Lowell, we had no idea what to expect.

Since the very first class I have been shocked at the level of creativity and depth of storytelling from these students. Over our visits we have been working with the fifth graders to show them how composers, much like authors, tell stories with their respective mediums. We have also introduced them to music’s power to paint mental pictures, guide our emotions, and create vivid characters.

When we started there were many tales of zombies, dark and stormy castles, and creepy forests. However, when it came time to telling their own stories, I was even more impressed with the depth of emotion and their willingness to share some very personal stories.

I am delighted at the opportunity to work with Lowell over these several weeks and create a very memorable final project for their classes. Even more, I am inspired by their stories, their creativity, and their energy and cannot wait to show off their stories to all of Chicago.

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