Students imitating rhythms in a SOI session

This video was taken during a music session at Abbots Lea Assessment Centre during a Drake Music Sounds of Intent session. It illustrates a few things about the sessions that I was delivering with Jonathan Herring.

We used instruments that were all tuned to C major. I had an acoustic guitar tuned to a C chord which Cyrus is strumming, while Achille strums a 1/2 sized electric guitar which is also tuned to C.

The classroom assistant is playing a melody on the bells which we wrote for the class. This piece consists of ascending thirds.

We started the sessions playing in step (consecutive notes) to familiarize the children with the sound of the notes.

As this was 12 weeks into the course, we had moved on to thirds.

We wrote a very simple piece that tied in with the school timetable: “What shall we do to-day? Dinner Time. Now Let’s Have some fun.”

Dinner Time was interchangeable with various other activities. The idea here was to empower the staff to create music with the students, without having any formal training on any instruments, whilst also educating the students through repetition of simple sequences that become gradually more complicated over time.

By this stage of our delivery the teaching staff were delivering the sessions with us. The students were free to change instruments and to initiate new tunes.

We stressed that there was no wrong or right and that it was very important to give the students time to think. It was fine if a student decided to listen and not play.

In this session, Achille overhears that Cyrus is frantically strumming my acoustic guitar and he copies him by strumming his guitar really quickly.