School is soon to start for another year, and one of the first activities I would often do with my new music classes is a piece called the ‘Doggy Walkin’ Blues’. It’s a fun 12 bar blues with a short, repetitive melody based on a pentatonic scale and once mastered (it takes about 30 seconds) leaves room for incredible improvisation by everyone involved. This structure provides a safe environment for kids just to let themselves go. A shared musical experience is a special thing – it brings people together in all sorts of ways. These experiences help to excite curiosity about music and sound in my learners and encourage confidence in their own abilities. Sometimes we are so into this piece that we keep it going for the whole class!

Music is motion – just keep going. Bobby McFerrin

Which brings me to this inspiring video which I saw a while ago and pops into my head every now and then. It’s Bobby McFerrin at the World Science Festival in 2009 playing around with the audience and a pentatonic scale. What’s curious about it is how do we know what to do? How did we know what note that third jump was going to be, and higher up?! Are we humans pentatonically wired? If you look at folk music from around the world some would say that we are…

The power of music – it’s a curious thing!

The power of a musical experience – part 1
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