Let off steam with body percussion

Initiating your OMGchild to a musical instrument might not always be the easiest thing to do, but what about body percussion. It’s the most accessible way to discover and play music from an early age. It’s great fun for kids to explore sounds, rhythms and compose music with their body and environment. Such an OMGway to let off steam! Here is an example of what children can do with body percussion :

Did you know that body percussion has existed in many different cultures and folk traditions?  It has influences from Southern Spain with palmas flamencas, Northern African with Gnawa (clapping), Indonesia with Javanese (clapping), Mongolia with Tuva (throat singing), Southern India with konokol (vocals), and let’s not forget beat boxing!

Our OMGfather of the day is the body percussionist Sergi Ramis. I asked him to give us some tips on how to introduce our OMGchildren to music thanks to body percussion.

Here are 2 key principles about body percussion to teach to your OMGrockstar :

1. Remember, your body is an instrument! So is everything around you! Experiment and seek rhythms and sounds with the great range of possibilities body percussions offer: You can play with your voice, hands (clap or ‘patsch’* them), feet (stomp), chest, fingers (snap)… Slap your cheeks while keeping your mouth open! Click your tongue against the roof of your mouth… The sky’s the limit!

2. Be aware of the rhythms that surround us.  Stop and listen : to the way people walk, talk, cough, laugh, to the sound of our heart beat, our breathing,  to the spin-cycle of the washing machine… Decide on the ones you like best and exaggerate them, imitate their rhythm, and make your OMGchildren guess what they are. They will develop an acute sense of observation

Now let’s get LOUD with these games:

  1. Monkey see monkey do – Sing sentences or a tune to your OMGchildren and make them repeat it using their body as percussions and instruments. Make it more challenging by varying the rhythm. Change roles. OMGFunFact : That’s how Indians teach Tabla, a popular percussion instrument used in Hindustani Classical Music
  2. Create a story and then play it! For instance: a train enters a station, someone is running to catch it…  Determine the roles: the train, the whistle, the man out of breathe, the tumbling luggage… and act the story out musically!

Let’s have a look at body percussion professionals with the world renown Brasilian group Barbatuques, to see how they perform

Rhythmically yours,

Lady M

*patsch: patting either the left, right or both thighs with hands

PS : Remember don’t forget to tell your OMGchildren to make music with their body – not others.

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