Rachael and I had a great time reading the 2d story books to the classes of Sarah, Anna and Deanna. Rachael multi-tasked in reading the book, showing the pictures, and animating the puppets at the same time! I provided live musical accompaniment. The combination of the live music and the animated puppets worked well, the movement and music were complimentary to each other. The children is Sarah’s class seemed mostly engaged, and, regardless of their understanding of the plot of the story, they were present to and even entertained by this flurry of action and noise before their eyes and ears. The story concluded with some drumming and dancing. The highlight for me here was when Harry walked over to me, put both his hands on the drum I was playing, using it to support himself as he stood there wiggling and bobbing to the vibration he could feel passing through his body from the drum. This again reinforces the importance of accessing music and sound through feeling the physical vibration, not just receiving it aurally. Tim the music teacher spoke of a big drum that all the kids can play together and even lay on! I would love to hear of any thoughts/suggestions/ideas on ways of creating more opportunities for such experience. I Have just discovered an application for I phone called “bloom” where you tap the screen to create quite a heavenly sounding tone, which is accompanied by a beautiful coloured orb that “blooms” and fades, where you tap on the screen determines the pitch of the tone, the tones repeat themselves and with each tap a song grows accompanied by the beautiful celestial visuals until you have a symphony of sound and colour. It is an experience combining audio/visual/tactile, where you can compose. I wonder if such a program would be possible to access on the electronic whiteboards…. Anyone know?
Another highlight was with Banksia, watching Samuel bounce his legs to the rhythm of the drum. On most other occasions I have seen Sam, he has been quite distressed, so it was great too have really positive interaction with him. Again, the drumming and dancing at the end went down well. Its clear we need to encourage our audience to get up and move at the end of the Jub Jub performance rather than keep them seated, to enhance their experience of the celebration.
With Room 9 it was clear that a few students simply wanted to participate in a hands-on way in the music, grasping for instruments at any opportunity. I wonder if having something tactile in the hand may assist some students in staying present, though the object may take their focus at times, they would at least be aware what they had in their hand was connected to what was being presented to them. Thoughts on this?.....
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