This morning we had B instead of Paul because he is away doing other work so we took part in the warm up that B insisted rather than doing something that we knew well. So she started to do a body warm up as she told us about how this gives the body an opportunity to warm itself up and help important parts needed to sing to get warm and relax because we need to be relaxed before we sing, otherwise everything will be tense and we will be stretching parts of our throat that will affect our voices negatively.
So we continued doing warm ups with B and then did a few singing activities that gave us an opportunity to explore our voices and make a judgement on how our voice feels. We have to be so gentle in the morning because otherwise you will strain the voice and it will hurt for the rest of the day and in some circumstances if you strain your voice too much you could end up damaging it and it could lead to tonsillitis or strep and those could both hinder you when you are older.
I really enjoyed the warm up, it was entertaining and everyone seemed to be in a cheery mood. After warming up we looked at the song that Paul had started teaching us. ‘Ease on down the road’ I really love singing the soprano part because you aren’t harmonising intentionally but in another sense you are the base of the song and everyone is harmonising over you. It is fast paced and it has many pauses which allows us to concentrate and make sure that we work as a group to succeed at them.
Comparing the lesson between Paul and B, B’s technique that I like is that she goes through the different sections and really listens to who is going wrong and the singing perspective really shines through. On the other hand, Paul looks more on the musical side of things and so therefore he talks about following the music and listening to others around you to make sure you are creating the right sound. B seems to look right into what specific people are doing wrong and helps them solve the issue. She switched a few of the boys around so she could hear everyone’s voice and comments on how they could improve.
Her breathing technique is my favourite because it is original. So if you imagine your body from the hips up.
If you think about 3 different coloured bands and section of the girl from the hips up. The bottom strand for example could be purple. This shows where you should breathe in first. The second strand could be blue, this is where you should breathe in first. Thirdly, the band could be pink. This is the chest to throat area where you breathe.
This technique will make sure that you have enough air for a phrase without disturbing the phrase with heavy breathing.
As we don’t have Paul again for this session we had B. We were asked last week to look at specific topics in which the Romans created and we adapted from…etc. We were asked about what we researched and we all shared what we had found out. Here are the notes that I took from this session for each person.
Sian – Straight Roads
She had an idea about using ‘walking 500 miles’ which would put a comedy aspect on the performance. However, I don’t think that it would be funny for the age group that we have because they are too young to understand the reference. I think it is a really good idea but I don’t know how that would plan out for the little ones we are performing for.
Another idea she had was ‘Road Olympics’ which I thought would be a better idea because it would be chance for us to interact with our audience.
In Dora the Explorer there is a sly fox. She thought about having that and using that as an idea for the children to interact. Map – using Latin words and teaching the children them. This would be a way to contain information that they would have to understand and hear clearly and they could get a prize for whenever they get it correct.
The information about the roads she got are as follows:
- Dug a trench to make the roads
- Pebbles and Sand packed down to make the roads
- Cement, tiles and paving stones were also used to make the roads.
- Machinery didn’t exist at the time so everything was done by hand
Sophia – New Words from Latin
Sophia didn’t have the exact words that were transformed but researched a few that were the same as our words now-a-days. For example she spoke about the index finger was taken from the Romans and health and living was something that we took from and we introduced hygiene.
I thought it would be a really good idea that we could use Latin names which would be funny for the little ones because they would be different names compared to the names used now. This could the piece comedic and that might be an aspect we could use for teaching the children, by making them laugh and remembering through laughing and finding a few things funny.
Daytona – Central Heating
Daytona found out that the central was like under floor heating like we have now. There was a fire and surrounding that were bricks which directed the heat however you put the bricks. Hot air through the walls.
Here ideas included creating a piece of dance choreography as the fire. She also had an idea that you could introduce ‘future’ objects, meaning saying things like ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if we could have internet to talk to family and friends’…and because that is something that some people take for granted it could be seen as funny. Although we have to be careful because their could be individuals that don’t have as much as others and don’t understand what its like at all.
This could be made into a comedy prediction song.
Scott – Aqueducts
Here is the information that Scott found out about this aspect of what Romans created:
- Aqueducts means water to lead
- 1350-1400’s the first fountains were invented. Farming and housing was introduced.
- Aqueducts were built under valleys
Scott hadn’t thought of any ideas but Tom thought that you could focus on the Water Molecule and the science of the Aqueduct, hoping that they will understand what it means and seeing the science behind it.
Tom – Calendars
Tom had researched quite a lot for this and so therefore I thought it would a great starter for a song or scene. Here are the facts that he encouraged us to look into:
- There was originally 10 months in a year. Then they realised that it didn’t fit with the seasons and so they decided that they wanted two more.
- The months were named after people who were seen as Gods.
Here are the ideas that we formed as a group that we could do with this information to teach and entertain the children.
- Order of the months
- ‘Month off’ have a dance battle but instead of being an enemy of one another, a month in the year.
- Teaching the little ones the months in the year and coming up with a song that would make them remember these in the order that they come.
Jess – Roman Toilets
I researched the toilets which wasn’t a very pleasant thing to do which was unfortunate for me. However, I continued doing it and I found out a couple of things that were interesting.
- They shared communal toilets
- Sponge on a stick was used instead of tissue
- They built many structures to try and improve sanitation
- It was seen that they are ‘ahead of their time’ because they had come up with toilets that flush
My idea was that it could be a funny song to explain the toilets situation. It wouldn’t be something that would be serious because many of the children would be hugely embarrassed about having to talk about going to the toilets and knowing about how the men went to the toilets in comparison to how women do now.
Making this topic comedic would be a key thing to do because it would start making the piece that we create interesting and it would make the audience giggle.
Research about children’s music and what we should include
- Major Key
- Easy to pick up
- Rhyming words
After looking at the research that we focused on we wanted to start getting some ideas together to write a song which is something that Paul requested for us to do in this session .
B told us the 4 main sections that should be considered before starting to come up with lyrics.
- Decide usability of what we have for our intended audience
- Are you writing a song you want them to join in?
- Repetitive chords, even though we have a lot of information we need to cut it down
- Song or audience, other addresses
WE THEN DECIDED ON THE 6 STAGES THAT WE NEEDED TO WRITE INFORMATION ABOUT AND MAKE DECISIONS TO COME UP WITH A SONG.
STAGE ONE – Brainstorming
This includes hook line, angle on the song. Making sure that you write everything down.
STAGE TWO – Setting
STAGE THREE – Style of the music
STAGE FOUR – How do they feel? How do you want them to feel throughout the song?
STAGE FIVE – Writing the chorus
STAGE SIX – Verse Ideas
Here is the list that we created for Stage one in the process of making a song about the Roman roads.
- speed limits
- pavement / slavement
- zebra crossings
- pelican crossings
- cats eyes
- round stones
- 500 miles
- speed / fast
For Stage two we picked a starting point as a setting. We chose the word digging. We felt like this was the best option because it’s something which can lead to many things.
For Stage three we listed different types of music to clarify which we wanted to chose for our song.
- modern pop
- country and western
- party songs
In conclusion we chose ‘blues’ this is because the song is based on sad and low theme and so blues fits the mood perfectly.
For Stage Four we talked about why we chose blues which is what I have said beforehand. ^
Stage Five is writing the chorus and here is what we got for the lyrics.
I’m diggin’ a road
It’s gunna be long
It’s going to be straight
It’s got to be strong
We’re building it up
We’re packing it down
We’re diggin’ a road
We thought about doing ‘ooh’s and ‘ahh’ harmonies in the background when someone is singing this. Someone could be riffing this and we could look at him/her in disgust and that person could join in the chorus once again.
I will link the recording of our melody below: