CNMN > Projects > Listening & Sounding Games

Dina Cindric

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  • Voix
  • 5 à 12 ans
  • 13 à 18 ans
  • Adultes
  • Ainés
  • Intergénérationnel

5-10 minutes per game

  • Éducation
  • Associations communautaires

Listening & Sounding Games


These Lis­te­ning & Soun­ding Games are fun and easy games for two or more people and will acti­ve­ly engage par­ti­ci­pants in a pro­cess of dee­per lis­te­ning and play­ful soun­ding with the voice.

They are ins­pi­red by and adap­ted from theatre games, vocal improv exer­cises and my work in tra­di­tio­nal Bal­kan sin­ging. Like many folk sin­ging tra­di­tions from around the world, tra­di­tio­nal Bal­kan folk sin­ging is an oral tra­di­tion ; the songs, their sto­ries and the ways in which they are sung were pas­sed down from one gene­ra­tion to the next, lear­ned much in the same way that one first learns to speak : by lis­te­ning, imi­ta­ting and repea­ting.

I dis­co­ve­red that these three ele­ments were essen­tial to the deve­lop­ment of musi­ca­li­ty and pre­sence in my sin­gers and so it is I began imple­men­ting these games, dra­wing from three forms of sin­ging found in many oral sin­ging tra­di­tions : uni­son sin­ging, the drone, and call-and-res­ponse.

These games be used in any set­ting – from the class­room, to the com­mu­ni­ty centre, to the choir rehear­sal. I have most­ly used them as warm-ups, but they can easi­ly be used as stand-alone exer­cises, incor­po­ra­ted into pri­ma­ry or secon­da­ry school les­son plans, or even used as spring­boards to new pos­si­bi­li­ties for inter­pre­ta­tion, impro­vi­sa­tion and performance.

The games are an excellent tool to get non-sin­gers to sound, but they are also very effec­tive for expe­rien­ced sin­gers who might other­wise be more accus­to­med to sin­ging from nota­ted music or lyric sheets, to go beyond the page and into their sen­sing bodies resul­ting in a more dee­ply felt and embo­died soun­ding that can be car­ried over into their other music-makings.

Out­comes :

  • dee­per listening
  • whole-body par­ti­ci­pa­tion
  • heigh­te­ned senses
  • increa­sed awareness
  • ease, confi­dence and joy in soun­ding with the voice
  • increa­sed musi­ca­li­ty and presence
  • dee­pe­ned rela­tion­ships among­st group members
  • a grea­ter sense of connec­tion and ensemble

You’ll find down­loa­dable colou­ring-page ins­truc­tions to each game below.
Print them out, colour them, and share them with your groups !

This game real­ly gets people lis­te­ning – beyond the ears. Encou­rage par­ti­ci­pants to use their eyes to see, their ears to hear, and their bodies to feel.

This game encou­rages people to lis­ten, imi­tate, explore the voice and gain confi­dence in their sin­ging. By incor­po­ra­ting ges­ture, this game is very play­ful and fun for young and old alike. Varia­tion : Use it as an ice-brea­ker ! Have indi­vi­duals sing their name with an accom­pa­nying ges­ture, which the group sing and ges­ture back ! Up for a chal­lenge : Have one indi­vi­dual sing the call, and ano­ther sing a dif­ferent res­ponse. This game can easi­ly turn into an impro­vi­sed song !

No time to think ! This game will get people out their heads and into their bodies.

There are so many pos­si­bi­li­ties with this game ! Some ideas : incor­po­rate it into a per­for­mance ; give direc­tions for dif­ferent tem­pi or dyna­mics in the walking/sounding ; have par­ti­ci­pants walk silent­ly and hum when still ; try it without wal­king, sit­ting with eyes closed…

This game is great to begin work on timbre, into­na­tion, and lis­te­ning and soun­ding with the whole body,

This theatre game lends itself well to soun­ding with the voice. Deve­lops lis­te­ning, pre­sence, whole-body awa­re­ness and a sense of connec­tion. Varia­tion : Ins­tead of facing one ano­ther, try it with two sin­gers sea­ted with backs toge­ther tou­ching. Begin by brea­thing toge­ther. Turn the breath into voi­ced sighs then into sounding.

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