Don’t faff with music education!

Updated: Apr 27, 2020

Our demonic kitten Fudge

Apparently, I’m good at faffing. Faffing?I Moi?! Our demonic fluffball Fudge proves this on a daily basis. If I faff too much before breakfast, lunch or tea, she will let me know. She has her own unique style - a mixture of agonising cat wails or a gentle gouge to the leg. It’s a shame evolution provided her with claws. Faffing, I’ll have you know, is a respectable hard-wired trait and allows exploration of problems and concepts in a variety of flavours.

Contrary to popular belief, faffing serves a valuable purpose whilst sourcing and creating new music-education games.

My favourite (and pupils’ favourite) music-education purchase of recent times has to be Boomwhackers. These are basically plastic tubes that when you hit or ‘whack’ them against a surface, they produce a pitched sound. I bought a diatonic set of 8 to use with pupils.

They’re great for:

· Teaching melody, chords and rhythm

· Teaching improvisation and composition

· Teaching basic ensemble skills

· Interval training

· Scale games (and explaining how they work)

· Call-and-response games

The education power and flexibility of these plastic tubes when used creatively is outstanding. Just to prove a point, check out HarvardTHUDS’s ‘Star Wars Medley’, performed, on you’ve guessed it - Boomwhackers.

Unfortunately, my Boomwhacker set is currently ‘out of action’ due to remote online teaching. One thing for sure is, Fudge is also a fan. Only if to maim something musical.

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