What to expect from a child functioning primarily at Sounds of Intent Level 4
Assess the child’s level of musical engagement through careful observation
Children functioning at SoI Level 4 are shape-detectors. They hear groups of notes as forming perceptual wholes (motifs, licks or riffs).
They intentionally create shapes in sound through combining small numbers of notes to create short bursts of rhythm or little melodic phrases. They start to join motifs together in chains, that don’t yet have an overall structure or sense of tonality or metre.
They copy the motifs that other people make and enjoy having their own motifs copied.
Choosing musical activities for the child
Children functioning at Level 4 are likely to benefit from musical activities that use short groups of notes.
However, they are still likely to enjoy purely sensory activities in sound (Level 2), activities that utilise simple patterns or repetition and regularity (Level 3) and they may get pleasure from attending to parts of whole songs to which they are exposed (Level 5).
Help the child to play motifs that they have heard before and encourage them to make other motifs up.
Stick a marker (tactile and visual) on ‘middle C’ on a keyboard and show the child where it is.
Show the child, hand under hand, how to play simple patterns of three or four notes that start on C.
Help the child to do this using one finger to start with – show them how to find the notes next to each other by touching or looking (or both). Then encourage the child to use their thumb and other fingers too. Can they use either hand to play?
Show the child how to play jingles, ringtones and other bursts of melody that they hear.
Amber Plus Card 40Make the child a game that uses switches or other technology that uses recordings of ringtones and other electronic sounds
Help the child to appreciate that everyday bursts of rhythm and melodic motifs can be put together to make longer segments of music.
Attach some doorbells to a sheet of wood and show the child how they make similar (or different) patterns of notes.
Encourage the child to sing the ‘doorbell’ music.
Then see if they can play any of the motifs on a keyboard or other instrument.
Make recordings of the child in action for them to enjoy listening to later.