Teaching Aural Awareness in Hong Kong Primary Schools: Use of Drama Exercises

Chi Ying Lam

Introduction

Aural awareness — the ability to identify pitch or harmonies — is highly valued in the field of music learning. The understanding of Western music inevitably calls tor the ability to learn to listen melodi- cally and harmonically (Karpinski, 2000). It is considered to be one of the most challenging (Rogers, 2004) and one of the strongest determinants of musical ability (Costa-Giomi, Gilmour, & Lefebvre, 2001) during musical training. Karpinski (2000) also claims that certain aural skills (i.e., the ability to aurally identify single and multiple parts) is often neglected and underdeveloped even in musicians’ training.

Despite the value placed on aural awareness, I have found that it is not often included in school music lessons in Hong Kong, nor is it seen as an essential indicator of in-school musical achievement. I can still remember my initial attempts in teaching aural awareness in lesson design and implementation as a student teacher and how excited both my supervisors and students were when they attended the lesson.

A commonly recognizable approach to aural-skills classes often includes singing prepared and at-sight exercises as well as melodic and harmonic dictation. Typical classes rely heavily on developing auditory recognition and the skills ot internal hearing or, in other words, ear training. However, the process of music reading involves multiple skills: the reading of notation, the conversion of the notated symbols into musical understanding, and the demonstration of that understanding through vocal performance. As a result, aural training can more accurately be described as ear, eye, and voice training instead ot just ear training. If musical understanding is the goal, then the sight singing and dictation that we use as aural training exercises are indeed a means for assessing all three of these components (Root, 2017).

The reason 1 undertook this study was that in my teaching, 1 realized that 1 had come to understand, teach, and assess these elements separately. I began to seek a means through which 1 could seek greater integration. 1 believed educational theorists outside the field of music education could provide suggestions for creating an environment that employs all the senses, while actively fostering aural awareness. I began to consider how to develop classroom activities that engaged the total eye-ear-voice framework so that students could better synthesize these elements of their aural training.

Theoretical Perspective

Brief Background of the Hong Kong School Music Education System

Musical training became a component of the curriculum in Hong Kong schools just after the Second World War. The British colonial government of Hong Kong set up the Education Department of Music section and appointed Pastor Lee Shou-Ching to be its leader. He was later succeeded by Scottish educator, D.J. Fraser, who instituted a curricular structure based on the British music education system that used Curwen’s system of tonic sol-fa, and that stressed choral training and music appreciation as its essential components. (Liu & Mason, 2010). In 2017, Hong Kong’s Curriculum Development Council published an Arts Curriculum Guideline (Curriculum Development Council, 2017). It recommended that schools develop the music curriculum with tour learning goals supported by three integrated music activities. The four learning goals were: (1) developing creativity and imagination; (2) developing music skills and processes; (3) cultivating critical responses in music; and (4) understanding music in context. The three integrated musical activities were: (1) creating;

(2) listening; and (3) performing activities. Aural awareness was not a highlighted component ot the curriculum guidelines, therefore not many schoolteachers were aware of aural-skills training.

The Fragmentation in Training

Fragmentation is a concept that holds that, in an effort to ‘fix’ individual elements of a system, one might miss the underlying cause of the systemic weakness. Balk (1991) used the example of the concept of disease and health to illustrate the issue of fragmentation. In the past, there was an overemphasis on treating illness only to ‘cure’ the sick part, with a lack of attention to the whole, including mental processes, habits, and the conditioning of the person, the environment, and so on. This focus may have strengthened an obviously weak part of the system, but it was impossible to develop a higher degree of wellness in the system because one had not altered the interactive weakness that allowed the illness to develop in the first place. Recognition of attempts to mitigate fragmentation have led to a beneficial view of the interconnectedness of the various systems that comprise health, which in turn has led to enormous progress in medicine and science.

Christopher Small’s (1998) idea of musicking suggested that all participation in a musical performance matters. However, aural training often isolates one part ot the total music-making experience. Like Small, I believe, in an ideal world, that a performer performs a piece ot music that is retained as sounds in his or her head — the musical inner ear — rather than simply, and unmusically, converting symbols on a score into muscle movements or a fragmented order ot action. The perception of sound, in other words, aural awareness, is in need of a synergistic, comprehensive way of exercising the learning process to provide an integrative view for the purpose of producing a musical performance.

Drama Meets Music

It is a truth widely acknowledged in the literature cited here that incorporating dramatic elements — which can be conceptualized as a multisensory and multimodal endeavors imbued with aural, visual, spatial, and linguistic elements — into formal curricula has been empirically proven to bring various benefits, which has led to a series of reforms that require schools to promote the use of theater techniques in formal education (Lin, 2010; Hui, Chow, Chan, Chui, & Sam, 2015) as well as government-funded research initiatives to probe the potential ot harnessing performing arts as a pedagogical means. Theater as pedagogy, or drama as pedagogy, as some scholars have preferred to call it, has been found to foster learners’ creativity (Yeh & Li, 2008); boost motivation to learn (Dicks & Le

Blanc, 2009; Darlington, 2010); enhance perspective-taking and empathic abilities among learners (Yassa, 1999); support language learning (Brice Heath, 1993; Cremin, Goouch, Blakemore, Goft, & Macdonald, 2006; Chien, 2014); and facilitate the learning of other subjects (Sloman & Thompson, 2010). O’Day (2001) describes drama as being similar to music in terms ot voice, rhythm, and mood. Drama also shows how children express their understanding ot themselves and the world (9). Students can learn listening and comprehension skills as well as how to use their voices to create their own interpretations ot their experiences (30).

Barbe and Swassing (1979) claimed that all students used one of three channels (modalities) as their most efficient way to process information when learning: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. When discussing modalities in relation to music instruction, Campbell and Scott-Kassner (2005) state, ‘While music classroom environments must be rich in stimulation tor all the senses, knowing the modality strengths of individual students would be helpful. The best teaching involves the stimulation of all modalities’ (29).

The use of improvisation, such as improvising a melody over a given chord progression, is an eye-ear-voice-mind activity which, even at its most basic level, fosters harmonic awareness. By learning to create logical melodic ideas while moving about in a prescribed harmonic space, the student can go on to make more informed choices in related activities such as counterpoint, voice leading, and composition. Activities range from foundational (melodic and rhythmic improvisation over a single chord and basic diatonic progression models) to advanced (working with figuration and chromatic harmony) and include both vocal and instrumental performance. Drama exercises encourage improvisation. The improvisational ethos in drama exercises in the classroom can cultivate the connectivity ot a group, welcome differences, and allow learning to move beyond predetermined outcomes (Tanner, 2019). Spolin (1986) also suggests drama exercises can provide space for creative output. It has much to offer education.

The Exercise

The following terms are operationally defined in order to clarify and avoid ambiguity in their use in this study:

Drama Exercise: Including drama games that may be used tor ice-breaking, physical warm-ups, group dynamics, and encouraging creativity. These activities are drawn from a wide range of sources, including traditional games and exercises developed by directors, actors, and teachers.

According to Stoate (1984), drama exercises can be classified into four categories according to their purposes:

  • (1) Games and physical exercises to enliven the participants. These games serve as warm-ups at the beginning of classes.
  • (2) Quiet and concentration exercises to focus the group’s attention and sharpen group awareness. These exercises can also be used at the end ot class for relaxation.
  • (3) Speech activities to involve even the shyest, most reluctant members of the group in speech work.
  • (4) Improvisation work to help participants realize their potential in communicating and cooperating with others, in expressing their feelings and thoughts, and in gaining confidence in a variety of contexts.

In this study, the following exercises were applied in the lesson design to focus on pitch awareness (see Appendix I): Statues and Visual Dramaturgy. Both exercises focus on a sound-before-symbol approach. While much traditional instrumental teaching starts with reading as the prime aim rather than sound, because music is a form of an aural art, we focused on the sound, and accordingly used space to promote an understanding of sound that is more creative and holistic.

Drama exercises incorporated in this study were selected for three reasons: (1) to develop creativity and expression, all leading to improvisation skill; (2) to support coordination between different body parts and eliminate fragmentation; and (3) to use different learning modalities to enhance learning.

Improvisation exercises, entitled ‘living machine’ and ‘conscience alley,’ were carried out in the testing group (see Appendix I). These exercises aimed to help develop ways tor students to express their understanding of the functions of notes. The functions of notes could mean a variety of things: for example, they can be a pitch function in tonal music or pitch functions of the various elements of a phrase of tonal music that helps give a better idea of how to express that phrase.

Many music educators find that incorporating musical improvisation into their teaching is a challenge. Understandably, they are reluctant to teach skills in which they have had little prior experience or success. The suggested drama exercises emancipate teachers from their ‘musical burden’ and encourage experimentation by providing teachers with techniques and new tools for creating a classroom environment that lends itself to risk taking and improvising on a regular basis.

Method

A pre-test/post-test control group study was designed to examine the improvement of the students’ aural accuracy in the assessment before and after the set exercise. Students were divided into three groups with different exercises. Table 11.1 shows the groups and set exercises tor the experimental design. It was a between-subject design (Allen, 2017) with one dependent variable with three groups: Group 1 (Gpl) took no drama exercises in lessons. Group 2 (Gp2) took drama exercises in learning to recognize a single absolute pitch.1 Group 3 (Gp3) took drama exercises to facilitate identifying single absolute pitch and chord.2

Participants

All participating students were from the same schools and are со-taught by the same two music teachers. The sample of the experiment contained 81 students with complete data tor the statistical

Table 11.1 Design of the experiment

Group I Control Group

Group 2

Experimental Group

Group 3

Experimental Group

Set exercise/Treatment

No drama exercise

Only drama exercise in relation to one pitch

Drama exercise in relation to pitch and perception of chords

Pre-test

/

/

/

Post-test

/

/

/

Total number of students

25

28

24

Number without pre-test score

2

0

1

Number without post-test score

4

2

2

Number of subjects whose data were used for this study

N = 21

N = 26

N = 22

Source: Author.

analysis. Some students were eliminated from the study as it progressed. The eliminated students included those who failed to complete all aspects of the testing (see details in Table 11.1). Participants in the study were protected by strict ethical protocols as agreed upon with the schools.3

Measurements

A listening track was prepared consisting of five questions. In this case, in order to ensure the reliability, we kept the paper short and made sure students had enough time to rest between the questions (Liao, 2008).4 The schoolteachers were asked to rate the suitability of these five questions as well. In the test, students were required to aurally identify all notes between A4 and C5. To focus on testing the pitch recognition accuracy ot the students, there were no questions about chord identification. The test was comprised of three questions that used a single pitch and two questions in which a three-note sequence was played. Each recording was played twice and a reference note was given at the beginning ot the test. Each individual was tested on all five questions, both tor pre-test and post-test. Q4 was the only question that appeared in both pre- and post-tests. In order to validate this instrument, music teachers and two composers from teaching establishments, such as music schools and universities, were asked to collaborate. The analysis ot the data obtained from a questionnaire was completed by the incorporation of the observations suggested by the teachers who validated the instruments. Video recordings were made during the session and the teachers were invited to provide feedback on the exercise.

Result 1

RQ1: Pitch Identification

Table 11.3 presents the number of correct pitch-identification answers before (Pre) and after (Post) the group set exercise. The Change of assessment score is an important indicator of the impact of set exercise. The difference between scores reflects the effectiveness of the exercises. Through simple descriptive statistics, the results suggest the greatest improvement in performance pre- to post-test was for those students who had been trained with a drama exercise, especially those focusing on both pitch accuracy and chord perceptions for almost all questions. The exception is Question 4 (Q4) where the control group had the highest score improvement, although by only 1. Per design, Q4 is a repeated question and therefore is also impacted by how well the student is able to remember the correct answer from pre-exercise.

Table 11.2 Summary statistics on pitch accuracy test (A4-C5)

Group

No.of Students

Assessment Score

Ql

Q2

QJ

Q4

Q5

Pre

Post

Change

Pre

Post

Change

Pre

Post

Change

Pre

Post

Change

Pre

Post

Change

1

21

14

19

5

9

13

4

11

12

i

2

3

i

3

5

2

2

26

18

26

8

17

22

5

14

23

9

i6

13

-3

7

16

9

3

22

8

21

13

11

22

11

4

16

12

10

8

-2

1

8

7

Total

69

40

66

26

37

57

20

29

51

22

28

24

-4

11

29

18

Source: Author.

Difference in total score of tests. Source

Figure 11.1 Difference in total score of tests. Source: Author.

Figure 11.1 shows the mean scores ot test results on each question and overall by different groups. It can be seen that Group 3 made greater improvements in Q2, Q3 and Q5. Group 2 made greater improvements in Q1 and Q5. In Q4, there were no differences in the same group, probably because the question remained the same in both pre- and post-test as a control for the questions. It was more difficult for Group 1, the control group that received the traditional approach, to make progress. Table 11.3 shows a summary of the analysis ot variance (this is abbreviated as one-way ANOVA: ANalysis Of VAriance) results on pitch accuracy improvement. This analysis tool is used to determine whether there are statistically significant differences between the groups.

In order to compare in detail how students made progress in pitch accuracy among these three groups, an analysis ot variance (one-way ANOVA) was carried out to compare the group effect for five questions. The analyses, as shown in Table 11.3, revealed a significant effect tor all pitch tests [p <0.0001]. However, when comparing the overall results between Groups 2 and 3, there are no significant differences at all [p>0.05]. Following the lesson plans, Group 3 experienced two types of drama exercises while Group 2 experienced only one type. The results reveal that there might not have been a direct positive relationship between the number of exercises and an improvement in aural skills.

Scheffes method for post hoc analysis confirmed that the pitch accuracy improvement between Groups 2 and 3 were less significant (p = 0.085). The analysis was also carried out with a separate tocus on Q1 — Q3, single pitch listening, and Q4 and Q5, multiple pitches listening tests. In Q1 - Q3, both Group 2 [F = 22.690, p < 0.001] and Group 3 [F = 48.408, p < 0.001] show improvement in their scores. In Q4 and Q5, Group 2 [F = 3.669, p > 0.05] reveals that, without any chord-focused drama exercises, there wasn’t any significant improvement in the result, while Group 3, the class that had engaged in a chord-focused drama exercise, achieved a significant greater improvement [F = 2.467, p < 0.05]. To conclude, it showed that the pitch accuracy improvement of Group 3 was significantly higher than that of Group 2 tor Q4 and Q5. In other words, the students who received both chord and pitch drama exercises made greater improvements in pitch exercises than those who did not. This supports the assumption that students trained with drama exercises will reach a significantly higher pitch achievement that those trained without.

In addition, linear regression was carried out using score change (the difference of post-test score and pre-test score) as a dependent variable, two binary variables were used to indicate whether the students belong to Gp2 or Gp3 as independent variables, respectively. The formula is as follows:

Table 11.3 Summary table of ANOVA test for pitch accuracy score change

Groups 1 & 2 Overall

Sum of Squares

if

Mean Square

F

P

Between groups

27.692

1

27.692

20.840

.000***

Within groups

59.796

45

1.328

Total

87.498

46

Groups 1 & 3 Overall

Sum of Squares

if

Mean Square

F

P

Between groups

54.235

1

54.235

40.864

.000***

Within groups

54.415

41

1.327

Total

108.651

42

Groups 2 & 3 Overall

Sum of Squares

if

Mean Square

F

P

Between groups

5.8859

i

5.885

3.079

0.085

Within groups

87.926

46

1.911

Total

93.812

47

Source: Author.

Table 11.4 Result of linear regression analysis

Regression Statistics

Multiple R

0.5997

R Square

0.3596

Adjusted R Square

0.3402

Standard Error

1.2375

Observations

69

Coefficients

Standard Error

1 Slat

P-valuc

ft

-0.4286

0.2700

-1.5871

0.1173

ft

1.5440

0.3631

4.2525

0.0001

ft

2.2468

0.3775

5.9512

0.0000

Source: Author.

The result can be found in Table 11.4.

The analysis reflects a significant result p<0.05 tor the control group and two variables as shown in Table 11.4. The results also reflect a correlation with the impact ot the exercise. The more the drama exercise, the higher the score change.

After the workshops and tests, the school music teachers were invited to participate in a semi- structured interview to follow up on the topic of applying drama exercises in lessons with an aim of better understanding its overall usefulness in raising aural awareness, especially with regard to raising chord awareness. The interviews were recorded with authorization from the interviewees. Due to the limited interview samples, the findings should not be generalized, but are included for reference.

RQ2: Perception of Chords

The Degree to Which the Drama Exercise Helped Raise the Aural Awareness

The preceding analysis has shown a considerable improvement in pitch awareness. Group semi-struc- tured interviews were conducted in order to reveal some specific issues related to the implementation of the drama exercises, especially in students’ perception of chords. Instead of direct improvement, drama exercises led students to develop a positive perception of development of aural awareness.

Encouraging Positive Dynamics Among Classes

‘Students found it more exciting participating in the exercises. It seems they are more willing to try to answer questions, even those weaker students.’ (Teacher A)

Drama exercise, statues Source

Figure 11.1 Drama exercise, statues Source: Author.

The drama exercise used in this study employed a student-oriented teaching approach (Courtney, 1990). This approach creates a more inclusive, free, and open atmosphere in classrooms. In the drama exercise, teachers are required to role-play and are sometimes required to play the same role as their students (Heyward, 2010). This approach differs from the traditional teacher-oriented classroom. Compared with the teacher-oriented classroom, which is a formal, structured environment, drama exercises encourage students to build imagination in association with sound. Moreover, the setting of the student-oriented classroom enhances the self-esteem ot students because mutual respect for every individual is encouraged in this type of atmosphere (Kitson & Spiby, 2002). Students are more willing to express their own ideas and share creative output.

Flexible Mode of Representation

When reflecting the plan design for music teachers, Teacher A specifically highlighted how the drama exercises provided support to students who were specifically visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learners:

Students can use different ways to present, create. The exercises are all rich in stimulation tor all the senses; students can engage in their own way.

(Teacher A)

According to Driscoll (2000, 25), when they experience a new concept, students of any age will generally tend to characterize the concept through an action, engage it with motor response first, followed by visual engagements, perhaps using an image to demonstrate understanding, and move finally to symbolic representation such as language, musical notation, or mathematical notation to represent understanding. Drama exercises, in a way, serve as an example for the development of other outlines that apply all of the senses mentioned to music instruction. This can inspire the teacher to explore ways of designing a framework to present material that can complement his or her instructional methods. Creativity in drama exercises leads to a curriculum designed to reach all sensory channels while fostering musical understanding.

Change in Perceptions

Many forms of classroom teaching start with music reading as the prime aim rather than sound. Yet, when most people begin to learn an instrument, they often do so because they like the sound of that particular instrument and wanted to make some fabulous noises on it! In other words, there is a focus on sound. Drama exercises often generate vocal and active responses to fictional situations (Neelands, 2010).

Students were able to apply their imagination when they were being asked to identify the chord nature. It didn’t really improve their ability in pitch identification, but 1 do think they developed a different perception in listening to music. They could come up with interesting stories in describing the music.

(Teacher B)

Drama exercise develops the imaginative skills of students. It provides an opportunity for them to construct and imagine unfamiliar contexts and situations. According to Arieli (2007), drama exercise allows spontaneous self-expression of the participants. It enables students to analyze and synthesize information and to translate educational concepts into a personally meaningful form. This echoes very much my own experience as a music student. I remember, as a piano student, sometimes when learning a piece I thought about the purpose or function of individual passages; 1 desperately wanted to know how each passage interacted with the overall environment ot the piece and so on. It’s been a tough process for me to understand what I was trying to express: some bit ot comprehension was definitely missing. Therefore, as an educator, I always try to look for ways in which things could be better, hoping to help students to build their expressive conviction in performance. Drama exercise changes the perception of how students see music, allowing students to make their own meaning out of the music, which is very important tor them to develop expressive playing.

Drama game

Figure 11.2 Drama game: consciousness alley. Source: Author.

Summary

The result of the study concludes that participation in drama exercises has benefits in pitch learning. Although it reflects no direct relation to the improvement of chord accuracy, with its additional benefits, it: (1) encourages positive dynamics among the class; (2) facilitates change in perception toward aural awareness; and (3) allows for the flexible mode of presentation. Drama exercise facilitates a good start of introducing aural awareness in school settings.

Discussion and Recommendations

The findings indicate that students who received drama exercises (Group 2 and Group 3) achieved improvement in pitch identification. Yet the results showed no significant difference in students who received drama exercises both in learning a single pitch and chords (Group 3) and those who only received exercise training in learning a single pitch (Group 2). The possible reason for this could be that the tests themselves were rather short and easy, or the tests did not discriminate sufficiently in order to measure the differences in improvement of these students.

Through a mixed-method analysis, the results of the current study provide concrete support for the assumption that students who received drama exercises will make greater progress in developing aural awareness than those who do not. Drama exercises were found to aid general pitch awareness, but it was the drama exercise with improvisatory elements that would seem to be the more powerful training technique. According to the empirical results and the reflection on the practical work, music educators should encourage students to be aware of the importance ot a holistic approach and include that in the music curriculum. Drama exercises can inspire teachers to explore ways to add aural, visual, and kinesthetic strategies to a model for students who are good at different learning modalities.

This framework can prove useful when planning musical activities, or it can serve as an example for the development of other outlines that apply all of the senses to music instruction. Note that while this framework does trace the development of a selected musical concept from its introduction through conscious knowledge and application, it is intended for use over time rather than as a template for a single music lesson. The process of conceptual development takes multiple lessons, units, or grade levels, depending on the complexity of the concept involved. The sample activity in Appendix I provides an example ot this instructional framework applied to aural training.

I would suggest that drama exercises would be beneficial for different stakeholders who engage in music activities. Although the value ot the use of drama exercises in teaching other subjects has been comprehensively identified in recent years, there has been limited discussion related to this in the field of music education. This study has taken a step in the direction of defining some exercises that could be applied in aural training for students, but it is acknowledged that because the current study represents early stage research, the exercises used in this study will need to be further explored and refined. As a small-scale design, replication is necessary in order to increase sample sizes and aim for better statistical results. The possibilities for future research in this area are extensive. It would be possible to interview and observe drama practitioners who work in a musical theatre setting to understand better how they use drama exercises and what kind of exercises are most appropriate in a specific context. Overall, the study supports drama exercises as a pedagogical means to improve aural awareness. It could be that a drama exercise with an improvisation focus would offer a powerful teaching strategy in the music classroom when working with students.

Notes

  • 1. Unlike working on relative pitch, which compares two or more tones, absolute pitch is based on a lower-level perceptual entity (Wenhart & Altenmuller, 2019).
  • 2. According to interviews with music teachers before the experiment, pitch correctness is identified as a weakness and the most challenging aspect of music training for primary students to achieve. Therefore, pitch accuracy was measured and used in statistical analysis in later sections.
  • 3. As agreed with the school, individual identities were not to be identifiable due to the results of the tests. Photo consent was obtained by the school with careful attention given to students whose families did not wish for them to appear in any publications.
  • 4. According to Liao (2002, 2008), if the instructions given to the participants involved too many assessment tasks, lower reliability would be expected. It was also important to consider the judgment of tiredness and exam-fatigue in order to improve the assessment reliability.

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Appendix I The Applied Drama Exercise in the Study

Appendix I

* 1. Lesson Warm up 2. Lesson Core Activity 3. Lesson Extension Exercise

Applied

Exercise

Purpose *

Instruction

Application in Aural Training / Variations of the Exercise

Earning Outcomes

Approx. Time Required

Statues

i

Students shape their own bodies individually and independently to create a frozen ‘statue’ that represents a person, feeling, or idea. This activity uses limited space and it is a great way for students to practice how to shape their bodies to represent their thinking and understanding.

Different height of statues represent different pitches. They can also form into a small group of statues to show a sequence of pitches played.

Demonstrate an understanding of concept of pitch, especially on exact pitch.

15 mins

Conscience

Alley

2

Students explore multiple facets of a characters choice within a specific dilemma. The strategy is used to embody and analyze the range of ideas, motivations, and factors that a character may be thinking about when making a major decision within real or imagined circumstances. Students form two standing lines, facing each other, leaving a space or alley between the rows where a person can easily walk. Next, a student volunteer (or the teacher, if necessary) takes on the role of the character in the imagined scenario.

Students walk slowly down the row; as they pass, each standing student tries to represent their feeling of listening to a major or minor chord using a sentence. Although the dialogue or lines shared by students can be spontaneous, it is important that students have the knowledge to generate realistic lines that are authentic to the situation.

After walking the alley, ask the student to share how they are feeling about their perceptions toward the chord.

  • — Demonstrate an understanding of the tonality of chord.
  • - Able to express the perceptions and feelings toward different context of music

20 mins

Pass the Sound

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Students stand in a circle.

Every student makes a different sound; and passes it to the one next to them, so that the sound wave goes around the circle.

Divide into smaller groups, each group decides on a sequence in which these sounds are made and practices it.

Then, ask the group to make up a story in which these sounds occur — in the sequence already decided upon. The story can be narrated or acted.

  • — Exploration of different sound and pitches
  • - Able to compose a short composition on pitches as a group

15 mins

Applied

Exercise

Purpose *

Instruction

Application in Aural Training / Variations of the Exercise

Learning Outcomes

Approx. Time Required

The Living Machine

2

Students are divided into groups. Each group goes off to create a presentation they will be asked to share with the larger group. They pretend that each person in the group is a small moving part of a large machine — the five people together cooperate to make up the large machine. Each person will make a motion and sound that they end up repeating over and over again. Each player in turn. The idea is to start the machine at one end and keep it moving after it starts.

A machine producing sound from low to high or vice versa.

  • — Exploration of different sound and pitches
  • — Able to compose a short composition on pitches as a group

20 mins

Sound

Story

3

Students use their voice to paint a sound

picture of a particular theme, for example, a beach or park.

One of the students becomes the leader of the group. He or she can control the shape of the piece by raising her hand to increase the volume or bringing it to touch the floor for silence.

— Apply the understanding of dynamics into a sound composition

10 mins

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