Discovery Music Appreciation

Spring Semester, we have been exploring PERCUSSION, AC CAPPELLA and MUSIC IN UNEXPECTED PLACES.

Our inspiration came from all over the world: America, Germany, South Africa, England, Ireland and Tibet.

We’ve explored making music that only DMS holds – our “library orchestra” and “playground orchestra.”

At the beginning of every class we take 5 minutes to listen or listen/watch a piece of inspiring music in our fields of study:

Harvard Thud

Harvard’s percussion group, Thud, takes inspiration from playground games. (childhood inspiration, choreography, partnering, music from unexpected sources)




So Percussion

Classical percussion group performing orchestral music on tiny percussion and found objects. We watched the first 1:30 of “Life Is [ ]” by Jason Treuting and “Living Room Music: To Begin” by John Cage @ 13:20 (musical dynamics, tiny sounds, found objects, power of stillness)




Quartet Ku

“Eine kliene Tischmusik” by Manfred Menke (conducted percussion orchestra/everyday inspiration “lunch time”)




Lennon & Maisy

Two sisters arrange a popular song “Call Your Girlfriend” using everyday objects. (dynamics, harmony, found object percussion, What is a musical instrument?, student created, arranging a song with your point of view, partner work, repeatable phrases)



Bobby McFerrin

“Drive” performed live on UK’s Later Live with Jools Holland. We originally listened to a minute of this song from McFerrin’s cd. The children observed the ‘instruments’ they heard and then we watched the video. *Note, the live video we watched in class is no longer available, but this is a similar performance. (ac cappella, one person band, body percussion, vocal options, keeping the bass/beat)


Gumboot Dancing

Students and adults at Kliptown Youth Center in Johannesburg performs traditional percussive dances originating from the gold mines of South Africa. (music from the ‘everyday’, play out of hardship, students performing/teaching, ensemble, solo and chorus partnering, repeatable phrasing)




Out Loud created by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas (body percussion, dance, theatre and traditional percussion created from everyday inspiration)




Up and Over It

“We No Speak Americano”- choreography/percussion by Suzanne Cleary & Peter Harding (Irish dancing ‘shorthand’ method for remembering steps turned into percussive choreography and partnering




“The Exam”

German teens create their own percussive song using their lives as inspiration: the emotions that go into test taking. (percussive dynamics, music from the ‘everyday’, student created, overlapping phrasing, ensemble work, repeatable phrases)



Naturally 7

“Fly Baby” ac capella R&B group performing at TED. (vocalizing the many parts of a band, physicalizing the instrument, team work, repeatable phrases)












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