Every activity that we do in Music class here at the Schoolhouse is to prepare our students to play an instrument, or what we like to call developing instrument readiness. How do we do this? Well, the first step in developing instrument readiness is developing beat competency and finding singing voice. This kind of tonal and rhythmic intelligence is the precursor to being able to effectively play an instrument. The best way to develop beat competency is to study what we call “Laben movement” in the context of moving to music. Laben moment is a method and language for describing, visualizing, interpreting, and documenting human movement. It is based on the original work of Rudolf Laban and is used by dancers, actors, musicians and athletes; by health professionals such as physical therapists, occupational therapists, and psychotherapists; and in anthropology, business consulting, and leadership development.
Instrument Readiness and Beat Competency
In Kindergarten this week we studied the vocabulary words for different Laben movements we use in class using our new Music Word Wall. Our Laben Movements include three categories; Space, Weight, and Time. We learned about how when we move we can move strong or gentle and quick or slow. We also learned about using our bodies to make different shapes. We then discussed how being aware of these ways to move our bodies “in time” helps us learn how to have the dexterity and muscle intelligence to be able to play wind, string, and percussion instruments. We also learned that just like we make different shapes with our bodies during activities in Music class, when a guitarist plays chords on a guitar he/she uses different shapes with his/her hands. Our class is well on its way to developing 100% beat competency!