Children are natural sound creators; they love to create sounds through everything they come in contact with including their own body! Playing instruments or found objects along to a song or soundscape is a great way of experiencing and exploring dynamics, placement of sound, sharing of sounds and textures. Everything is an exploration!
Introducing a child to dynamics will enhance their physical control of objects. Exploring the idea of loud and present, soft and distant, whispering loudly, whispering softly, loud and grand, loud and aggressive, soft and strong, soft and delicate encourages the fact that sound travels and that they are painting sound everywhere in the room they are in. How do dynamics make us feel? What happens to our body language when we explore the many different dynamics and how do we resonate in the space we are creating sound?
Every space has a natural pulse; the pulse does not have to be even or steady because the acoustics of a space can play games with a pulse. The beat of a piece refers more to the rhythm and where it lies in relation to the music. Playing or moving along to a song or piece of music is a wonderful way to understand the difference between pulse and rhythm.
Engaging children in ‘conducting’ dynamics, rhythms, feelings is a great way to think outside of the box in how sound can be expressed. For example, reaching for the sky to denote something loud and thin, stretching arms sideways for loud and fat, fingertips on the floor for soft and delicate, full hands-on floor for soft and present. An umbrella is a great way to express the dynamics and presence of sound by gradually opening and closing it!