Music is a pattern of sounds which uses rhythm, melody or harmony. If a person bangs saucepans or dishes in a rhythmic way, they are making a simple type of music. Children make music every day, without realising they are doing it. Here are 5 activities you can use with big or small groups of children.
1) Musical Clock
Props: big colourful picture of a clock without numbers, reusable stickers of different notes
Duration: depending on the group
The leader draws a big colourful picture of a clock without numbers. Then, he asks the children to put notes instead of numbers. So, when it is 12 o’clock, they can put three semibreves or 4 crotchets, 2 minims and 1 semibreve.
They can have various combinations. When they finish it, they can stick the clock on the wall and every lesson they can put the markers on a specific time. This is a fun game for children and a nice way for the leader to test them.
2) A ball game with staccato and legato
Duration: about 15 minutes
The leader plays a melody on the piano, sometimes staccato and other times legato. The children stand in a circle holding a ball each. When the leader plays the staccato melody, the children throw the ball from one to the next round the circle in a clockwise direction. When the leader plays the legato melody, the children simply hand the ball to the next.
3) Dancing like the blind!
Age-group: any age-group
Props: record player or tape recorder
Duration: about 5 minutes
The class is split into pairs. One child of each pair is the leader and the other follows. The leader holds his partner’s
hands while his partner closes his eyes. The record player plays soft music and the leader leads his partner dancing around the room. The pairs have to keep with the beat follow the tempo of the song. When the music stops, they swap roles. The leader of the class, not of the pair, has to pay attention and check that each pair is playing the game right. He can use this game as a test after teaching tempo or rhythm, let’s say 3 / 4.
4) Pause, Fast and Slow
Duration: about 30 minutes
The children sit on chairs in a semicircle next to the piano. The leader plays two different melodies on the piano. The first one is slow and relaxing, and the second fast and energetic. When the melodies finish, the leader asks the children what they think about the two melodies. He has to give them a few minutes to think it over and he should accept whatever answers they give. After the conversation, he asks them to demonstrate the slow and fast rhythms by clapping or tapping their feet. Each child, chooses which tempo they want to express. Then the leader splits the children in two groups. The first group has to clap the fast rhythm and the second the slow one. After this exercise, the leader asks all the children to move around the room to the right tempo. The transition from one tempo to the other is separated with a pause. When the children hear the pause, they have to stop moving. Attention! It is not necessary to play the slow tempo after the fast
one. Use any combination you like.
5) The hankie’s silence
Props: hankies, tambourine
Duration: about 20 minutes
The children hold the hankies and walk around in a circle, keeping the tempo that the leader plays on the tambourine. At the same time, they count the rhythm (e.g.: 1,2,3,1,2,3) loudly and then quietly. Every time the leader stops playing on the tambourine, the children have to stop walking and just shake the hankies up and down, keeping the same tempo and counting the silence times quietly. (pauses)
Η Ευαγγελία Γιαμαίου είναι μουσικοπαιδαγωγός, καθηγήτρια φωνητικής και ερμηνεύτρια παραδοσιακής μουσικής. Κατέχει το πτυχίο Σύγχρονου Τραγουδιού και Μουσικοπαιδαγωγικής από το Πανεπιστήμιο του Λονδίνου LCCM. Έχει εργαστεί σε ελληνικά και αγγλικά σχολεία στο Λονδίνο και στην Αθήνα, διδάσκοντας παράλληλα φωνητική μεσω Skype σε όλο τον κόσμο. Ακόμα έχει εργαστεί ως βασική γυναίκα ερμηνεύτρια τόσο σε σχήματα στην Αγγλία όσο και στην Ελλάδα. Ζει και εργάζεται στην Αθήνα.
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