Small assignment: Circle message
This is a good warm-up at the start of class or a preparatory exercise before more extensive improvisation assignments. Young pupils in particular usually enjoy this assignment and do better with it than adults.
Goal and output
Developing a sense of community, interaction skills, observation skills, listening and reacting skills
A relaxed but active and observant vibe in the group. This is a good preparation for other group assignments.
• Have the students stand in a circle with you.
• 'Send' a clap or other sound around the circle in the direction you choose: make the sound, and the person next to you is to repeat it immediately, then the person next to him/her, and so on, 'sending' the sound forward. Later, you can assign a student to be the 'sender'.
• You can make this assignment progressively more difficult, for instance by saying that the direction in which the sound travels can be changed with a specific sign (e.g. a double clap), or you can add other sounds travelling in the same or the opposite direction.
Topics in the assignment
Detailed description of tools
This assignment works well both with the voice and with body percussion, but small classroom instruments or percussion instruments can also be used as applicable.
It is a good idea to begin the assignment with one sound travelling only in one direction around the circle. You can gradually encourage a quicker pace of responses, and for additional challenge you can send out multiple sounds, in the same direction or in opposite directions.
Young pupils in particular tend to enjoy this assignment and are really accurate. For adults, this is usually much more challenging.
Assignment suitable for further study