Submitted by Gretchen Taylor, Illinois
Idea posted January 8, 2003
I'm glad to pick up more game ideas for classes, but I'm always looking for good ideas to use with the middlers. Next Thursday is the last music class of the quarter as well as standard testing day, so I'm going to use the class as a fun music day. I'm planning a fun instrument concentration game. Here it is...
All sit in a circle with one chair designated as the conductor's chair and continuing in order with the violin as the first chair all the way around through the instrument families, with sticks as last. Either copy individual orchestral instrument pictures and tape one to each chair back, or just write the instrument names on paper. Then, either decide ahead of time and demonstrate, or come up with as a group, a pantomimed gesture for each instrument that represents how it is played (this gets tricky with clarinet, oboe, and bassoon, so be creative). Practice each gesture together as a class. Then explain that to play the game, the conductor starts each round with two leg pats and a thumbs up 2x (titi ta titi ta). Then, when everyone's got the rhythm, the conductor puts his gesture on the first thumbs up, then an instrument gesture on the 2nd thumbs up. This then passes play to that instrument who does his gesture and then someone elses. So it'd be like this:
pat pat conductor, pat pat flute.
pat pat flute, pat pat trombone.
pat pat trombone, pat pat violin.
etc., etc.Here are the instruments/pantomimes I'm using:
Conductor (finger conducting)
Violin (shoulder bowing)
Cello (front of body bowing)
Bass Violin (BIG front of body bowing)
Piccolo (finger playing to the R of head with hands close together)
Flute (same as piccolo, but hands farther apart)
Clarinet (finger playing out in front of body)
Sax (finger playing down and to the side of body)
Oboe (fingers extended but frozen out in front of body like "jazz hands" with palms to belly and chest)
Bassoon (jazz hands like for oboe, but off to the side)
Trumpet (fist near mouth, other hand fingering valves)
Trombone (fist near mouth, other hand moving the slide)
French Horn (fist near mouth, other arm in circle shape as if hand is placed inside horn)
Tuba (fist near mouth, other arm up with flat palm up and out as if catching rain)
Timpani (Big vertical mallet gestures)
Snare ("Y" sign with both hands shaking)
Bass Drum (Big horizontal mallet gestures)
Piano (horizontal finger playing)
Harp (vertical finger playing)
Cymbals (crash gesture)
Sticks (index fingers tapping)
The players also must say the instrument name as they do each gesture. If anyone goofs by breaking the rhythm, messing up a gesture, not doing a gesture, etc. they move to the last seat in the orchestra and everyone behind him in the seating moves up. That means their instruments change (so they can look on the chairback to see what they are). The object is to be the conductor, so players should put pressure on those instruments ahead of him by doing their gestures more often.
Hope this is clear. It's played just like concentration with numbers. I'm going to do this with my 6-8ths.
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