This week saw the second of our new Music Baby sessions. This time we wanted to try something totally different so went with an experimental, electronic music theme. We had looping and recording equipment, microphones, drum machines, keyboards and Ipads mixed in with objects to handle such as vinyl records, CDs and headphones and everything was kept to black and white for a great visual impact.
Ruthie, our music practitioner, hooked her cello up to a loop pedal so that she could create multiple layers of sound. This meant that she could combine layers of sound that she created alongside layers of sound that the babies created both on the cello and their vocal sounds which were then played back to them on a loop.
We also used a number of ipads with music apps that reflected the real instruments that we had in the session. Strings to strum to go alongside the cello, piano keys to press to go alongside the keyboards and drums to hit alongside the drum machine.
Interestingly we found the Ipads were less popular than we’d expected, we think there might have been a slight nervousness from parents about handing their babies such expensive, fragile pieces of equipment! But, for those that did use them it was really interesting to watch as the technique needed to strum the strings or press the keys required precision and care. This was great practice for baby’s fine motor skills and dexterity and also worked in complete contrast to the real objects which you can bash!
The biggest hit in the session was the giant CD mobile. This worked well for both the babies sitting up as they could reach and grab, as well as the younger babies who could lie down underneath and watch and reach for the swinging CDs. The CDs catch the light really nicely, sparkling and flashing, catching baby’s attention and something really easy for parents/ carers to recreate back at home.
We loved the hanging CDs what a great idea! I’ll definitely have to try and have a go at home.
Music Baby is a new strand of work being developed by Whitworth Art Gallery while it is closed for redevelopment. Music Baby take place in it’s temporary home at The Bridgewater Hall. The Whitworth Art Gallery will reopen Autumn 2014. For more information about our work with under 2s visit http://www.culturebabies.org.uk.