Haytor View Early Years Music Project with BSO Devon Associate Hugh Nankivell Thursday June 25th – afternoon session.
Today we developed a new game invented last week, but played again this week for a long time – here it is, as described by ‘A’.
THE LISTENING GAME
Someone plays music
Everyone else is in another place
And then we listened
And if we heard it
We came running out
In this session I engaged loads with a new child (to our group) ‘L’ – she was fascinated by ‘The Listening Game’ and we went all around all the space listening to all the sounds and singing about what we could hear. Later we sang a litle song about this journey at the assembly.
Lovely moment of playing with ‘M’ some real playing together, he conducting me to play really really fast! His hand tight on the fretboard of the Uke for stop and hand off for play. All going really well until he banged his head on the end of the neck of my guitar!
Today ‘E’ again made several new songs including one directly influenced by today’s provocation, which was me bringing in a box with musical objects in and was directly inspired by ‘E’s’ Gems songs from last week. The new song was called:
‘Cakes and Magnifying Glasses For Friends’.
‘E’ was managing the objects (she was puppeteer?) and singer and instrumentalist and her instrument of choice was the claves.
Afterwards I asked her ‘Why did you use the sticks?’
and her answer was: ‘because I needed the stick sound’!
Later I had this little conversation with her about a story she had been telling.
Me: ‘If you could play an instrument [in this story] what would you play?’
E: ‘I would play the fish shaped tambourine’
E: ‘Because it sounds like fairies’
These are two perfect answers for a composer to give to any question about orchestration.
‘E’ later told me that she was going to tell a story and a song – and seemed able to incorporate anything else into it – and the ideas of other children especially – with police cars and fairies and dinosaurs and trains and more. It seems as if ‘E’ is able to happily use and incorporate the whole world into her stories.
When she had finished her multi-faceted story I had a little chat with her.
Me: ‘What is the difference between speaking and singing in a story?’
E: ‘It makes a difference to my voice, ‘cause your voice might not be the same as their voice.’
Me: ‘What do you mean?’
E: ‘ ‘Cause their voices have a different tone.’
Then she demonstrated the difference between a fairy voice and a policeman voice and explained that
E: ‘They change their voice in capital letters.’
I was really struck by her use of the word ‘tone’ and later found it had been used that morning by her class teacher when describing different voices in a story, and also the teacher had explained that capital leters or large coloured letters or different fonts in a story can be used to denote different effects. ‘E’ is able to hear something, grasp what it means and then incorporate it into her own creative life almost immediately.