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CSR music outreach program (4)

The activity during this session was to have the students mentally create and vocalize a short melodic motif. Though the thought of such an activity first overwhelmed the students, explaining the process of composing a simple melodic motif and having the students believe that they can achieve such a feat was most necessary. Following that, all the students were clamoring for an opportunity to participate in this activity.

Having to spontaneously compose a short melodic motif mentally requires some basic understanding of music scales. There are two music scales commonly used in compositions, which are, the major or minor scale. Some vocal exercises to familiarize oneself with the note pitches that form the scale would greatly benefit the students before carrying out the actual activity.

To develop greater music appreciation, the entire class was asked to comment on every melodic line that their fellow students created during the session. Valid comments were given by the students as they considered what they have just heard. So, it's either they liked or did not like what was created and to give their honest opinions about it.

Taking this activity another step further, students were then encouraged to respond to the melodic motif by spontaneously creating and vocalizing a continuing line (development of the original motif). This process is the first step in showing how composition of a song begins.

CSR music outreach program (3)

Every music student begins by learning some basic music rudiments to be able to read, write and understand music. Usually, the very first few lessons would involve learning the various types of music notes and their values. Almost quite immediately, rhythmic activities can be the first musical activity for the student to start with.

Featured here is a group of primary students (from another school that is part of our CSR music outreach program) carrying out a rhythmic exercise using an assortment of percussion instruments. Creating a variety of rhythmic phrases for students to perform using hand claps or a percussion instrument would be most ideal. In fact, using a variety of percussion instruments would be best as it would also allow the student to explore ways to play the percussion instrument to produce a variety of sounds. It would also stir the students' minds to get creative with the ways they can play the instrument.

Though every person possess some natural musical abilities, it needs to be enhanced when studying music. We can sing along to our favorite music, move to the groove of any music we find interesting and naturally enjoy music per se. However, all these may not occur naturally when one begins to learn music and learn to play a musical instrument.

Even a simple music activity would involve a few senses and bodily functions working together, which are:
- Reading the musical notation of the one-bar rhythm.
- Process that information in the brains and send instructions to the hands and body to perform the rhythm.
- Using the body to lock in on the given tempo (how fast or how slow) to perform the rhythmic phrase together.
- 'Feel' the rhythmic phrase to perform it in a musical fashion, meaning, to play the rhythm as expressively as possible.

CSR music outreach program (2)

To know music, one has to apply what one has learned through musical activities. Music theory would be best understood if it is put into practice. Musical activities must always be carried out when learning new music theory to better understand the theory learned.

During the recent session with the primary students of our CSR music outreach program, four students were picked to create and notate a one-bar rhythmic phrase each on the whiteboard for the entire class to perform. With four rhythmic patterns notated, the entire class was divided into four groups with each group assigned a rhythmic pattern and using an assortment of percussion instruments to perform.

Each group was individually rehearsed before getting them to perform their assigned rhythmic patterns together. The purpose of such an activity is to have the students develop a steady pulse, improve on musical feel and learning to listen to themselves and to each other to synchronize their rhythmic performance.

Musical activities are always fun and enjoyed by everyone, from kids to adults.