My Year By Design

The journey to living by design.

Art Assignment 2: The Stakeout (AKA: See what happens when you hang out with music teachers)

Where is the one place you’re not supposed to make noise? The library. Where is the one place we’re going to try to get people to make noise? The library. So we staked-out the library on Friday for an hour. I brought an assortment of musical instruments from the dollar store. Jodie made us some beautiful shakers:


I have a feeling she had just as much fun making the shakers as she did going on the stakeout!

Here is our stakeout setup inside the library:


Just to be on the safe side, we also set up a display in the mall attached to our library:


Here are our results:
5pm – Male mall maintenance worker, mid-thirties, slowed to read the sign but did not touch it. Thanks for not taking away our art!

5:08pm – Female, early twenties, black coat and big silver earphones, turned to read the sign but kept walking quickly. She looked like she was in a hurry.

5:09pm – Man, mid-twenties, grey hoodie. Slowed down to read the sign but kept going.

5:22pm – Rocker dude in a toque, stopped and came back for a closer look. C’mon buddy, you know you want to shake a tambourine! But no, ultimately he moved on.

5:33pm – A little girl in pink pointed out the sign but her parents wouldn’t let her stop. Bad parents! You prevented your child from participating in art!

5:35pm man, forties, green army jacket, approached, read our sign and then quickly walked away. Perhaps he sensed he was being watched?

5:47pm – Little boy, blue jacket, too involved in his iPod to notice our sign. I lament for the minds of the young.

5:51pm – Women, mid-thirties, grey and purple knitted sweater, read our signed, inched closer and then inched away.

At the very end of our experiment, a lady working at the library came by to tidy up. She didn’t say a word to our strange little group and although she looked at our set up, she didn’t touch them. Maybe the downtown branch is used to such behaviour? Darn, I was all ready to say to her, “Sorry we arted all over your library!” as she chased us out, possible swinging a broom.

So the results were a bit disappointing. People were interested but London seems gripped with performance anxiety. To assure myself that there are still some creative souls around, I set up this little display outside my classroom:


These guys are my favourite:


I was treated all day to the sound of students chirping away and making joyful noise, (mostly between classes and at lunch). Their first choice of instrument seemed to be the tambourine. However, shortly after first period, I noticed my whoopee cushion was missing. No surprises there. Later, one of my students in third period brought it into the class and managed to slip it into a friend’s seat without her noticing. This unexpected noise cracked every up, including the girl who sat on the cushion. Once again, teenagers have restored my faith in the creativity of our society!


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3 thoughts on “Art Assignment 2: The Stakeout (AKA: See what happens when you hang out with music teachers)

  1. Wonderful – and those library visitors missed a splendid chance to be artfully musical!
    Young kiddies are so much more daring and intuitive 🙂 Get them while they’re young!

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