Sunday, November 14, 2010

Poetry, Music and Visual Arts - The Train

One of my favourite poems of all time is "The Engine Driver" by Clive Sansom.
Use it to teach beat/rhythm, ostinato, composing and construction.

The train goes running along the line,
Jicketty -can, Jicketty -can.
I wish it were mine, I wish it were mine,
Jicketty -can, Jicketty -can.
The engine driver stands in front ---
He makes it run, he makes it shunt;
Out of the town,
Out of the town,
Over the hill,
Over the down,
Under the bridges,
Across the lea,
Over the bridges,
And down to the sea,
With a Jicketty -can, Jicketty -can,
Jicketty -can, Jicketty -can,
Jicketty -can, Jicketty -can…

The train goes running along the line   4 beats per line
Chant the poem while clapping/tapping the beat.
Chant the poem using percussion instruments to keep the beat

Jickety can  Jickety can 
Tap or beat this rhythm  *** *   *** *    *** *
Chant the poem while tapping this rhythm
Chant the poem replacing the words with this rhythm (tapped or played on percussion)

Chant the poem combining both of the above (one group clapping the beat, another tapping the rhythm)
Do the same with one group playing the beat with claves, the other playing the rhyth on woodblocks.
Try creating a soundscape by omitting the chanting altogether and experimenting with different instruments.

Try slowing down the train/speeding it up by varying the pace at which you recite

Have one group chant the "jickety can" rhythm while the other chants the poem
Invent other sound patterns to replace the words "jickety can" and try these out

Invent a simple melody for the poem
Put it all together in various ways!

Add some visual arts work!
Divide your class into groups, ask each group to get a shoe box.
Construct an engine and carriages using a variety of contruction materials.

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