Kids look into the mind’s mirror, see themselves (maybe for the first time), and write about what they find. How scary is that? This is “Reflections,” an application of “Music Writing,” which introduced adolescents to the wild world of inner experience via music, and how the mind’s eye, like a giant spotlight, illuminates events as mental image pictures to contemplate. Contemplation helped kids to examine their inner and outer worlds and gave them organic and real reasons for writing, motivating them from the inside to express their everyday experiences.
I created Reflections because student contemplations in Music Writing described painful events present in their minds: divorce, death, illness, failures, and negativity. After practicing Music Writing for two months (see http://www.edutopia.org/blog/music-writing-trigger-creativity-jeffrey-pflaum), I began Reflections, whose aims were to:
- Locate a past experience and describe it in 100 words or more.
- Use visualization, reflection, and contemplation to find and re-create the experience.
- Improve self-awareness, -knowledge, -understanding, -esteem, and -expression.
- Use discussion to reinforce all the above objectives.
I defined “reflection” by drawing a stick figure looking into a mirror, and said: ”When you see a reflection of yourself in a mirror, you’re looking at yourself.” I sketched a diagram of the inner eye looking at experiences-as-mind-pictures. I drew the eye looking at images in a mirror inside the stick figure’s head. I explained: “You see your self, your experiences, in an imaginary mirror. Observe your reflection inside the mind. Use your inner eye to find, visualize, reflect on, and contemplate a past experience. Then, write about it.”
Practice oral reflection lesson: