Wednesday, 2 June 2010

A new month, a new game

This month's free music game is for any number of people and is suitable for a wide age range, from about 6yrs to adult. It is particularly good for waking up your group's powers of concentration and getting brain and body working together. If you have a regular group, or are a classroom teacher, and can keep returning to the game, you will notice steady improvement over time. Once children, in particular, know the format it can be used to good effect in odd moments of 'spare' time.

Target is a counting exercise. The object is to place a sound , be it a handclap, word or note, in a specified place in in a bar. In my experience musicians don't generally count in the literal sense of the word. It's more a case of feeling or knowing. If I were to show you three apples or four pencils you wouldn't need to count them to tell me how many were there. You would just 'know'. We don't usually count numbers of five or less because we can tell the quantity at a glance.

Musicians, who don't usually deal in numbers bigger than four, begin by counting but soon learn to feel when a certain number of beats or bars has passed. The counting becomes internalised and subconscious. This game will help speed that process for beginners. It will also improve the rhythm and timing skills of experienced players.

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