Ï

Level 3, Proactive: intentionally makes simple patterns in sound

Observation

The key here is the intentionality behind the pattern that is made – for example, people may produce a regular beat without being aware of it through habitual or stereotyped patterns of movement that are not driven by sound. Intentionality can be gleaned through repetition or regularity that occurs in the wider context of variation, or through the alignment of what is achieved with external patterns (see I.3).

Interpretation

The person concerned can process and reproduce the basic forms of pattern in sound that underlie all music.

P-3

Resources designed for particular groups are available as follows:

P.3.A intentionally makes simple patterns through repetition

Individuals intentionally produce patterns of sounds through repetition, using their voices, musical instruments or other soundmakers. Intentionality in the repetition may be ascertained only if the individual concerned has the capacity to produce different sounds. For example, on a keyboard, there are many notes available, but if only one is played repeatedly, that may well indicate intentional repetition.

Strategies

Encourage or model repetition vocally, or using instruments or other soundmakers that the person you are working with is used to. Consider starting with instruments or other soundmakers that are only capable of making one sound, in which case repetition will be inevitable if two or more sounds are made. Then move to instruments that can make two distinct sounds, like the agogo. Show the person you are working with that the same pattern can be made on either of the two bells (this may lead to direct imitation, as in I.3). A similar approach can be used with gesture recognition or touchscreen technology, or beams or eye tracking software, that can be limited to two options. Gradually increase the number of available sounds to reinforce the notion of intentionality in repetition. Further ideas for activities are to be found here. [DOC 52]

Context

William has moderate learning difficulties and visual impairment. Here, he is on a summer vacation scheme organised by his school, at which a number of activities are offered, including music. In this session, his class is working with a group of musicians to produce pieces built up of layers of differing complexity. In the video, a 12-bar Blues is being improvised.

Observation

William plays B flat repeatedly to the Blues, whose harmonies are adapted slightly to fit.

Interpretation

William can produce simple patterns through the repetition of pitch.

Other videos of William

To see William producing a regular beat, go to P.3.B (b) (2nd video). To see him playing a rhythmic motif, go to P.4.A (a) (1st video). To see him recognising the structure of a piece, go to R.5.B.

Context

Romy, who is on the autism spectrum, has severe learning difficulties and is non-verbal, is at home, having one of her weekly lessons with her piano teacher. She has absolute pitch.

Observation

Romy repeats a chord of two notes (C and the G below) at different octaves. She resists her teacher’s efforts to contextualise these harmonically with a C major chord. The chords are more or less equally spaced in time.

Interpretation

Romy is deliberately making a simple pattern using keys with the same letter name. This indicates that she has a sense of ‘octave equivalence’ (and potentially a sense of absolute pitch), despite there being no evidence that she is familiar with the conventional labels that English musicians use in referring to pitches (’A’, ‘B’, ‘C’, ‘D’ etc). Although the chords are more or less evenly spaced in time, this appears to be driven by the regularity of her arm movements rather than the desire to produce an uniform beat; further observations of her playing different patterns would be required to determine this one way or the other.

Other videos of Romy

To see Romy reacting in a sensory way to the sound of the piano, go to R.2.D (b) (2nd video). To see her recognising a motif being repeated, go to R.4.B. To see her recognising different motifs being connected coherently, go to R.4.C. To see her reproducing a motif with which is is familiar, go to P.4.A (c) (3rd video). To see her linking motifs by varying them, go to P.4.B (c) (3rd video). To see her playing a motif for someone else to copy, go to I.4.A. To see her juxtaposing different motifs, go to I.4.C (a) (1st video). To see her choosing songs, go to R.5.A. To see her learning the fingering for a scale on the piano, go to P.5.D (a) (1st video). To see her playing a number of scales on the keyboard, go to P.5.D (b) (2nd video). To see her playing a Bach prelude, go to P.5.D (c) (3rd video). To see her playing a piece with another musician, sharing a common part, go to I.5.A (d) (4th video). To see her playing a piece with another musician, each with a different part, go to I.5.B (b) (2nd video). To see her showing a mature response to music, go to R.6.A (b) (2nd video).

P.3.B intentionally makes simple patterns through a regular beat

Individuals intentionally produce a regular beat, potentially through a variety of means. Intentionality is the critical factor here, since individuals may make a regular patterns of movement (such as rocking or flapping) that are not driven by the desire to make series of equally spaced sounds. One way judging intentionality is the capacity of the individual concerned to produce beats at different speeds.

Strategies

Encourage or model a regular beat through making sounds which the person you are working with is known to like. They make be vocal (eg, ‘ma, ma, ma, ma, ma’) or made using everyday soundmakers (eg, a wooden spoon on a saucepan), instruments (eg, a drum, tambourine or shaker) or technology (eg, a switch that causes a cymbal sound through a MIDI interface). Does the speed of the beat vary, or it always the same? Will the person concerned continue to make the beating movements even when the soundmaker is removed? These are both indications that the patterns of sounds may not be being made intentionally. To make the person more aware of what they are doing (and hence increase the chance that they will act intentionally), try offering them different soundmakers on which they can produce a regular beat. Further ideas for activities are to be found here. [DOC 53]

Context

Finn has profound and multiple learning difficulties. He is on a summer vacation scheme organised by his school, at which a number of activities are offered, including music. Here, he is being given the time and the space to make sounds with a drum placed on his tray.

Observation

Finn taps a more-or-less regular beat on his drum with his left hand, followed by some less regular sounds made using both hands.

Interpretation

The near-regularity of Finn’s beat could be attributable either to the conscious creation of a pattern driven by sound or through the repetition of movement in his left arm, in which sound plays a secondary role. The fact that he stops playing the beat after a while and makes a series of irregular sounds with both hands suggests that he may have sufficient control over the movements of his arm for these to be dictated by the wish to make a regular pattern in sound, although this interpretation would be strengthened were Finn to be observed playing regular beats at different speeds (as seen in R.3.B (b) (2nd video)).

Other video of Finn

To see Finn responding to a regular beat, see R.3.B (a) (1st video).

Context

William has moderate learning difficulties and visual impairment. Here, he is on a summer vacation scheme organised by his school, at which a number of activities are offered, including music. In this session, his class is working with a group of musicians to produce beats of different speeds.

Observation

William plays beats at three different speeds.

Interpretation

William can produce simple patterns through a regular beat.

Other videos of William

To see William making a pattern through repeated pitches, go to P.3.A (a) (1st video). To see him playing a rhythmic motif, go to P.4.A (a) (1st video). To see him recognising the structure of a piece, go to R.5.B.

P.3.C intentionally makes simple patterns through regular change

Individuals intentionally produce regular change in sound – eg, by getting higher or lower in pitch, or louder or quieter, or by a beat getting quicker. Changes may occur in any one of these aspects of sound, or as a combination.

Strategies

Encourage or model regular change using sounds that the person you are working with is known to like. It may be easiest to start with percussion instruments that don’t have a particular pitch. It is more common for beats to get faster and louder than slower and quieter. You could model series of sounds that gradually decrease in sound level and speed, and see if these are picked up and copied (as in I.3). How quiet can the sounds get? Ascending and descending patterns of pitch may well be easiest to make using a beam or touchscreen. Some people may have the coordination to make similar patterns on a keyboard. Further ideas for activities are to be found here. [DOC 54]

Context

Jaydip is on the autism spectrum and is visually impaired. Here, he is on a summer vacation scheme organised by his school, at which a number of activities are offered, including music. In this session, his class is working with a group of musicians on different drumming patterns.

Observation

Jaydip plays a beat that initially gets quicker, and then louder.

Interpretation

Jaydip can produce simple patterns through regular change.

Other videos of Jaydip

To see Jaydip copying a rhythmic motif, go to I.4.B (b) (2nd video). To see him recognising the structure of a piece, go to R.5.B.

Context

Shivan is profoundly autistic and blind. He has no expressive language. He loves music, however, and in the past has been observed copying pitches, intervals and fragments of melody. In the video, he is having one of his weekly music sessions with his piano teacher. [DOC 126]

Observation

With the physical support of his piano teacher, Shivan plays an ascending pattern of five notes (C, D, E, F, G) and a descending pattern (G, F, E, D, C).

Interpretation

Shivan understands that similar intervals can exist between different pitches, and that these can form chains to create simple patterns. He is still mapping his internal model of pitch onto the layout of the piano keyboard.

Other videos of Shivan

To see Shivan reacting to sounds getting louder, go to R.2.B (b) (2nd video). To see him as a younger boy imitating a simple vocal pattern, go to I.3.D (a) (1st video). To see him reacting to the Goodbye song at Level 5, go to R.5.D. To see him singing a whole song, go to I.5.A (a) (1st video).

P.3.D uses sound to symbolise other things

Given the opportunity, individuals use sound to symbolise other things. They may use different sounding objects to choose between activities, for example.

Strategies

Once a person recognises the symbolic meaning attached to a particular sound (through repeated association), they can be encouraged to use this proactively – to communicate decision-making, for example, by selecting one soundmaker over another to choose between activities they wish to do, people they would like to be with or places they would like to go. Remember to use sounds that the person concerned finds appealing, that are not used elsewhere (in music sessions, for instance), and choose activities, people or places they will be motivated to communicate about.

Context

Abby has a neurodegenerative condition, which has left her with cognitive impairment, unable to speak and with limited movement. However, she engaged enthusiastically in musical activities as a young child, singing and dancing. Indeed, she was still able to sing for some time after her capacity to speak was lost. In the video she is participating in one of her regular music sessions with her class, which comprises young people with severe, and profound and multiple learning difficulties, many of whom have a visual impairment. Abby has a ‘sound symbol’ – a bell – that, with some considerable effort, she is able to play on her own, and which means ‘me’, ‘I’m here’.

Observation

The music teacher leads the group in the ‘hello’ song. Realising that Abby is trying to ring her bell, and that she doesn’t manage it before the end of the song, the teacher extends the music so she can make her contribution during the verse that is addressed to her.

Interpretation

Abby understands that the sound of the bell refers to herself and she can physically manage to play it to symbolise ‘me’.

Assessment

The complete Sounds of Intent assessment matrix is to be found here [DOC 60] and downloadable assessment sheets here. [DOCS 61 & 62]

Emerging

Intentionally makes one type of simple pattern in sound

Example 1

Terry is nine. He has severe learning difficulties and is on the autism spectrum. In music sessions with his class, he always chooses a drum, on which he likes to beat a steady rhythm with his hand or, more recently, a stick.

Example 2

Lucy is two, and is developmentally delayed. She is just starting to make patterns with her voice – most often ‘ma, ma, ma, ma, ma’.

Achieving

Intentionally makes two different types of simple pattern in sound

Example 1

Almira is 10 and is severely autistic. She has no expressive language. She has certain patterns of behaviour that she often engages in, particularly if she is left on her own for any length of time. She will tap objects on her teeth, for example, making regular patterns in sound, and she vocalises, making siren-like sounds.

Example 2

Joe is 15. He has severe learning difficulties. He likes to sit in front of his piano at home and play all the white keys, from the bottom to the top, and then down again. If he makes a mistake, he always starts again from the beginning. He will play the same pattern on the keyboards at school too. In the last few weeks, he has taken an interest in the guitar as well, and will play each of the six strings, from the lowest to the highest and then back again.

Excelling

Intentionally makes at least three different types of simple pattern in sound

Example 1

Krishna is seven, and is on the autism spectrum. He rarely speaks, though he does have some functional language. He loves to explore the instruments in the music room at school, finding ways of getting different sounds out of them all, and making patterns, that he will repeat, often for several minutes. For example, he has discovered that he can make the sliding pitch sounds by rubbing his finger up and down the strings of an old double bass. He likes to line up a set of hand chimes from largest to smallest and then play them in order. And he has discovered that, by gradually changing the position of the the soft beater on the gong as he hits it, he can make it produce changing qualities of sound.

Example 2

Jayden is 19, and has moderate learning difficulties. He enjoys making sounds with his voice that sound a bit like beat boxing. For example, he can make series of sounds like a kick drum, he can copy a hi-hat being struck repeatedly, and he does a great impression of a buzzy trumpet that goes up four notes in a short pattern.