Experiences

Accessible Singing At Stephen Hawking School – Using Sounds Of Intent

Natalie is a pupil at Stephen Hawking School in Limehouse, London. In this video she is participating in call and response, singing a song called ‘Nanuma‘, which is a traditional song from Ghana. The version of Nanuma that I know (from the SingUp website) is often sang in rounds which creates lovely harmonies and works very well, but of course, a song can be arranged in any way you like…even if it’s not the ‘proper way’! In terms of effective practice, this is one of the key things to remember when it comes to accessible singing – be flexible with the song and not too serious! Focus on the participation, and the unique styles and different ways in which each individual pupil communicates and uses their voice to sing.

In the first few sessions Natalie sang Nanuma using an iPad app called Answers HD and also used a big mack switch. During these Sounds Of Intent sessions Natalie began to verbalise the word ‘Nanuma’, so we then decided to focus on this rather than using switches and arranged the song as a call and response and this is now Natalie’s version of Nanuma.

Natalie’s teacher had a great idea to develop the song by singing the children’s names in place of the word ‘Nanuma’ to encourage more vocalising as the children may be more responsive to their names in the song. This is a great example of how you can re-arrange a song and play about with it to suit your pupils.

The teacher and teaching assistants sing ‘Nanuma’ with Natalie and the rest of her class and have developed it further into a leading exercise where the pupil (child on the right in the video) conducts the pitch of the singing by raising their arms high or low.

#dmspot

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