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Pos­i­tive Music Pow­er for Kids – Cre­ative Composing

16 May 2023

The pub­lic school Schule Buochs in Switzer­land engaged Dust of Soul to do their intu­itive music com­pos­ing pro­gramm «Pos­i­tive Music Pow­er for Kids – Cre­ative Com­pos­ing» with chil­dren in the 5th grade of ele­men­tary school.

Dust of Soul singer Sask­ia Stäu­ble, known pro­fes­sion­al­ly as «Dusty», and pianist Michael Oder­matt, known pro­fes­sion­al­ly as «MiKey», have car­ried out their con­cept – «Pos­i­tive Music Pow­er for Kids – Kreatives Com­pos­ing» (Intu­itive Music Com­pos­ing) – with a class of the pub­lic ele­men­tary school in Buochs, Switzerland.

Offi­cial Poster

«’Pos­i­tive Music Pow­er for Kids – cre­ative com­pos­ing’ is intend­ed to show chil­dren how valu­able and pow­er­ful it is to intu­itive­ly com­pose a sto­ry and a song from their own ideas. They can take this song home with them, lis­ten to it any­time, sing along and acti­vate their own cre­ative power.»

— Sask­ia Stäu­ble, Singer «Dusty» from Dust of Soul

Cre­ative Composing

First, all stu­dents lis­tened to pianist MiKey’s intu­itive piano-play­ing. His com­po­si­tions were cre­at­ed in the moment, guid­ed by his per­cep­tion of the stu­dents and the space. All stu­dents were asked to express them­selves to the piano music by paint­ing, sketch­ing, draw­ing. They had paper and crayons and felt pens avail­able for this.

After­wards, all stu­dents formed groups of their own. Each stu­dent of the group inter­pret­ed his draw­ing. Singer Dusty wrote down the key mes­sage from each. Togeth­er with the stu­dents, Dusty cre­at­ed a sto­ry. All stu­dents were allowed to con­tribute their ideas. The essen­tial task was to link the intu­itive draw­ings of all stu­dents to a col­lab­o­ra­tive sto­ry. This was a lot of fun for the students. 

«The essen­tial task was to link the intu­itive draw­ings of all stu­dents to a col­lab­o­ra­tive story»

— Dust of Soul

Once the sto­ry was writ­ten, they worked on evolv­ing it into a singing melody. A sim­ple basic melody was found that con­nect­ed all the chil­dren to the story.

The next step was cre­at­ing the music: The basis for this was the piano and sim­ple per­cus­sion instru­ments such as rat­tles and meth­ods such as clap­ping, snap­ping, etc. In the first part, the basic melody was played on the piano. The notes were defined by play­ing the melody on the piano and then writ­ten in the music book as notes above the text under the direc­tion of pianist MiKey. In the sec­ond part, the stu­dents prac­ticed per­form­ing the melody through singing togeth­er with the help of the piano. Rhyth­mic ele­ments were inte­grat­ed such as rat­tling, clap­ping, snapping. 

«… an expe­ri­ence beyond any­thing else»

— Teacher, 5th grade at the pub­lic ele­men­tary school of Buochs, Switzerland

Now each group per­formed their song to the oth­er group. The group’s per­for­mance was accom­pa­nied by the piano, played by pianist MiKey. Each per­for­mance was record­ed with a pro­fes­sion­al record­ing device.

After the pro­gram, the stu­dents received the live record­ing of the per­for­mance of their own orig­i­nal song. Some days lat­er in class, the teacher sang the stu­dents’ songs togeth­er with them. The stu­dents felt very emo­tion­al and empow­ered by their orig­i­nal songs. As of the teacher’s feed­back: this was an expe­ri­ence beyond any­thing else. 

Dust of Soul took three lessons of 45 min­utes each to car­ry out their pro­gram. All equip­ment such as the piano, rhyt­mi­cal instru­ments, and song books were spon­sored by local music store and offi­cial Yama­ha reseller «A-Zulauf Musikin­stru­mente GmbH / Tastenträ».

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