What to expect from a child functioning primarily at Sounds of Intent Level 3
Assess the child’s level of musical engagement through careful observation
Children functioning at SoI Level 3 are pattern-seekers. They process repetition and regularity in the environment to enable them to make sense of what they perceive at a basic level and to anticipate what may happen next.
They intentionally create patterns through repeating sounds that they have made, by singing or playing sounds with a regular beat, or by changing them in a consistent way (for example, by getting gradually faster or higher or louder).
They copy the sounds that other people make and realise when others are imitating them.
Choosing musical activities for the child
Children functioning at Level 3 are likely to benefit from musical activities that use simple patterns in sound.
However, they are still likely to enjoy purely sensory activities (Level 2), and their development may also be enhanced by seeking to engage them in activities at Level 4, that promote the recognition and creation of motifs, and by playing and singing them whole pieces (Level 5).
Listening and responding to patterns in sounds and music
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Show parents how to make patterns in sound with their voice to catch their child’s attention
Let the child touch your lips as you make different sounds with your voice.
Say ‘ma, ma, ma, ma, ma, ma’ and ‘pa, pa, pa, pa, pa’.
Sing ‘down, down, down, down … low’ and ‘up, up, up, up … high’.
Make a hissing sound that gets louder and then quieter.
Go eeeoww, eeeoww, eeeoww’ and whistle ‘peep, peep, peep, peep, peep’.
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Show parents how to move their child to and fro as you sing simple patterns in sound for them
Help the child to sense how music and movement are linked.
Rock them to and fro in a regular rhythm as you sing a ‘two-tone’ pattern like ‘di, do, di, do’.
Swing the child’s left arm and then their right arm as you sing.
Then lift one leg and then the other as you sing another pattern.
Lift the child up and down as you sing, then roll them from left to right.
Identify places, people and activities with different sound-makers.
For example, hang different windchimes by the doors of different rooms, and tinkle them as you go in with the child – they can be made of metal, wood, pebbles or shells.
Let the child feel them as well as listening to the sounds.
Give people who are important in the child’s life different jangly bracelets and show parents how to make the child aware of them.
Show parents how to give the child warning of what is going to happen next by making relevant sounds consistently. For example, tap the spoon on the bowl before it’s time to eat, and splash the water in the bath.
Making simple patterns in sound
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Encourage parents to respond to patterns in sound that their child makes with their voice
Remind parents to give their child the time and the space to experiment with pattern making.
Tell them not to interrupt when their child is concentrating!
When the child pauses, show parents how to give them lots of encouragement to get going again: tickle them, wiggle them, ask them to do it again!
Show parents how to bounce their child up and down in time to the patterns of sound they make.
If the child’s voice goes up and down, move their arms up and down in time with the pattern they are making.
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Show parents how to help their child make simple patterns in sound on instruments and everyday sound-makers
Show parents the different ways in which their child may be able to make patterns in sound.
For example, put the child’s hand over yours while you tap a simple beat on a drum or a saucepan with your fingers, and then let them try on their own.
Show the child how to hold a stick to make a regular beat on instruments and other sound-makers.
Show the child how to make patterns in other ways too – with shakers and scrapers.
Remind parents that patterns start in the child’s head, not in their hands, so show them how to guide their child’s hand by placing it on top of their own, so that the child is always in control.