Junior Jam facilitators Kabantu, previously Project Jam Sandwich, are a world-folk-fusion quintet of award-winning musicians known for concocting captivating, exhilarating improvisations, infectious rhythms and beautiful melodies from around the globe. They regularly lead workshops in primary schools around Greater Manchester and as a group they’ve performed at prestigious events including the BBC Proms. They’ve been leading Junior Jam, our monthly music group for children, for some time now, each month bringing a new and exciting theme to explore. Find out more about Junior Jam here.
Here Kabantu share their top tips for facilitating music activities for children…
1. Keep it short and simple. Children need an immediate sense of achievement at the beginning of a session in order for you to build up their trust and confidence. They also have short concentration spans so break up sessions into small activities. It is much easier to make a session more complicated if your group turns out to be very able than having to backtrack on an over-complicated activity, because by that point, you might have lost the children’s attention.
2. Try and include movement and visual aspects to the workshop. Children absorb information in lots of different ways so in Kabantu workshops we often include physical activities, make visual props and include writing materials to support the musical aspects of the session.
3. Don’t be afraid to go with the flow. If your session goes a bit off-piste from the original plan, that could be a great thing because it means that you are reacting to the people in the room. There is no “one-size-fits-all” workshop plan that suits every group because everyone is at a different point in their learning, has varying interests and brings with them a different personality.
You can also check out a previous top tips for emerging musicians they did for us back when they were known as Project jam Sandwich.