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Click on the links below to download further reading and information on the Moving on series: Seminar five, Drama, story and movement with music.

Click on the links below to download further reading and information on the Moving on series: Seminar two, Progression and musicality

Click on the links below to download further reading and information on the Moving on series: Seminar four, Performing and listening.

Click on the links below to download further reading and information on the Moving on series: Seminar three, Songs and singing.

Is the young person moving his/her body with the music? Is s/he tapping her foot, is s/he nodding his/her head? Is the person playing by physically moving his/her body? Is the person watching what the leader (or others) are playing and focusing clearly on them, even when all around them seems chaotic?

There are many ways to observe listening that can be applied in many different contexts.
Listening takes time. However the key question is: do participants listen when you give them instructions? This is crucial to everything that follows.  One musical exercise that can help spot if young people are really listening is to ask them to listen to a repeated rhythm played solo and then find a rhythm that fits with this and join in. Try observing how many participants wait – and listen – before joining in.

This is a difficult facet to unequivocally define from a group context. However, there are examples of individuals being expressive which can be observed through:

Memory in music is a crucial ingredient but, in a one-off session, how can you observe it?

The main way used in these examples is through using call-and-response songs and games where there is one part where the call and the response differ (e.g. in Holeo and Don't Clap This One Back). Try to immediately note who grasps these cues after they are taught and then return to them at the end to see who can remember them. If working over two sessions, then repeat the games/songs the following day/week and see who has musical recall.

Observing those leading can be done in a number of ways. Noting those who volunteer to start a piece/process is, perhaps obvious, but it’s important, as it denotes a confidence and, usually, an understanding. However, it’s also important to observe those who lead more subtly, from within the group. This can be seen in those who keep their own part going while assisting others (sub-leading if you like) and those who lead changes within a piece once it has begun.

Asking the group to suggest ideas and then observing who responds is one way to notice those who are self-confident and happy to offer creative responses in front of the group.
However not all of these responses will be confident or immediately evident, so an inclination to explore might be better observed by noting
 

Individuals can commit to a process in a number of subtle and more obvious ways. Body language and eye-contact are two of the more obvious ones, but some of the more subtle ones can also usefully be observed.

Is the young person smiling as they are engaging with the process? Remember that if they’re not smiling this doesn’t mean that they’re not enjoying themselves, and likewise if they are smiling and laughing this might also be with nervousness or a disruptive playfulness. As a music leader your instinct is to respond positively to an individual who is smiling when you lead them because they’re showing an empathy and a positive engagement with the process - just try not to discount other, less obvious, signs of enjoyment within a group.