Haytor View Early Years Music Project, Summer Term 2016 – Blog 10 – 19 April 2016
Hugh Nankivell – BSO Associate
The provocation for today – to be outside and to see what music is made.
I worked without any other staff member today and began with a group of eight. We walked across the field to the listening hut and began with ‘Hello’ and then did ‘Boogie Woogie’ (the new song from last week) twice, both in the hut and then outside. I tried to initiate a chat about the differences. One person clearly responded and ‘C’ said that it was ‘better outside ‘cause we make such a loud noise.’ It seemed to me the distractions/inspirations when working outside are much more vivid and also spread out much further. So that during the next ninety minutes, when we stayed outside, all of the eight children I began with left me for some other activity (many returned from time to time) and others joined, such that I was a kind of drop-in music port.
During the exploration we made up many new songs and discovered some great ideas.
Song 1 –
Monkey jungle just like this (x3)
Sing away on the waves
This was initiated by ‘O’ who had come up with the dance and the Boogie Woogie ideas last week. She had a really clear action, (two slaps on the thighs and then two claps up high), lyric (‘Monkey Jungle – just like this’) and a little melody. She seemed really delighted with the new song and is building up a repertoire. Others helped to put in the final line.
While playing this song we got out the instruments and ‘A’ made a drum kit from 4 drums together and seemed really happy and focused. ‘C’ sat perched on the percussion box where he could be higher up than the others and stayed there for quite a long time.
Song 2 –
Dinosaur boogie eats grass
Dinosaur boogie eats bones
Dinosaur boogie eats bogies
Dinosaur boogie eats trees
Dinosaur boogie eats branches
Dinosaur boogie eats wood
This song came from wanting to do another ‘boogie’ song, an interest of one of the group dinosaurs, and the outside environment. ‘A’ added the trees, branches and wood lines as she looked around her.
Dandelions and the Losers
The seeds are going to land
The seeds are going to sprout
The seeds are gong to turn into dandelions
Dandelions and the losers
Dandelions and the losers
A song mainly from ‘C’, after he and ‘A’ started finding plants in the grounds and they collected them in a toy policeman’s helmet (and later ‘H’ made ‘tea’ from them) and ‘C’ found, picked and blew a dandelion head away.
We sang this song for quite a long time and I asked ‘C’ why ‘the losers’? His reply was that we were all the losers, (he needed to be top dog today!), but actually as Miss B said, when we sang it in the sharing later, it also applies to the seeds as they disperse and they get lost. I like this double meaning in a song, which happens sometimes and the songwriter is thinking of one thing when making a lyric and the audience another.
I Really Want It To Snow
I really want it to snow x4
I really want it to rain x4
I really want it to be sunny x 4
Most of the original group I had were gone by the time this song was created. There were several new children to the Foundation Stage who I had not met before who had found me and were interested in all the instruments (especially as they were all strewn across the grass because ‘C’ needed to sit on the upturned box) and one girl ‘A came across and picked up the blue ukulele, which had only three strings on. ‘A’ was not new, but I had never heard her singing in this way before. She started to strum and sang a lovely little melody perfectly in tune with the strings (which I discovered were tuned to C Eb Bb – low to high). So I played a kind of Ebm6 chord on the guitar and we sang the song together as a duet for quite a long time. She really owned the melody and as Miss B was nearby we called her over to hear the song and ‘A’ sang it to her. Miss B asked ‘A’ if she had ever seen snow and she replied ‘no I was in my mum’s belly.’
I wonder if her singing was inspired by the outdoors?
Superman and Spiderman
Superman lives high in the sky
Superman flies everywhere
Spiderman lives with superman
He gets everywhere with his spinning webs
‘I’ made up this song with me. He was in the original group, but became very distracted by the dressing up clothes and got into a Superman costume early on in the afternoon and then spent a long time worrying about his lost shoes. But he was also observing the other songs being created and so then asked if we could make a song about superman. So we did.
Four Wiggly worms in My Hand
The final song of the day. One girl I had not seen at all, came over with four wiggly worms in her hand. I improvised a song beginning with having four worms and then one goes into the soil, so then there is three etc. ‘S’ was really delighted with this and went off laughing.
We then tidied up and went back inside for the sharing.
During the sharing we sang ‘Hello’ and then shared ‘Monkey Jungle’ with ‘O’ leading the words and the actions: ‘Dandelions and the Losers’ with ‘C’ shyly singing along with me and then ‘A’ and I sang ‘I Really Want It To Snow’ together. We ended with the ‘Goodbye’ song.
So what differences did I observe between today which was mostly outside and last week which was mainly inside? Well we had less group focus, less arguments and disagreements, more directly responding to our environment, more individual creativity and more scope for chance things to happen.
Next week is the final session with the children before the family band project begins.