Body blows: Year 7 practise percussion without instruments

Body blows: Year 7 practise percussion without instruments

The whole of Year 7 found out more about the amazing musical potential of the human body in a pair of percussion workshops.

During the events, organised by the Music department as part of QE’s Enrichment Week, the boys had ample opportunity to try out for themselves techniques used to make music without any instruments.

Acting Director of Music Jennifer Brown said: “These activities were not only great fun, but they also really stretched the boys. Using the voice and/or body to make music as part of a group enhances pupils’ musicianship by providing strategies to help them achieve a collective sense of pulse and to memorise different rhythms, therefore allowing them to fully engage with musical material.”

In a two-hour Body Percussion workshop led by experts from music and dance organisation Inspire-works, pupils were shown how to produce exciting rhythms and sounds by stamping their feet on the floor, patting thighs with open palms, clicking fingers, clapping hands and patting or knocking their chest.

Mrs Brown said: “The morning culminated in a complicated dance routine that was challenging and exhilarating.”

The other workshop was on beatboxing (a musical style based on the vocal imitation of percussion sounds) and was led by QE Music teacher Hannah Morgan. Pupils explored a variety of vocal patterns and sounds that went well beyond the familiar ‘boots and cats’ sound typically learned by beatboxing beginners.

“For years, scientists have struggled to identify and classify the intricate sounds that emanate from a beatboxer’s mouth. Year 7 had lots of fun in this workshop, but as they discovered, beatboxing is definitely harder to do well than you might imagine,” added Mrs Brown.