Pots and pans make perfect partners for percussion play

This was originally posted as a blog by Sam Procter (a teacher at The Milestone School in Gloucester), but it’s such a great example of how the Sounds of Intent framework can be used to assess musical activity in the classroom that I’ve re-posted it here as a DM Education ‘Experience’. 

It was whilst moving some old kitchen equipment between cupboards that Joe shuffled over to see what all the fuss was about. Having a constant overwhelming desire to bash things with other things, I used one of the wooden spoons to tap a quick ‘shave and a haircut’ rendition on one of the pans. This made Joe smile, which is ace, so I did it again, and got the same response. I passed Joe the spoon and he reached out to hit the pan himself. Suddenly, we were off! After a few moments Joe shuffled over even closer, giving us a chance to move some of the pans and equipment around to provide an opportunity to create different sounds on different pieces of equipment. Joe really took to watching me, willing me to hit the pan so he could mimic the sound generation for himself, interspersed with occasional bouts of freestyle. As an entirely impromptu performance, we didn’t even think of filming what Joe was achieving until half way through!

Not only was this a fantastic demonstration of how music, and musical expression and interaction can be explored wherever sound can be generated, but it gave me an opportunity to demonstrate to Joe’s teacher how the Sounds of Intent framework (a fantastic pilot project I have been lucky enough to be involved in) can be used to capture these ‘magic’ moments of freedom and expression, beyond the confines of a structured music ‘lesson’, not only allowing us to record what we observe, but to feel that even the least musical of us (at least in the traditional, instrument playing sense) can generate a rewarding, inclusive and expressive musical experience.

Sam Procter.

(Joe (4) performing in Rainbow Class, The Milestone Special School, Gloucester.)