Friday, 7 October 2011

Conference News

Me and my drum! The conference was about communication, and music was one form explored-through 170 people drumming together-it was joyous! We also used boomwhackers which I have not come across before, and which are a great group percussion instrument. The speakers were good too, but the music and the entertaining man and assistants who led it were great!

The lady behind the drum was on my table and just obligingly smiled when I photographed the drum. Class just up the road for future reference. This is a video of a boomwhacker being used-it is a plastic pipe that comes in different colours and lengths and is tuned-each is a different note. You can hit them on your hand, leg, a surface, other people's heads (one of the youtube videos I watched)

Have you heard of Vivian Gussin Paley? She is an American early years teacher who, over the years, has developed great ways of story telling with children. I went to a meeting years ago about her and was really inspired. (Video of her speaking here) I have used her technique regularly ever since, as it really values children's contributions as they are, without always trying to improve them or 'teach' them something every second-something I really believe in. Anyway, recently I heard about a story telling technique called 'the helicopter technique' which, when explained to me sounded like her technique. It turns out it originated from the title of one of her books-'The Boy Who Would Be A Helicopter' and is indeed hers. The last speaker (Trisha Lee of Make Believe Arts) of the conference runs an arts company that works with children developing this technique. She was really interesting and entertaining, and had a number of touching stories to tell. One of the main important things about this technique is that you just scribe whatever the child says. One child told her story and it was just one word-'Mama'. When asked to act out her story she held her arms as if cradling a baby. Other children did other actions and things related to how they saw their Mama, and so, many stories of Mama were told. She shared another of her favourite stories which was just beautiful-here it is.

"Once upon a time there was a girl and she was very married. And she dance to the music with her marrier. And there was a big bad wolf who was sneaking while she was dancing and then they looked behind them and they saw the wolf and the wolf gobbled them up and then they was alive again. And they went home and they saw a broken chair. So much they liked the broken chair it broked into little pieces and then they sitted on their new settee. "

By Bethany aged four.

A good day!


Jenny Woolf said...

I love Bethany's story!!

Leenie said...

I loved the Boomwhackers! The colors make them even more fun. Just the perfect thing for youngsters to use to make music.

Your conference looked like it had some great classes. I agree writing down youngsters stories is a a very worthwhile endeavor. I have "letters" dictated for grandma both for my mother from my kids and for me from my grandchildren. They are priceless

Rachel Fox said...

Really enjoyed the video of the snippet of lecture. Very moving.

Helen McCookerybook said...

Sounds like a brilliant experience Sarah- and I love the photo of you. You look like you were having fun! xx

Sarah said...

I was!

Kat Mortensen said...

Great photo of you up top. I could get into that drum-beating. I need to work off my frustrations on a regular basis over here!