Musical Games for all class levels
These games or warm-up
activities are in many respects presented in the spirit of the two earlier
lessons Musical Games with Infants.
The essence of these activities
is that the children have fun keeping to the strict rules of a game, be
that a rhythm pattern, a speech pattern, a melody, a gesture, a response.
The rules become more sophisticated depending on the musical capabilities
of the class.
Working with Rhythm.
These games are an enjoyable
way for children to become familiar with the idea of phrase length and
alternating rhythm patterns. Children are also reading rhythm.
If the teacher is teaching
certain note-values (e.g. syncopation on two crochet beats), then these
can be integrated into the game. The teacher can clap patterns at random
or have an organised plan before doing the game.
This game is based on
the idea of 4 beats in a bar. 6 different rhythm patterns are written on
the Board, 4 of them having the new syncopation in different ways.
Put up four to six different
rhythm patterns on the Board, one directly under the other.
Put some of the newly introduced
syncopated rhythm into some of the rhythms.
Teacher claps a pattern (one
of those on the Board) Children imitate.
Teacher claps a different pattern
Teacher makes it more difficult
by asking the children to remember a sequence of patterns (they may refer
to the Board for these).
A child is then asked to lead
Responding to specified
Organise a space in which children
can move about freely.
Have about 4 different instruments
that contrast with one another.
Example A:- (2 opposites) A
pair of Indian Bells. A Cymbal or a Gong or a large saucepan lid. (these
instruments have metallic qualities but the sound of the little Indian
or Hand Bells is in a higher pitch).
Example B:- A Woodblock. A Glockenspiel
or Xylophone (again two very different sounds).
The Indian Bells (high
sound) move about making yourself as tall as possible.
Teacher appoints a child to
play each of the (four) different instruments.
Children listen to the sound
Teacher invites comments on
the difference between the first two (the Indian bells have a high, twinkly
sort of sound, whereas a Gong has a much deeper and fatter sound).
Similarly with the next two
(the Woodblock has a short, static sort of sound, whereas the Glockenspiel,
when played with quick sideways movement, has a moving, floating effect).
Teacher explains the rules for
this game, that the children can move in certain ways depending on which
instrument they hear,
The Cymbal, or another one
above (low sound) move about making yourself as low as possible.
The Woodblock (short sound)
move about making stiff, robotic movements.
The Glockenspiel (quick,
ripples of sound) move about with loose limbs and wobbly
The four instrumental players
are in charge, so they have to be able to give each other signals for
who goes next.
Game begins with one instrument
sounding continuously, while the class respond with corresponding movement.
Another instrument takes over
and the class change movement accordingly.