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
Preparation:
A large space for children to sit or stand in a big circle.

Activity:

Children standing or sitting in circle formation.

Variation:- Adding in your name.
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 – Jennifer’
‘Shake – Shake – Shake – Fergal’
‘Shake – Shake – Shake – James’, etc.
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

Other Variations.
Still in circle formation, the children are sectioned into groups of four.

1stgroup – high pitch,
2nd group –low pitch,
3rd group - very quietly,
4th group – loudly,
5th group monotone (like computer speak),
6th group – with variety of pitch, etc.

Assignment for older children:
Representing sound visually.
Teacher asks the children to record their performance visually using a four-box grid as shown in attachment.

Making Weather Sounds:

Simple ways of imitating the sounds of – Heavy rain, Light rain, Thunder, Lightning and other watery sounds.

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.

Preparation:
A venue with a timber floor where children can kneel in a circle.

Activity:

Variations:
This type of environmental soundscape can take place in the classroom too with children sitting at their desks.
There are other ways too of making rain noises with the body. Children will quickly discover this if given the right encouragement.

Follow-up:
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.