Haytor View Early Years Music Project – Blog 1

Haytor View Early Years Music Project with BSO Devon Associate Hugh Nankivell Thursday May 14th – afternoon session.

'A' Composing her song.
‘A’ Composing her song.

One four year old girl – let’s call her ‘A’ – took my attention for most of the session. She seemed to completely engage with creating melodies and songs. She moved with the music, she motivated others and she worked in collaboration. At the end of the session when we shared some of our music in our assembly she was clearly leading and enjoying that role.

At one point there was a wonderful stand-off, a kind of simultaneous battle of the bands – two duets squaring up to each other and playing at the same time. On the right hand side standing up on a rostrum were one boy and one girl singing ‘baa baa black sheep’ quite loud and together. They had a music stand and on the music stand was some printed violin music. On the left hand side were another couple, two girls, including ‘A’. They were singing an original song written by ‘A’. They also had a music stand on the floor with the ‘music’ by ‘A’ on it. The two duets squared off at each other singing and playing loudly. At one point they stopped and the boy moved towards ‘A’ and said:

Boy ‘Do you want to play Baa Baa Black Sheep?’
‘A’ (said nothing and shook her head)
Boy ‘What do you want to sing?’
‘A’ ‘Our song’
Boy (seems perplexed and asks her again)
‘A’ (Says nothing, but holds her ground and then starts singing again and the Boy walks off to find someone else.)

This little encounter says a lot about what I perceived today between the children who seem to want to be creative and expressive and try new things out and those who want to only sing songs they already know, and are much more hesitant about trying new things out. We had a lot of that today. One boy who knew the words all the way through to several McFly songs, and wanted to sing them (and did so several times), but who didn’t seem able or interested to come up with ideas for a new song. I wonder what this is about and where it stems from?

Hugh Nankivell is a BSO Associate  – Musician in the Community based in Torbay working and developing BSO projects across the Bay and Devon.


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