This weeks workshop was on Music. The children at Hope Home enjoy musical instruments, but since we had so few we made new ones with them. I compiled a playlist with songs from different artists who come from all around the world to give the children a chance to hear new styles of music. As the songs were playing in the background everyone began to play with the different materials we had to make the instruments, such as beads, cups, bells, ribbons. Each assistant worked with a child and kept an eye out if they showed particular interest in certain materials to later use in the making of their instrument. Another objective of this workshop was to use these new instruments to encourage them to move around. For example Phil has most control with his feet and will use them instead of his hands at every change he gets. So an idea for him was to make an instrument which we can attach to his wrists to encourage movement.
Although the children seemed a little tired and sleepy when we arrived they soon woke up when we began to make all the noise. Some children showed more interest in the time of instrument too, for example Joy likes bells and Tambourines while Num Chok loves rattles made out of plates as he like to put them flat to his ear and really listen to the shakes.
We began making our instruments and after some time experimenting with different materials and forms we achieved something that made noise and some even looked rather funky. For the most part it was about creating instruments they can actually play, a lot of the previous stuff would be too big for their hands so we concentrated on alternatives like ribbons and small handles. In the end we were left with more plate rattlers, bell batons, maracas and bracelet bells.
Although music wasn't an interest for all of the kids they seemed to enjoy it never the less, what child doesn't love making a lot of noise?
We saw particular success with Joy and Phil. As I mentioned before Phil is very attached to his feet, so when he got made an instrument for his wrists we didn't know what to expect. On the most part a lot of sulking was usually on the horizon. To our surprise he showed more movement in his arms when he realised that he can control the ringing of the bells. This was a great success. We did compromise by making him a maraca with a thin enough stick as a handle so he can grip it with his toes.
Joy loved the tambourine, a lot of smiles were seen that day. Although she can move her arms she doesn't seem to show much interest in doing so. She received bells bracelets too and seem to like them, but we think the movement of actual shaking her arms is too hard, especially as she and lot of other kids here don’t have great muscle tone. That being said, when the tambourine was shaking above her head, a celebration of Joy's joy was lifting her arms in the air and reaching for the tambourine with big smiles.
Overall this workshop was a success, more with some children than others but music is not for everyone and there is always next week to try something new. :)