Sing, See, Touch, Hear and Play.

During this session we explored the use of percussion and how ICT can be used to develop musical skills alongside the use of apps.

A fantastic website we were shown was which has a range of resources and ideas for developing singing in school.  We worked in small groups on some of the warm up ideas.   Once we had picked an idea we had a couple of minutes to work out how we would teach this to others. These exercises were simple to use and could easily be taught.

We explored the use of apps that were accessible to children and looked at how these could be used by children.  One of the apps recommend in the session was Garageband.  Using the app allows the opportunity of recording different sounds and then altering them and exploring how the sound changes.

Here is a link to the sounds my two young sons created in a very short space of time using garageband.

My Song (3)

We also spent sometime during the session exploring how different sounds, voices, body percussion, instruments and apps could be used to create a piece combination of sounds that change speed and tempo.  The theme of this exercise was to create a sequence of sounds to create a train effect.  We had to create a beginning, middle and end to our piece.  Below is the link to what we composed.


This composition is a simply combination of sounds and could be used with young children to develop their own skills.  Initially we listened to the noises of a steam train and then created our own impression of this.  This could be transferred using another stimulus and could help to develop children’s listening skills and musical experimentation.

After the session I explored some of the websites and apps available to use.   I looked at the primary resources websites and found a few free musical items available to use.  There is an interactive drum kit and piano for use on an interactive whiteboard as well as the chimes on the link below.

I also explored some musical apps with my own children and found that we had great fun with soundoscope and Crocco Band.  Soundoscope allows you to record you own sounds and then adapt the tempo or pitch allowing lots of opportunity to explore.  Crocco Band is another app that my children enjoyed using.  It is a simple app that is free to download and can be easily used by young children.  It gives children the opportunity to experience different instruments that they may not have access to.  The app also allows the user to change the how loudly or quiet an instrument is played, combine them with other instruments and change the speed of all the instruments.

The clip below shows the song myself and others created after the first music session.  This clip demonstrates how a simple song can be developed to use a multiple skills.  Children could easily be involved in this simple process.  We created the song, drew backgrounds to accompany the music and then used the apps we have been learning about to put it all together on imovies.  Although some of the apps may need some adult input many are easily accessible to young children.


Whilst all these apps have their place, they do not replace the actual use of instruments but compliment them.  These apps allow children the opportunity to create simple compositions and arrangements in way that may engage more children.


Placement experience

Whilst on placement I have had the opportunity to lead some rhythm exercises linked to the phase 1 letters and sounds.  I have been working with children in nursery just beginning to listen and develop their rhythmical skills.  All of the exercises promote the development of listening to different sounds and developing an awareness of rhythm.  The activities I have tried are using body percussion and exploring quiet/loud and slow/fast sounds.  In the first game called ‘roly poly’ we used different body percussion to start firstly with slow sounds and then move to faster sounds.  We also explored quiet and loud by using our voices.  The second activity was again exploring quiet and loud sounds where I started a sound that was then passed around the circle of children.  The sounds were either clapping, stamping, patting or using an instrument.  The activity was then extended to include a sequence of sounds to see further develop the rhythm and listening activity.

Both of these activities proved successful and the children appear to really gain confidence with rhythmic activities.  We then moved to clapping out the rhythm in their names which most children were able to follow quite easily.

I also introduced new musical apps to the iPad for the children to use one of my favourites was a free app called Crocoband.

iPad Screenshot 1

On Crocoband the band play a song but the children can explore combinations of texture, tempo, structure and dynamics of different instruments.  It is a fun app that was use easily by children of three years old.

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