Imagine stepping up to an instrument you have never played before and being able to create rhythmic and melodic music right away. Now, imagine the same experience while playing together with others on several instruments—all at the same time.
Suddenly, beautiful music is being made through collaboration to the delight of everyone, both the players and those listening nearby.
There are numerous ways to activate your outdoor music environment to help diversify and increase the number of users.
Now it's time for a rhythmic conversation! Here is a fun way for play leaders, teachers, and parents to get children to participate in a conversation:
One child “talks” while the other one listens. Then, they switch. Begin by asking the children some of the following probing questions.
What would a conversation with a friend sound like?
Look at your friend playing another instrument. Ask him or her to talk with you through your instruments. For example: what would your name and your friend’s name sound like when played back and forth? First, you play or call your friend with your name. Then, your friend responds to you with his or her name. This is a call and response using the rhythm and melody of your names. What would your names sound like played together? Listen closely to hear how they might combine in what is called improvisation. What would a conversation with your friend sound like with your favorite animal? Your favorite color? What rhythms and melodies do they create?
What would your conversation sound like if you asked your friend a question through your instrument, and he or she answered you?
Think of a question you could ask your friend through your instrument. For example: how are you feeling today? What would that question sound like played on your instrument? Then, your friend answers your question with how he or she is feeling. Listen closely to the rhythms and melodies.
What would an echo sound like with your friend?
Think of a rhythm and melody (maybe the sound of your name) and play it on your instrument and have your friend echo that rhythm. Listen to the echos between you and your friend.
What would a free improvisation sound like?
Using all the ideas you have explored in the activities above, discover what sounds you and your friends can create together in what is called a free improvisation. Listen closely to each other for a conversation that might unfold. Listen for a call and response . . . A question and answer . . . A steady beat that you can make sound pretty.