This client - let's call him James for now - has never really, looking back, been all THAT interested in the actual making of music. His attention span ranges from a few seconds to about a minute. But he enjoys my company, and he enjoys interacting with me. We've developed our own familiar games; for example, trying to match opening and closing our hands on the flat of a drum skin so we are perfectly matched, without resorting to a rhythm .. pretending to be soldiers drilling on the parade ground (with Boomwhacker rifles), or gorillas having a conversation, or pirates, or Amazonian Indians. stalking prey.
We have 'Talking Drumsticks', 'Count The Shaker Eggs' (as we pick them up with chopsticks), 'Echoes' (with Swanee whistle/bamboo flute or harmonica/accordion); we use puppets, hats and iPad sound effects. We knock on a thousand imaginary doors and ask "Who's there?" We balance drumsticks on our upper lips and become mustachioed sergeant-majors.
I daresay anyone watching us might think us quite bonkers. We move from game to game and evoke character after character almost seamlessly. We're in our own little world. I'd become worried that this wasn't the activity James's support workers and parents had engaged me for. But I no longer feel that way. Although we're not making recognisable pieces of music together (except occasionally), we are still using sounds to communicate and express ourselves and, in the spirit of "Every sound you make is musical" I now accept that what we are doing is indeed very valuable, even if I'm screeching like a banshee whilst imitating the sound of an ambulance siren.
James always wins, and then we celebrate with raucous shouts and high-fives. It's great.
|Our new game.|