by Dr. Shanthi Thomas
Music is loved universally by young and old, and is the one go-to activity for relaxation and enjoyment for people of all walks of life. Music – related activities and games are sure to catch the imagination of children, and keep them occupied gainfully for long periods of time. Here are a few fun music activities for children.
How does a violin sound? How about a saxophone? This game lets children identify and learn how different instruments sound. You will need a music player and different instrumental music for this. First, play the sounds of different instruments. Then, play a song which incorporates distinct sounds of the different instruments already introduced, and ask the children to say which instrument plays which sound.
Let us make a kitchen orchestra with all the pans, bowls, boxes and pots at hand. With wooden or plastic spoons we have readymade drums. Different types of drums can be made by filling containers with small items such as pebbles and beans.
Divide the class into two groups. Let everyone write down the titles of their favorite pop songs on separate pieces of paper. Place the pieces of paper in a tin and let a member from each team draw out a paper randomly. He or she has to act out the song title and the team mates have to guess the song. The team that guesses the song correctly more times wins. A variation of this activity can be played with the names of singers written on the paper and children can be asked to guess the singer by acting out a song sung by him/her.
This is a chance for children to compose music! Rap music can be done by children who don’t even know how to read and write music! You can start by teaching children some examples of rhyming schemes such as ABBA and AABB. Get the children to split into groups of 3 or 4 and test them to write the lyrics of the rap. After that each group is asked to create rap music for what they have written.
Divide kids into pairs and let them pick a song they like. Ask them to create an accompanying routine, with singing along and dance moves or even dramatic expressions. Give a time limit for their preparation. No props are needed, but if they can make use of the props they have at hand, let them use them. Prizes can be awarded for the most creative movements and the best dance sequence.
Tap out a steady beat on a drum while chanting a tempo description. For example, drum slowly and say ‘largo, largo, largo’ to the beat. Then say ‘moderato, moderato, moderato’ for a medium tempo and ‘allegro, allegro, allegro’ for a fast tempo. The children have to do moves according to the tempo. The moves they need to do can be shown to them beforehand.
This is a variation of the previous game. Hide something that will be attractive to children, like a box of candy. Then tell the children that you have hidden a treasure, and they have to find it. You will give clues about the location of the treasure by drumming. You will drum very slowly if they are far away from the treasure. As they move closer to the treasure you will drum faster and faster. If they are very close to the location of the treasure, you will drum very loudly and very fast. The children should be able to find their treasure then.
This is suitable for older children. Divide the children in to groups. Give each group a theme such as ‘jungle’, or ‘sea’ or ‘desert’. Each group has to come up with music that is suited to their theme. For example, the group that got ‘jungle’ as their theme might come up with tribal drum music, whereas the group that has ‘desert’ as their theme might come up with haunting music similar to sand blowing in the wind. Once they have created the music, the groups should find material which can be used as their instruments. Kitchen utensils can double up as tribal drums, and rolled up paper can be used as flutes. Let the groups present their music to all.
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