Third Years Visit Upper Elementary

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Yesterday, the Third Year Lower Elementary students experienced quite a treat! They spent the afternoon with the Upper Elementary class eating lunch, playing outside for recess, and then enjoying a special presentation by Thomas and Tricia Jostlein, who demonstrated different horns, including the grand alphorn, to coincide with The Kirby installation on sound distortions. How lucky are we to have St. Louis Symphony members as a part of this amazing community?

From left: conch, Tibetan trumpet, and bull horn

The children gathered outside in some pretty bright November sunshine to listen to the Jostleins talk about the history and use of each horn, followed by a demonstration of the sounds they produce. Also, a good sense of humor is always appreciated!

Two students counted the protrusions on the conch shell to see if they corresponded with a Fibonacci sequence (they do correspond with the golden ratio) and also noted that the inner spiral of a conch is in fact included in the Fibonacci numbers found in nature (such as the bracts of a pinecone, the scales of a pineapple, and the leaf arrangement in plants); in this case, the spiral of the cochlea of the inner ear and the spiral of a conch are logarithmic spirals (having Golden proportions). Ah, mathematics is everywhere: in nature and in music!

… And what a beautiful sound it makes!

The grand finale was the assembly and discussion about the Alphorn, named from the region of the world from where it hails (the Alps). The children enjoyed the BIG sound, and noted that they could feel the vibrations from the Alphorns through the ground where they sat. It was a lovely show on a beautiful November afternoon. The whole afternoon was really special, and the Upper Elementary students have made a big impression on the Third Years!

Thank you, Tricia and Thomas, for taking time out of your day to spend it with us!