Haytor View Early Years Music Project with BSO Devon Associate Hugh Nankivell.
Thursday July 16th – afternoon session.
Last session of the term and – as the school is moving into a brand new build next term – we decided to go outside today, to say good bye to the space and also to see what the provocation of the outside world would bring.
Interesting mix of energy and ideas when composing a group song (with quite a big group of 13 plus two adults) as opposed to getting on with stuff on their own or in small groups. We made a very nice big song together, but actually I think that it was most appreciated by me and the class teacher (and later the parents) rather than the children! This balance of teacher/adult-led or child-led is really crucial and I understand that there needs to be a balance in most classroom situations, but really aware of the energy difference in this today.
Group song lyrics (all the words from individuals in the group, but mainly sung by me):
The sun can be the ceiling (x3)
Grass can be the carpet
Outside inside inside outside
You and me
The wind can be the wall (x3)
The crates can be the door
The trees can be the roof (x3)
The tyres can be the window
A few things:
When we were in the big group at one point one boy asked me ‘when are we going to play?’ I answered that we already were playing, we were playing music. But he clearly meant when was he going to be allowed to go off and play his own game (which might have included music!) and make his own rules. I told him he could go and play and so he did – mostly without instruments, but occasionally with.
- ‘E’ composed a very simple, but clear new composition for me to perform (see the photo of ‘E’ composing ‘Clapping and Stamping’) which involved clapping, stamping, strumming the guitar, playing the guitar beautifully, waving my hair and playing the guitar quietly. She has really got a wonderful understanding of scoring.
- ‘W’ again composed a new piece and was tearful that he could not perform it in the assembly (we didn’t have time). This was again scored and had sections for voice, uke, drums and shakers.
It was only after school and I was chatting with the class teacher that I was reminded that ‘W’ had been one of the children on the first week who had really resisted making up new songs. He sang me existing pop songs and was evidently very musical, but did not seem to have the confidence to create new music. However, in the space of eight sessions, he is now a fully fledged and wonderful composer.
I will not be seeing ‘W’ or ‘E’ and many of the others next term as they move on to year one, and I will be continuing with the foundation stage. Sad to see them go, but we got some great comments from their parents at the final assembly including these two:
‘I think it’s amazing how all the kids join in and that the kids get a chance to make up their own songs and sing them.’
‘We have been making up songs in lots of situations at home since songwriting assembly… Thursdays are lovely.’
Roll on September.