P1 - C1

Improvise by exploring different sounds and creating repeated musical patterns or phrases

Ask learners to explore different ways of making musical sounds on the instrument in response to an imaginative or pictorial idea. Encourage experimentation with the less conventional sounds of the harp to create different moods, e.g. scraping the wire strings, the percussive potential of the strings and the body of the instrument.

The teacher can promote learners’ confidence by:

  • demonstrating how to experiment with musical ideas
  • providing step-by-step assistance with models, patterns and procedures
  • emphasising the open-ended nature of the activity – all outcomes are valued and enjoyed

Help learners to make up short and simple rhythmic/melodic patterns from suggested musical starting points, e.g. pentatonic phrases, drones, ostinati. Abstract or pictorial ideas could also be used.

Rather than starting with complete scales, it may be more appropriate to choose two notes from a scale, increasing the number of notes gradually.

Repeat the process, selecting and discarding ideas and aiming for musical coherence.

Lead learners in a discussion about the musical effect of their improvisations.

Play ‘Follow my Leader’: one player plays three or four notes, then the next player plays three or four more, starting on the last note of the first player, and so on.

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