By Sue Nierman
This summer, a new attraction was added to our playground for the children to explore, the Music Wall. Actually it is constructed on two 4’ x 4’ wooden fence panels. Attached to the wall are various pots, pans, lids, ice cube trays, racks and an array of other items. Along side this wall is a tray full of kitchen utensils including wooden spoons, metal whisks, chopsticks, plastic spatulas and more.
No explanation was given to the children. They simply stood in front of the wall to observe and they knew exactly what to do. Each child picked up a striking stick and started to bang, tap, rub and scrape. As the children continued to explore, rhythmic patterns began to emerge and it took on a new form of interaction. The children began to discuss the sounds with each other and change places at the wall. Some children just came over to bang a few times and ran in the other direction. Others were curious and would not leave. They continued lightly tapping to loudly banging to gliding along the bumpy corrugated pipe.
I suggested we tap and sing a familiar song together, showing them various strokes to use with a selection of utensils. Music filled the air.
This addition was a successful one. The music wall now has a permanent spot in the playground. As we continue to explore this unique form of play, it will lead to questions and answers about musical terms and offer a fun vehicle for teaching while allowing the children to ignite their natural love of music.
So what are you waiting for? Make your music wall today and bang away.
Sue Nierman is a CMN member and regional rep from Mundelein, IL. Recently CMN members Brigid Finucane and Allison Ashley visited her to check out the Music Wall. Says Brigid:
I’m trying to talk Sue into bringing this to the national conference. Our membership would be wowed – and it would be
such a nice way to introduce one of our new regional reps!