Tuning the Concert

Gold Arts Award Portfolio

Storytelling Success with School Children January 24, 2011

Filed under: 1A: extending my arts practice,1A: feedback — concerttuning @ 2:44 pm

I have taken my storytelling with music into a primary school setting. I have been running an after school music club where we having been using stories to help inspire music-making.

Each week I will take a theme such as high or low, fast or slow or smooth or spiky. I then lead a number of games to help the children understand and become familiar with the concepts.

At the end of each session we will create a story together. When prompted, the children will suggest either characters or places that we can represent musically using the musical building blocks introduced in the session. For example, the children conjured up a spooky forest and an icy landscape when thinking about high and low sounds. I then build a narrative around the children’s ideas  while simultaneously leading the children when to play.

The children have come up with so imaginative ideas. For example, the slow tortoise was depicted by very slowly alternative low notes on the recorder which was then copied by everyone else in some form or other on their own instrument. In contrast, the hare was depicted with very short and slightly crazy pattern of notes.

When I announce it is storytime, I frequently get an excited response from the students (particularly year 3 girls). I am particularly impressed when children come in the next day still talking about the story.

Comments from the children include:

My favourite bit was the story about the black cat who was a king

I think the cat should be carried in a chair around the streets as he is sleeping

Are we doing another story next week

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