Music Initiation and
Instrument Construction Workshop

The final concert will be about three quarters of an hour long : children will be performing 3 to 6 pieces on the recorder, one or two parts, and executing few different rhythms on the tambourines in question-answer form. They will be singing and comping the teacher who will be improvising. They will improvise themselves on their own instruments built throughout the week, with drawings created by them as improvisation motives. Most advanced children, who already have a basic musical experience, will compose a film music performed live during the concert, on instruments they will have built. In this case a television and video player will also be needed throughout the week course.

During these 5 intense days, the child will rapidly learn 3 to 6 songs (depending on his or her abilities) on the recorder, immediately by ear and memory. This method will enable them to deepen their creativity, appealing to their imagination for discovering themselves other songs they know by ear, and for inventing new ones. Classes generally numbering 8 to 10 children rapidly forming into two different levels and speeds, the most advanced ones encouraging and inspiring the less competent ones, and receiving more information and challenges like playing a second part or more elaborate tunes. In this way nobody gets bored and a solidarity gets developed in the group.

The exercises on the tambourine will develop the child’s awareness of different rhythms present in the body and in different musical styles. They will develop psyco-motor skills, independance of the arms, legs and brain, as well as his listening and understanding abilities of any music he/she will encounter in the future. Moreover, having to perform in a group, they will have to exert a more constant concentration and a more acute listening towards their peers. Polyrhythms with hands and feet are already a complex exercise for a child, thus approached with care.

Listening to ones own voice, its peaceful effect, getting aware of waves crossing the whole body and tuning it throughout, listening and tuning with ones neighbor, making the surrounding air vibrate, controlling ones voice, its intensity and pitch, such simple exercises will bring back quietness and concentration in the child.

Maracas, tambourines, little drums, flutes, guitars and violins, rain sticks and other instruments will be built thanks to his/her wishes and imagination and the material he/she will therefore bring to the classroom. Thanks to such a workshop, they will gain an increased awareness of the instruments families, of what defines their pitch and tessiture, their sonore volume, their complexity…

Only these instruments will be used during collective improvisations ; the themes will be water, air, earth, fire, life. Children who will be building faster and who like to draw will be invited to create such images for the improvisations. Film music will be featured thanks to listening examples ; the first exercise will be to put images on music pieces, the second to create music from images. This way the child will develop its senses and their connections, a broadened comprehension of the surrounding world.

For the children having the experience of such a workshop or who studied music regularly for at least a year, a second level workshop is offered: film music composition. A 5-minute length excerpt of a cartoon or similar movie will receive new music and sonore effects. The techniques and rigors of film music will be explained, the two main sonore categories present in each movie exposed, noise and background music reconstitution and atmosphere music and dramatization, the need and techniques of foley artists and the audience’s preparation towards the next event thanks to the implicit dramatization offered by the music.

Musical examples will be demonstrated, and the child’s imagination rised to go beyond simple sonorous effects, to personalize the musical performance, to enrich a common scene thanks to an interpretation beyond the viewed picture. The child will thus become aware of how a realistic film has been entirely reconstructed, and of the presence and importance of music in any film for it's dramatization, He/she will from now on appreciate any movie and it's required creativity with a more realistic, less naive view.

All this will be taught in only 5 sessions of an hour and half… a short week that might change a child's life, opening new doors to them and inspiring them for a long term, initiating them totally differently to all music styles and unlimited creativity, new career oportunities and new perpectives of how to make good use of time in life.

These workshops can be given in English, French, Dutch and German, up to 3 sessions (thus 3 groups) a day, each group comprising 8 to 10 children. Salary for all 5 days : 800€ plus half pension if farther than 1h by train from Paris, otherwise plus transportation expenses. You also will need to provide a budget if it is necessary to buy recorders, tambourines and construction material.