GAME SONG IN THE COURTYARDS OF THE WORLD
21st Primary School of Athens
The school choir plays an important role in the cultural activities of the school. Besides the fact that it is an integral part of the school’s events, it gives pupils of different ages the opportunity to engage in a common activity, to get to know each other better, to act as a team and to work together through a process that does not stress them, but rather makes them feel creative, accepting more easily the diversity of their co-singers and rejecting delinquent behaviors.
The aim of the programme was to familiarise our pupils with the music of other cultures unknown to them through something very familiar. This particular school is a multicultural area where children from 20 different countries meet. Contact with different customs and cultural elements is self-explanatory as well as necessary.
A game song is a kind of song that exists in all cultures. In Greece, it can be a circular dance accompanied by the song "Little Helen", while in Congo it is a circular dance like "Banaha", where children ask a small monkey to get its food from a tree. This way the children of the school choir became aware of the common customs of people different from one another. Selected game songs were taught within the framework of the program and were then presented at events and recorded in order to be published and distributed to the general public in a compact disc.
Using the problem-solving method, children dealt with issues of xenophobia and racism, as well as with communication difficulties among pupils, between pupils and teachers, as well as among parents.
Based on the Bloom method, the game songs were firstly approached in a dramatised form, which promoted basic understanding, especially for younger children. After becoming familiar with the main concepts, the songs were taught and prepared for recording. Then, the children talked about the similarities and differences of the games and game songs around the world, as they emerge from the words in our samples. During the recording, the children had the opportunity to understand in practice the concepts of acoustics and sound engineering which, in the higher grades, were discussed as part of the music class.
As a result of our choir's involvement with this type of song, concerts and game-plays were organised within the framework of the programme and a music CD was produced, which was available for sale through the school's blog and by groups of older pupils who, in cooperation with their teachers, undertook the task to promote and sell it to the local community.
Grades that participated in the activity: 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Grades
Number of participating pupils: Around 40