MusicEd















  Musical Activities...


1) VOCAL WARM-UP FOR SMALL CHILDREN
2) MUSIC ACTIVITIES RELATED TO THE SHOW
3) GUESSING GAME WITH EVERYDAY OBJECTS PERCUSSION KIT





VOCAL WARM-UP FOR SMALL CHILDREN

These games and exercises are aimed at making children feel comfortable about using their voices in an organised way prior to singing 'proper' songs.


COUNTING GAME
Children are arranged into a circle. The teacher designates a child to start (i.e. to be Number One) and the children then number themselves out loud round the circle.

Variations:

1) Set a pulse a) children then count (round the circle) saying a number on every other beat b) they count on every beat.

2) Vary the pitch (e.g. all say numbers in a high or low voice).

3) Vary the volume (from a whisper to a shout).

4) Vary the speed (e.g. for older children, count as fast as possible or start slowly and gather momentum).

5) Sing the numbers.



TUNNEL ECHOES
The teacher pretends s/he is standing at the entrance of a tunnel, making all kinds of sounds with her/his voice, and listening for the echo.

The children are the tunnel.

The teacher (or a child) makes the sound as varied and unusual as possible (squeak, grunt, whine, hiss, miaow etc.).

The children echo back the sound as closely as they can.


VOCAL COMPUTER SOUNDS
Make beeps, bops, swoops, clicks, squeaks, tiny tunes, explosions, zaps etc..

The children might visualise a computer game (real or made-up) to create a short vocal piece.

Record it. Discuss it. Improve it. Record it again.

This could make a great accompaniment to a Mr Clickermouse dance. In the show Mr Clickermouse does a dance to a score of computer noises.


VOICE DISGUISES
The class are all grouped together. The teacher briefly blindfolds one child. S/he points silently at another child who has to make a sound (like a miaow or a woof) or utter a word (e.g. 'Hallo' in a disguised voice). The blindfolded child must guess who it was.


RHYTHM EXERCISES
1) Teacher sets up a regular pulse (clap), children join in.

2) Call and response: teacher claps a very short rhythm (pattern). This could be the first line of a song, e.g. 'Tell me what you want' or 'Ding Dong Bell' etc.. Children clap it straight back.

3) Counting bars: teacher chooses a number, e.g. 4. Children clap the chosen number, counting aloud while they clap.

4) Children then hold their hands up and clap very quietly.

5) See how long they can keep it together. Obviously you can choose other numbers such as 2, 3 or 5.





MUSIC ACTIVITIES RELATED TO THE SHOW

MRS SQUEEGEE'S EVERYDAY OBJECTS PERCUSSION KIT

In The Very Best Friend Mrs Squeegee makes a lot of noise with her buckets and brooms and all her cleaning equipment.

Take two everyday objects (e.g. wastepaper basket and empty washing-up liquid bottle) which have a contrasting timbre when hit, and experiment with the different sounds they will make. Use soft and stiff brushes as well as hard beaters.

Put on some music (e.g. Mrs Squeegee's song) and play along to it.

Older children could make up a short, repeatable rhythm pattern.

Mr Clickermouse and Mrs Squeegee build a whole percussion kit around the computer. It includes using a bungey rope and plucking it like a double bass string.

You could help the children to stretch a bungey rope between lots of different things. Across a radiator would be good, so that when it is plucked, it slaps on the radiator. Try turning a table or chair upside down and stretching it between the legs.

Elastic bands can also be plucked in the same way, when stretched over a shorter distance.

An upside-down table would be a good basis for a junk percussion kit.

When it is built, the children can play along to some taped music which has a clear beat. You could use songs on The Very Best Friend cassette (e.g. 'You Need Some Wire' or 'A Person is a Person's Best Friend') or some Irish or Reggae music.




GUESSING GAME WITH EVERYDAY OBJECTS PERCUSSION KIT

Everyone but one child closes their eyes and that child makes a sound on two different objects. The teacher chooses someone to guess what the objects were. If they guess correctly, it is their turn to make the sounds.



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