Over the last couple of years I have been developing ways of using found natural objects to write music. The music is played with a combination of body percussion, beatboxing, vocals and found natural instruments like sticks and bushes. It is a way of using the outdoor classroom and meeting music curriculum elements like pulse, describing sounds, soundscapes, rhythmic patterns, working alone, composition, working as a duet, working as an ensemble.

moving along the track

moving along the track

Children and music teachers love the chance to get outside. Class teachers who have real problems reading or ‘doing’ music take to these activity ideas like ducks to water. They find their children feel more able to express themselves outdoors,  enjoy making rhythms, loops and small pieces of music so easily. They can read the music, because they wrote it, and can express themselves in new ways, without being judged. They feel happy and more confident as a result. Forest school leaders and participants love it, and so have some of the corporate groups I worked with.

Here are a couple of links to examples:

A blog about a natural voice day in Sussex in pictures:

http://www.wholeland.org.uk/finding-natural-voice-workshops-for-schools/

Some photos from Natural Musicians days in various schools:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/102352167572855626169/albums/5796860362411806929

This video is from a project which focused more on songs and stories than the music, but you get an idea of the benefits:

http://youtu.be/i0mu6M4ZjFU

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