Responding to children's music and other play using your own music instrument

  • by Anonymous (not verified)

    Wednesday, 16 September, 2015 - 16:02

This section is for professional musicians with their instruments though some ideas can be adapted for classroom percussion.
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Waypointwaypoint/elaborateElaborate786.0343.0""#0000002
Waypointwaypoint/synchroniseSynchronise885.0151.0""#0000002
Waypointwaypoint/improvising-movementImprovising to movement126.0506.0""#0000002
Waypointwaypoint/add-movement-resourcesAdd movement resources736.0712.0""#0000002
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Waypointwaypoint/obstacle-courseObstacle course595.0558.0""#0000002
Waypointwaypoint/conductingConducting711.0251.0""#0000002
Waypointwaypoint/improvising-everyday-movementImprovising for everyday movement439.0287.0""#0000002
Waypointwaypoint/improvising-create-atmosphere-or-moodImprovising to create an atmosphere or mood31.0212.0""#0000002
Waypointwaypoint/go-back-17Go back1.00.0""#0000002

This section is for professional musicians with their instruments though some ideas can be adapted for classroom percussion.
Click on the dots for more information


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Listen and Copy

Instead of responding with similar instruments as described previously, musicians could respond with their own musical instrument to children’s musical ideas, taking turns.

In this video, notice how the adult translates the E’s musical ideas into ideas on the recorder. Sometimes they take turns and sometimes they play together:

 

Elaborate

Some children will play continuously often playing a regular beat. Elaborate a melody to fit with the child’s beat.

In this film, 'F' is playing a regular pulse. The adult improvises a simple melody to fit with F’s pulse, stopping and starting when F stops and starts:

 

Synchronise

Join in with the child’s musical ideas matching their speed, playing with the same energy and starting and stopping with them.

Improvising to movement

Observe children moving naturally in the space (inside and outside). Notice the energy, quality, speed and direction of their movement. Their movements might be very big or very small – as small as baby’s fingers gently moving or as large as running around the playground. Find a musical idea that fits with the child’s movement. Make sure you match rhythmically and start and stop as they do. This will help them to understand that you are following them. You might tell them what you are doing ‘I’m making music for you running’.  Together you might develop a ‘set’ of movements with different kinds of music to go with them. E.g. Hopping music, tiptoe music, sleeping music, running music, wiggling music, spinning music. Once you have co-constructed these ideas with the children, move from one to the other seeing if the children remember or you might: suggest a new way of moving; vary the speed of your playing and see if they respond; change your music and see if they respond with a new way of moving. The children too might: play around with stopping and starting; change how fast or slow they are moving or some other element of their movement; try a new movement.

‘One day I notice Kaci, age 2, running around the small playground. On my recorder I try to create some running music to match her movements. As she stops and starts I stop and start my musical idea with her. She notices my music and plays around with making me stop and start. Then she starts to jump. I find a new musical idea to match her jumping – distinctive from my running idea. Over time we evolve music/movement ideas for running, jumping tiptoeing and sleeping. When I visit the children’s centre three weeks later Ceris runs up to me with my recorder and asks for running music.’

Add movement resources

Make available different things for the children to move with - ankle bells, scarves, ribbon sticks. This will encourage different ways of moving.

Change the physical environment

The way the physical environment is organised and different play equipment will encourage children to move in different ways.  You might observe the children: climbing up steps, jumping from hoop to hoop, going down a slide, swinging backwards and forwards.

Obstacle course

You could also set up an obstacle course inside or outside, which encourages the children to move in different ways. This could include something to go up step by step, something to slide down, some hoops to jump from one to another. Here the musician creates different music for different parts of the course.

Example 1: 'Ellis, age 2, is using some play equipment in the nursery. It consists of steps up and a ramp down. As he goes up the steps I play a scale going up, as he waits to go down I play a trill, as he slides down on his tummy I finding a sliding idea and then as he runs round to try again I play ‘running’ music. I put out some hoops where he has been running and next time create ‘jumping’ music as he jumps from hoop to hoop.’

Example 2: 'Ellis, age 2, is using some play equipment in the nursery. It consists of steps up and a ramp down. As he goes up the steps I play a scale going up, as he waits to go down I play a trill, as he slides down on his tummy I finding a sliding idea and then as he runs round to try again I play ‘running’ music. I put out some hoops where he has been running and next time create ‘jumping’ music as he jumps from hoop to hoop.’‘A musician is making a house visit to a family where the two children, who both have Spina Bifida, are currently home educated. They are in the garden where there is a trampoline and swing. The girl (aged 2) is on the swing and I improvise to match her swinging movements.  Then, the musician makes a more boisterous tune for the boy (aged 3) who is jumping on the trampoline. All the time, trying to match her rhythm to theirs.’

Conducting

As well as responding to the free movement of children you could also establish a signal for you to play and to stop essentially allowing the children to ‘conduct’ you. This could be wiggle fingers for play and cross your arms for stop.

Improvising for everyday movement

You could improvise for:

• A parent gently rocking a child
• A child being swung in a hammock
• A child being pushed on a swing or on a see saw
• A baby kicking its legs
• A sitting baby rocking themselves backwards and forwards.

Improvising to create an atmosphere or mood

‘On a number of occasions when I arrive baby Ryan has been crying while the staff have been trying to feed him. One day we noticed that when I played the recorder he calmed down and the staff were able to feed him more comfortably.’

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