Haytor View Early Years Music Project with BSO Devon Associate Hugh Nankivell Thursday May 21st – afternoon session.
Today I met another girl – this time aged 5, called ‘E’ – who spontaneously composed songs and happily wrote, played and performed them, including doing a solo in the assembly with the parents at the end of the afternoon. ‘E’ was in many ways like ‘A’ from the previous week, but with at least three differences which could indicate developmental change. Firstly, when ‘E’ wrote out her song ‘A Place To Go In The Summer’ she used words (see the accompanying photo). The previous week ‘A’ ‘wrote her song out as squiggly lines, and this week ‘A’ again wrote out another new song as squiggly lines. I think it is great that these scores are made, but it is clear at this stage that the squiggles do not bear any direct relationship to the actual music, they seem to be a kind of place-holder indicating that a song has been made. ‘E’s’ score from today did bear some relationship to the music she was singing, as it was her lyrics.
I observed the second difference when ‘E’ sang a long improvised song (two minutes in total) directly to me all about a camping trip. ‘E’ very clearly had an idea about the story she was telling and began singing her story accompanying herself on the ukulele. Half way through she put down the uke and picked up the frog guiro set (see picture) at a significant moment – when she sang words about time passing. She then proceeded to go back to the uke for the ending of the piece. She also did a lovely little bow at the very end. The idea that you might use different sounds/instruments to denote different moments in a story was really beautifully demonstarted here. And the third was that ‘E’ had a confidence to sing out on her own. ‘A’ is not lacking in confidence, but seemed to want the support of her friends when she performed, whereas ‘E’ sang on her own all afternoon and was very happy to sing to parents and familes at the assembly.
I am really enjoying this musical journey at Haytor View and there is so much more to say than I can write here!