Let’s Make Music – 1

I’m from a musical background, and believe it’s important for children to both enjoy making and appreciating music. I want my boys to make there own decisions on whether they like the sounds of music and talk about why. I try to expose them to an ecletic variety of musical styles and encourage them to respond – this may be simply by dancing along! This half-term, I have been subjected to a duet of the boys version of Gangnam style..”Hey….sixty ladies..” and while I was horrified at their song choice I was impressed with how in in tune they were. Boo has been desperate to learn to read music for a while, but I remember vivdly being pushed to learn to read music at a very early age (I could read music before I could read words..) and it’s not a memory I look back on fondly.This half term, his persistance and nagging to learn to read music so he can learn to play an instrument has paid off, and I gave in, gently introducing him to the musical alphabet and looking at a picture of a piano keyboard she’s worked out which way is “up” and “down”.
To make things more interesting – especially for E who at 3 loves making music but isn’t too interested in the how to.. we decided to make our own instruments. Most parents have experimented handing their children pots and pans with a wooden spoon, I still do if I need 10minutes to do the washing up! I asked Boo what we should try making, his reply that thing the bald man plays, looking at him blankly I finally worked out he was referring to Richard O’Brien..this video is to blame..

Yes, OK the love of this song is entirely my fault, but come on it does make you want to join in with the dance right?! Unphased, we grabbed a couple of old boxes (we used an egg carton lid) and some elastic bands. If you had more patience you could decorate the box so it looked more attractive than our efforts, but simply pulling the elastic bands over the box (and warning the boys not to “play” it near their face incase of elastic band pinging!) made a great and super simple instrument.

We experimented with what happens when you tighten the bands, move them or use thicker elastic bands. We then talked about pitch, which band made the low sound or the high sound! From there we moved on to talking about what happens if we used something to hit the bands rather than pluck the bands..I then started complicated things by talking about the workings of a piano and had to stop as I could see two blank faces looking back at me.. Still.. the boys are on their way to learning more about music and instruments and I’ve not spent money on plastic toy instruments which play for them..! (Or been subjected to a recorder..though that is due to recommence next week..!) My plan is weekly to encourage a musical activity for all of us, which will be educational and fun, and I will share it on the – with better images (and maybe a video?!) Do you make music with your children? How do you make it fun?

Ms G x