Friday 22 January 2016

Stories Alive! a thunderstorm of chopsticks

Stories Alive!

twilight music 

18th Jan 2016

it's quite hard to catch stamping feet....

Ben wrestles sticky tape
We began with noise…
This was a twilight session for teaching staff from the 5 nursery schools of the Stories Alive! Project. As the project draws to a close, we have been looking at areas we would like to develop more – not necessarily as a project but perhaps within individual nurseries. Our musician/storyteller, Ben McCabe had done an excellent job of inspiring both children and  staff musically during earlier workshops, giving all of us new confidence  in ourselves as musical people, so we gathered for an afterschool session with him.

We began with noise….

Over 2015, Stories Alive! placed 5 artists in 5 Nursery Schools (see below) in and around Burnley in East Lancashire. Our teams have been challenged to develop sets of activities to help embed storytelling and storymaking in Nursery practice, in families and in the children we are all working with. There have been storyhouses built, storysacks made, stories mapped, little adventures, big adventures, whole storyworlds of adventure. Because of the carefulness of photographs of young children, I’ve charted relatively little of the project so far but will hopefully catch up a bit now….

So we began with noise….

chair drummers, poised
We sang a journey: improvising an adventure with repeating sounds, actions and words, reflecting on the value of combining sound and movement. We played musical I-spy, creating improbable stories with improvised lines

It wasn’t all just fun, you know. We talked about the importance of playing with sounds for developing verbal skills. We thought about rhythm, story structure, dance and the abstract thought processes that represent action or objects with sounds and the value of recording patterns of sound - creating group scores as a way of thinking about writing. And we made a spectacular amount of noise with sets of cooking chopsticks (other wooden rods are available) on the backs of chairs (other furniture is also available)

ready for action
And that was fun. The rest of the evening was fun, too, but this was spectacular. A rippling seashore of noise breaking over the chairs: rattles and scrapes and thumps and scratches and 50 people laughing and concentrating and releasing a thunderstorm in a school hall

This has been a good project. This is still proving to be a good project!

Nursery schools involved

Stories Alive! is supported by Grants for the Arts 
and the Stocks Massey Bequest

1 comment:

  1. sounds like a rich and wonderful project! Last year I was part of a similar project working with people with learning difficulties,