The tools of my trade. No.1 - Claves
In music teaching I definitely subscribe to the 'less is more' approach so I try not to have vast amounts of equipment and instruments to carry around. Sometimes the best lessons are the ones where I use no equipment and we all just use our voices and bodies to make music. However, it's also nice to use some instruments to create different sounds and fire the imagination even more. I thought I would write a series of blogs going through some of the different instruments and equipment I use. Basically I'm going through the contents and of my car boot.... Starting with (in no particular order)...
As instruments go, you can't get much more basic than two wooden sticks. This is the sort of thing cavemen were using thousands of years ago, and I guess gradually over the years they worked out that different types of wood made different sounds. Claves are great for keeping a steady pulse to a song or marking a particular moment of a song but we also always have lots of fun pretending they are different things; rabbit ears, elephants trunks, unicorn horns, aeroplanes, rockets, hammers, cutlery, funny moustaches......literally anything, and I'm still getting new suggestions from the children all the time. The imaginative side of it means there are lots of different songs you can do, from slow snail and fast mice with babies and toddlers to complicated tapping and passing games with a whole class of primary school pupils.
Claves are an incredibly versatile part of my kit, and the great thing is, they are not plastic, so when they reach the end of their usable life, they make great kindling!!