I am having loads of fun working on a Sound It Out (Heritage) project based in Castle Vale. I am working with a year 5 class at Chivenor School and local OAPs.

The beauty and potential scariness of community music is not knowing what is going to happen in your session – like a lot of other professions I suppose. The most important thing is to make sure the content of your session is relevant to your participants and to have tricks up your sleeve to keep things on track. Well this Thursday, I (totally) didn’t foresee the potential chaos of an activity I recently learned on the Spitalfields Music Animateur scheme.

The exercise is called 3,4,5. Basically, 3 groups work and keep time together in 3 different metres. The groups all start together on beat one – and then work independently until all three groups come together on the first beat of the bar for the second time.

Well, (sigh) I was working with a large class of year 5s, and there were lots of boys in the class with bundles of energy. I naively (stupidly) used the word ‘stomp’ and from that moment onwards – things went down hill.

I should have pulled the reigns on it a lot sooner – but a mixture of being shell shocked and nerves at being observed by a music undergrad and director of Music WM made my reaction time slower than usual.

To cut a long story short, imagine 25 young people all counting their allocated metre in their own time and racing to get to beat 1 – where they can stomp on one another!! AHHHHHHH!!

Most importantly, I learned that I have to be really careful with my instructions – especially with younguns. It’s been a few months since I have worked with primary students – language needs to be adjusted and more perimeters included rather than assumed.

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