Yesterday’s impromptu group music session was clearly a success. I have come out to the patio this morning to eat a late breakfast and do some writing, and the local children keep stopping by the gate. They wave and call out, and wait for a few minutes, just watching me. I greet them (“Bondia alin”) and ask them how they are (“Diak ka lae?”). Good, they reply, and remain shuffling by the gate, playing the long chain and padlock. “La musika agora,” I tell them (no music now – at least, that is what I intended to say!). “Musika orsida.” (Music later). Then they race away, sometimes singing Ram Sam Sam at the top of their voices.
My housemates Craig and Sarah and I have been brainstorming other songs we can sing with them. The best songs have a lot of repeating words and can be learned quickly. You can sing Rama Sam Sam as a round, and also as a partner song with London Bridge is falling down and Pease Pudding Hot. Sarah suggests Ging Gang Goolly – a scouting classic. But I don’t know the all words so she teaches me.
I feel like I am piloting a potential recruitment model here, with this Patio Music. If the children come back for more each day, then this is the way that I can build up a project. Holly in Melbourne has told me that the house I am renting in Lospalos has a lovely porch out the front, so hopefully this is how I will be able to draw a pool of participants towards me initially.
I am still thinking about the ‘soundworlds’ idea for Lospalos, and still feeling that the most effective way to engage with the whole community will be to start that engagement with the children. We can use music games to establish some foundational music principles – taking turns, working in different groups, working in unison – but hopefully I will be able to gradually introduce ways for them to contribute their own material, and little by little we will move towards group compositions that depict their local soundworlds.