By Clair Hill - January 30th, 2023 | Posted in Article

Pupils in Beech class enjoy ‘Interactive Music-Making’ sessions regularly through the week. Their teacher Catherine went on a course about the approach last term and the class have been having lots of fun trying out the activities.

What is Interactive Music Making?
Interactive music-making can be defined as the use of music and sound in a structured setting to promote mental, physical, emotional and social wellbeing. It isn’t music education or therapy, and while participants may acquire basic music skills, this isn’t the aim of the work. Music is used initially to establish a point of contact with the individuals and group. It can then be used to work with whatever barriers the person is experiencing within a safe secure environment. It may be used with people who are withdrawn and unresponsive to draw them into a shared musical activity.

It can also be used to challenge the energy of active individuals into positive and constructive interactions. Used in groups, interactive musicmaking can be used to develop and practise social skills, such as the awareness and appreciation of other group members. This can include turn-taking, listening and leadership skills. The adult running the sessions will carefully plan each activity focusing on the individual aims they have for each child. .Some of these aims and outcomes include – improved confidence, self-esteem, concentration, attention, listening, vocal responses, independence, social motivation, social skills, self-expression and spontaneity.

Here are examples of some interactive music making activities.
The Grand Old Duke of York – an activity that amongst other things, encourages teamwork, develops motor skills and          coordination, and practises impulse control.

drumming 1

Row, Row, Row the Boat – here an ocean drum is placed between two pupils and they rock it back and forth together to make the beads move. This helps develop confidence, awareness of others and interaction.

Musical Conversations – a pupil and a teacher share an instrument and have a musical ‘conversation’, taking it in turns to play to each other and listening carefully to what each other is ‘saying’ This encourages eye contact, concentration and awareness of others.