Sounding Out

A toolkit for music practitioners
working with deaf students

Clap on 5

WARM UP ACTIVITY

The activity starts simply and builds towards involving sign language, rhythm, body percussion and musical instruments.

The game is based on five beats, but more can be added if needed.

We suggest using less common time signatures (such as 5/4, 7/4, 9/4) to give the children the opportunity to experience more complex metres.

The activity involves a combination of different tasks including counting, drumming, stomping and sign language. It helps to train the inhibition of impulses, cognitive flexibility and attention.
 

Multimodal and intermodal musical game:

• Voice
• Sign language
• Movement
• Body percussion
• Instruments

Step 1. Voice – Gestures

STEP

DESCRIPTION

MUSIC

1

• The participants, standing or sitting in a circle, count in turn from 1 to 5.
• After the number 5, the group continues again from 1.

• Voice – gestures

• Rhythm

• Time signature 5/4

 

The teacher can start the game slowly and then move progressively faster.
Remember to always count in on your fingers to set the pace for the group.

WHAT WE OBSERVED

Often, after the number 5, children may continue counting upwards. It helped to write the sequence of numbers on a big board, repeated several times as shown below. Children with severe learning difficulties or developmental disabilities found this useful.


1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5

IMPORTANT

Always count in the beats on your ­fingers. Keep the pulse with your whole body.

Step 2. Add a Clap on Number 5

STEP

DESCRIPTION

MUSIC

2

• The participants will add a clap on the number 5.


You can substitute the clap with another movement if needed.

• Voice / gestures
• Rhythm
• Body percussion

WHAT WE OBSERVED

Adding a clap to the sequence of numbers on the board was a useful visual aide.


1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - CLAP
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - CLAP
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - CLAP
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - CLAP

IMPORTANT

Always count in the beats on your ­fingers. Keep the pulse with your whole body.

Step 3. Tap the Drum on the Number 5

STEP

DESCRIPTION

MUSIC

3a

3b

• Substitute the clap with a tap on the drum, positioned in the middle of the circle.

• Stomping.

• Voice / gestures
• Rhythm
• Use of instruments

• The teacher asks the children to stomp their feet to the beat.

This combination of movement in the upper and lower parts of the body helps the development of motor coordination.

WHAT WE OBSERVED

Children tend to get faster or can struggle to keep the rhythm in this game. This is why the teacher needs to keep the pulse with their whole body throughout the entire activity.


Children have suggested incorporating the elimination rule whenever somebody would make a mistake. If you feel that everyone in your group is ready to accept this rule, maybe you can create a special final round for it, to keep your students motivated. Another option that you can suggest is to eliminate a person who has made a mistake for just one turn. The goal of the game is for the students to participate in a rhythmic activity.

IMPORTANT

Always count in the beats on your fingers.

Step 4. Sign Your Name

STEP

DESCRIPTION

MUSIC

4a

4b

• Substitute the number 1 with each participant’s sign name.

• Stomping.

• The teacher asks the children to stomp their feet to the beat.

This combination of movement in the upper and lower parts of the body helps the development of motor coordination.

• Voice / gestures
• Rhythm
• Use of instruments

• The teacher asks the children to stomp their feet to the beat.

This combination of movement in the upper and lower parts of the body helps the development of motor coordination.

WHAT WE OBSERVED

The continuous alternation between sign language, counting numbers, and the action of playing the drum requires a lot of concentration, coordination and flexibility. In the beginning choose a slow speed and then, once the students are getting con­fident, speed up to keep the children engaged.

IMPORTANT

Always count in the beats on your fingers. Keep the pulse with your whole body.

Step 5. Change the direction of the circle

STEP

DESCRIPTION

MUSIC

5

• Change the direction of the circle.


To change the direction of the circle, add a double tap* on the drum on the number 5.

• Voice / sign language
• Rhythm
• Use of instruments
• Body percussion (stomping)

IMPORTANT

*The double tap needs to be really quick to give the group time to adjust to the new direction.


When you introduce this step, make sure you are the number 5, so you can show your students how fast to tap on the drum and indicate whose turn it is next.

Contact us

Tel: 020 8964 2700

hello@creativefuturesuk.com

Creative Futures (UK) Limited

Office 9A, The Beethoven Centre, Third Avenue,

London W10 4JL

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