Musical Games for all levels (part
l l )
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.
Keeping a Pulse
A large space for children
to sit or stand in a big circle.
Children standing or sitting
in circle formation.
Variation:- Adding in
Teacher shows children what
way to hold their arms elbows bent, hands forward at waist level, fingers
dropped loosely (like a dog begging).
Children imitate the position.
Teacher sets a pulse simply
by shaking her/his hands downwards (as though shaking off water) at an
even and steady pace.
Children imitate. (A greater
concentration and awareness of others can be achieved if there is little
or no talk from the teacher or the children.)
When teacher notices that all
the children are keeping the Pulse s/he begins to explain the next procedure.
This involves leaving one of the hand shapes out, at regular intervals
of four. This makes for a new pattern of, Shake Shake Shake
(The teacher may need to
assist the children by quietly counting One, Two, Three, Hold .)
When the children have mastered
this new pattern a variation can be added.
All that is required is
that on the Hold part of the above pattern each child gets a chance to
say his/her name, e.g.
Shake Shake Shake
Shake Shake Shake
Shake Shake Shake
In this way the children
are learning to keep a pulse, keep a rhythmic pattern and improvise with
it using their own names.
It is important that
the children maintain a good posture while remaining comfortable with the
movement, other wise they will get tired.2
Still in circle formation,
the children are sectioned into groups of four.
1stgroup high pitch,
Each group of four gets a turn
to call out their names in a sequence (they choose which order sounds the
best and they arrange themselves accordingly). They must keep in time with
the Pulse. It might sound like
Padraig, Ann, Katie, Conor
Each group of four could then
be assigned a distinct style of performance by the teacher, e.g.
2nd group low
3rd group -
5th group monotone
(like computer speak),
with variety of pitch, etc.
Assignment for older
Representing sound visually.
Teacher asks the children
to record their performance visually using a four-box grid as shown in
Making Weather Sounds:
Simple ways of imitating
the sounds of Heavy rain, Light rain, Thunder, Lightning and other watery
This works very well
in a hall with the children kneeling on the ground in circle formation
the teacher is part of the circle.
The sounds can build
up from light rain to thunder and lightning and back again.
The children can manage
this with very little change of movement, which enables them to concentrate
on the collective sound being made.
A venue with a timber
floor where children can kneel in a circle.
Teacher leads the group first
time around by asking for the sound of Light Rain while showing the class
how to do it (tapping a finger of alternate hands lightly on the floor.)
When all of the children are
making the sound, the teacher moves on to Heavy Rain (tapping fingers
on the floor, this time with more weight and speed.)
Teacher then calls for Thunder
(fists banging alternatively on the floor.)
Teacher calls for Lightning
(metallic type of noise in the mouth, a kind of ts- - - sound.)
Teacher calls for Heavy Rain
again, followed by an easing off of sounds.
Teacher brings the sound level
down accordingly, interspersing it every so often with sudden bursts of
thunder and so on.
This type of environmental
soundscape can take place in the classroom too with children sitting at
There are other ways too
of making rain noises with the body. Children will quickly discover this
if given the right encouragement.
Assign homework, that children
look for some objects at home that would sound like water in some form.
Children make a Rainstick
at school. Use a long cardboard tube, (e.g. from tinfoil). Put some kind
of a coil inside to restrict or slow down the movement of the seeds. Close
off one end. Put a quantity of fine seeds or grains into the tube. Seal
it off at the other end. Cover the whole roll and decorate it.