Home

Contact us

Services

Topics

Photos

Music Projects

About Us

Registration

Research
Creative Communities
Music Life Workshops
Music Occupations
Music Environments
Health Promotion and Music
Singing for good health
Music performance
Piano classes are available for students with special needs and gifts in the Ipswich region.

The Occupational Therapist with Music qualifications supports the teaching and learning process.
This caters for a range of individual differences and student needs, including:
  • gifted and talented
  • cognitive dysfunction
  • neuro-developmental approaches
  • low vision / blind
  • hearing impairment
  • physical disabilities
  • autism spectrum disorders and pervasive developmental delays
  • sensory processing differences and learning difficulties
  • mental health concerns (anxiety, depression, mood disorders, emotional regulation)
  • positive behaviour support plans
  • dyslexia and literacy
  • culturally diverse communities
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait students
Consultation is available to develop individualised educational plans for students who are learning the piano.
The Occupational Therapist may advise on adaptation of methods, musical instruments, seating and environmental design.

Medicare or private health insurance may be available for some occupational therapy sessions. Please contact us to discuss the student's individual requirements. Groups classes may be available if numbers permit.

 
Percussion
This lovely rainbow frog is my favourite untuned percussion instrument. It slit-drum that is hollow in the frog's mouth cavity. The tone changes as the beater is struck along the ridges from the tail to the top of the head. As I played, rolling the beater along the frog's spine, I was very surprised to hear real frogs croaking outside in the garden.
Frog slit drum and beater
Drumming together in Schools
Drumming circles can support children to learn to play increasingly complex rhythms. The drumming can enhance the children's  speed of coordination, and and regularity in keeping pace with the beat. The rhythmic control is important for developing fluency of writing and fine motor skills. The group can also facilitate social communication and encourage musical participation across cultural groups. Drums are used by many different ethnic groups, which can be used to explore various musical traditions.
Drumming circles support teaching and learning across many areas of the curriculum.

Aerophone Music Making - Whirlies
People blow or use wind to make sounds on aerophone musical instruments. The bloogle resonator (whirly tube) shown below, can be purchased from toy stores or even home made. When swung it makes an eerie howling sound.

So far, trial is underway with  to see what sounds they make and how people use them to make music in groups. We are interested in different environmental contexts. See latest research on sonification with bloogle resonators:

Kirkwood, S. (2014) Sonification: Can bloogle resonators enhance representation of time, space and culture through the Person-Environment-Occupation Model? AUC Create World 5 Digital Arts Conference Proceedings, Griffith University, Southbank campus, 12-13 February 2013, 56-63. Available from 
http://www.lulu.com/shop/auc/proceedings-of-createworld-2014/ebook/product-21443226.html

6-Week Plan  4-handed Piano Challenge Countdown
6 April Find a piano/keyboard (tune if necessary). Ask friends if they would like to play a duet. Find partner and talk about what kind of music they like. Start to look for suitable music or ideas for improvisation. The State Library at Southbank has music and a piano for trying pieces before borrowing or purchase. Pieces can be sent to your local library through inter-library loan.
You can play through parts before meeting with a partner. Ask mentors, music teachers and supporters for help, if needed. You may have some scales or exercises that you can practice on the piano each week to build up your skills. 
13 April Try playing various four-handed arrangements with your partner - either 2 people on one piano, or 2 people on 2 pianos, or even 3 is possible, but crowded. Work out what level of difficulty you can manage. Find the pieces that are most suitable and try playing both bass or treble parts separately. You may like to prepare a few pieces that you both enjoy, but consider how much time is available. Set up a regular time to rehearse with partner. Also spend time playing piano individually, especially if you have not played in a while. Chat with others and encourage/support them. Second-hand duet music is available from Kay's Music.
20 April After a couple of weeks, you may start to settle on which pieces will be best for the final performance and who will play which part. Ideally, this will be pieces that do not require too much preparation, but offer some challenge. Number the bars and mark sections in each part. Spend time playing small sections of the piece with your partner. Count out loud. Pay attention to the dynamics and expression marks. Note the most effective fingering. Problem solve any difficulties together. Call on assistance from teachers, mentors or supporters if needed.
27 April Continue working progressively through the pieces with your partner until all the sections are mastered. You may need to adopt a slower tempo to ensure that you can play smoothly through the whole piece. Then return to playing certain sections or separate parts if there are difficulties. Work out how to turn pages if you are using music. Discuss what the final tempo will be.
4 May When you can both play through the pieces fluently, you could invite friends, relatives, or teachers to listen and comment on your performance. They may offer helpful tips. Consider if pedalling is needed and how this can be achieved. If you have not done so already, try to listen to a recording of the piece. It may be available on YouTube, but not necessarily in four-handed form. Gradually bring playing up to the desired tempo. Invite friends, family, teachers and supporters to come along and register for the event.
11 May During the last week, this is the time to polish and develop confidence performing the pieces with your partner. Talk about the things that are working well, or areas that you would like to improve. Let your partner know what you will need help with. Make any changes and final plans. Consider how the performance will be presented.
18 May This is the day of the four-handed challenge piano duet performance. Stay calm and focussed. Enjoy. You may like to write about the experience for your blog or Facebook. Check with participants if they consent to having photographs or recordings made, and if they agree to you uploading to the internet or displaying publicly. Parent/guardian consent is needed for children <18 years. Consider copyright issues and acknowledge composer, arranger, performers, teachers.
 
Note: These are general guidelines, but always use an individual approach according to your own needs and the professional advice you receive from teachers and coaches. Please contact us with your thoughts and ideas. We have set up an email group for registrants. Here's some useful tips I found online by Martha Beth Lewis.
Analysis of Functional Ability - Piano Duets (four-handed challenge)
Music Health Professionals use a variety of techniques to address the fundamental skills involved in musical activities, such as playing piano duets. Activity Analysis involves understanding and grading components:

Skill Factors: 
  • Postural stability in sitting and equilibrium reactions, cocontraction of musles of head, neck, trunk, legs
  • Skilled motor performance with arms and hands; inhibition of reflexes usually integrated in infancy
  • Bilateral and unilateral coordination of fingers; ergonomics and energy conservation; joint protection
  • Strength, endurance, tactile discrimination, kinaesthetic awareness (movement sense)  
  • Hearing, auditory perception, auditory figure ground discrimination
  • Vision and visual perception, music literacy 
  • Timing, rhythmic discrimination and synchronised execution
  • Memory and recall, improvisation 
  • Responding to multi-sensory cues
  • Decision making ability, choice of repertoire 
  • Social skills of cooperation, working together with partner, behaviour, attitude to task 
Personal Factors:
  • Negotiation of social-emotional, cultural relevance and political situation (cooperation or conflict) 
  • Aesthetic judgements in relation to personal preferences
  • Managing performance anxiety
  • Managing time and practice regime, punctuality
Background Factors:
  • Ability to access environment, tuition, services, suitable seating, lighting, acoustics, musical instrument
Integration and Adjustments:

In playing a musical instrument integration of so many different aspects of performance are required. 
It's finding that optimal state of mental arousal and muscle tone that allows us to easily withstand the forces that act upon us as we execute skilled motor actions with minimal effort - so we are not destabilised. Being flexible and adaptable enough that we can sense, discriminate, respond, judge effect, and continually readjust through perturbations that are essential to finely tuned musical performance. And it is quite remarkable that a lot of this sensory integration, modulation of behaviour, and postural adjustments happen in the background - often without a conscious thought from us, as to how we focus on what needs our attention at a particular moment.
Developmental Approach
Each area of function involves a developmental progression in acquisition of abilities. Selection of pieces can be graded to the age expectations of children. Activities can also be graded to gradually develop a range of skills, if there is disruption to normal development through impairment or disability. Advocacy may be required to address limitations in access to pianos, partners and music educational, services and facilities.

Activity analysis can be useful for people of any age, because pianists may sustain injury or be incapacitated by a miriad of factors. We can sometimes improve performance through multi-disciplinary problem-solving. A range of professions can contribute to enhancing performance by individualising music compositions and instruction, or even adapting musical equipment, and/or modifying the environment to make it more suitable to individual needs. Social attitudes and response of the audience can be critical in determining whether performers will go on to succeed in their chosen music roles. We can consider how to organise opportunities for people to participate in performing or listening to piano duets, and how this can be inherently rewarding. 

Stories about "How to Succeed in the Four-Handed Challenge" - Piano Duets
While it would be interesting to explore each area of function separately, I would also like to hear stories from people about their performance of piano duets. What is helpful, or not helpful, for improving performance? Narratives and stories can help us to understand the complex interaction of all the factors. 

FAQ: Is this Rocket Science?
If you have been following the Music Outreach webpage as it has developed, you may be trying to figure out why we have been speaking about designing flying kites, exploring music in rockets and other unusual musical instruments, or electronic solar-powered musical playgrounds. Some are asking, "Is this Rocket Science?"

Yes, we are venturing into 21st Century ethnomusicology, which considers the heights, depths and breadth of musical performance and asks questions about reviving lost sonic musical traditions, or taking on new and exciting musical challenges in outer space, and sub-terranean performance of opera in caves. Can science help in understanding music?

For the Nerds interested in Neuroscience of Music
Is there a scientific basis to musical performance?

There is a growing evidence from neurosciences. For example the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences presents research into the neuro-biological basis of human musical performance:

Volume 930. The Biological Foundations of Music. Editors: Robert J. Zatorre, Isabelle Peretz. ANYAA9 930 1-462 (2001).

Volume 1060. The Neurosciences and Music II: From Perception to Performance. Editors: Giuliano Avanzini, Luisa Lopez, Stefan Koelsch, Maria Majno. ANYAA9 1060 1-490 (2005).

ethnomusicking (music-making occupations that vary across cultures, time, and places)
April, 2011
Links to You Tube videos of musickers show a wide range of possibilities performances by outstanding young people, world music ensembles, and even health professionals.


Thumbnail 3 year old Jonathan conducting 4th movement of Beethoven's fifth Symphony 
                          Play-based learning

Thumbnail UBC Applied Ethnomusicology: Community gamelan

Channel Icon U-Tube video (click on photo)
Kristen & Marisa's
Occupational Therapy song and rap to TLC's Waterfalls.


What is ethnomusicking?
One idea of ethnomusicking is that we can experience the world through culturally engaged musicking. Knowledge of music cultures is allows us to join with others to express ourselves. Some ethomusicologists have ventured outside their own music traditions, to learn about music cultures and are sometimes invited to participate in music-making gatherings. It can be challenging to support peoples' participation in cross-cultural music performances within educational or health programs. The real-life community setting has many benefits for being able to observe and learn directly from culture bearers and teachers. The therapeutic applications of music thereby shift away from clinics and hospital settings into real world participation and encourage social inclusion.

An example of how ethnomusicking can be embedded in everyday living for people from diverse cultural background is described in the case study references below -- which touch on combining musicking with story-telling, and even recreational activities such as singing and fishing. It is customary for musicking to be combined with marching in brass bands, and many choirs move or dance as they sing. Singing often accompanied repetitive work, such as making slippers in a factory in Rosewood, Ipswich.

This page explores some of the new cultural dimensions of musical participation and how this crosses disciplinary borders. 

References

Kirkwood, S. (2009) Beyond reason: Sharing my Indigenous piano story. Music Autoethnography Workshop, 5-6, September, 2009. Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University, Southbank, Brisbane, Australia.

Kirkwood, S. (2010) Ethnomusicking: Valued music occupation or audacious antics in the Purga Music Museum. Cultural Diversity in Music Education Conference, 11-12 January, 2010, Sydney, Australia.

MUSICAL SURVIVAL VALUE OF THE FISH'N'SING MUSIC OUTREACH PROGRAM
March, 2011

It is 12 months now since the members of the Music Health Australia e-mail group brain-stormed what a Fish'n'Sing program would involve. This proposed project is explored further in this book chapter.

Kirkwood, S. (2011). Doing, being and becoming more active through playing part in community-based museum scenarios. Retrieved 15 September, Music Health Australia: Ipswich (http://www.musichealth.com.au/attachments/File/PublishedKirkwoodFinal.pdf).

MUSICAL DISCOVERIES: EXPANDING TOOLKIT OF MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
February, 2011

Irish whistle tuned to key of 'D,' made of brushed brass with a plastic fipple (mouthpiece). Generation brand, British made. Very economical instrument. Suitable for all ages. Popular in folk music ensembles. Relatively easy to play. Suitable for playing in marching bands or while bushwalking once you master breath control and fingering. Commonly available in most music shops for under $10.
Djembe. Toca Synergy Freestyle drum with 12" goatskin head and seamless synthetic shell. Mechanically tuned.
A very resonant drum with strong bass. Suitable for all ages. Relatively easy to play. Popular in drumming circles. Available from www.tocapercussion.com. Cost in the $200+ range.
Percussion Plus tuneable Bongo drums with goatskin head. Timber shell. These are great fun to pick up and play. Popular with all ages. The two drums have different tones so suit experimentation. Cost is around $50.
Miniature coconut wood maracas from OXFAM These are beautifully crafted maracas that are an ideal size for smaller hands. Inexpensive at $7 a pair. Also available as shakers without handles. Can be used by unskilled players of any age or skilled percussionists. Lovely to touch.

This month I've added a few new items to the pack'n'roll box that I tote around to social gatherings:

Finding these instruments really useful for group musicking because they are fairly easy to play by a wide range of people. Require minimum set up. Easily portable. People seem to take to the instruments made of natural materials because they have a natural beauty about them. Stayed tuned for more news on musical experiments and discoveries.
PUBLIC HEALTH RESEARCH ON CONNECTIONS BETWEEN HIP HOP AND HEALTH
Teens hiphop for health

 
Griffith University's School of Public Health has earned some street cred with Logan youth recently, after hosting an innovative health promotion project using hiphop and street dancing.
HYPE hip-hop health project (2008) brought together Logan high school students with a number of health, dance and youth agencies to help inspire a healthier lifestyle. "The available evidence suggests that the best primary prevention strategy for improving the long-term health of children and young people may be creating a lifestyle pattern of regular physical activity that will carry over to the adult years...dancing can represent both a beneficial form of physical activity that also offers additional benefits associated with mental health and social interaction."
ADAPTED MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS - SYMMETRICAL KEYBOARD

Some innovative ideas....on design of keyboards

Ruby my dear, played on a symmetrical keyboard

 
GLOBAL MUSIC TRADITIONS
AULD LANG SYNE
Musical performance of the Robert Burns' Scottish poem Auld Lang Syne (written in 1788) has become a global tradition. For New Year's Eve, we thought people might like to hear Auld Lang Syne played on various instruments and in different languages and historical periods so you can vote on the one you like best. There are many more performances on You Tube.

Thumbnail  One man choir!

ThumbnailAustralian soprano Dame Nellie Melba 1861-1931 (~1905)
Thumbnail Australian bass-baritone Peter Dawson 1882-1961 (~1930)
 Australian soprano Marjorie Lawrence 1907-1979 (1945)
Thumbnail 
Bruce Springsteen (2010)

Bagpipes Auld Lang Syne Bagpipes on the beach looking over to Fraser Island, Queensland

Auld Lang Syne on Ocarina

Ocarina

Auld Lang Syne(one man band)

One man band

Chinese version of Auld Lang Syne

Chinese

Jan Rot oudjaarslied:  Al wat was (auld lang syne)

Dutch

Auld Lang Syne

Mouth organ

Aud Lang Syne

German

 

Jordan Vladev and St.Cyril and Methodius choir live in Seoul, South Korea

 

Auld Lang Syne

Banjo

Auld Lang Syne (For The Sake Of All Mankind) Alternate lyrics, "For the sake of all mankind"

duet Jingle Bell Auld Lang Syne in Festival  at  special school 2008 Duet violin and keyboard

Happy New Year 2008 - Auld Lang Syne

Button accordion

Medieval Music

Medieval

Auld Lang Syne - è›Âã®å…‰ ( Jeff Beck Version ? )- Japanese electric guitar

Auld Lang Syne From the Drunken Gargling Frog Bog Band

Drunken gargling frog bog band

Shalom, Dammit! #008-"Auld Lang Zion" (Song: Auld) pt. 6

New lyrics ? Yiddish geriatrics

Auld Lang Syne and an Irish Jig Goodbye 2008 Party

Irish jig

Santa Horse Dance 3

Horses dancing

 

 Bruce Springsteen (2010)
 
Auld Lang Syne/Nehmt Abschied Brüder: Guitar and nose flute Nose flute and guitar

 

WHALE SONG



MORE ON WHALE SONG AND MUSIC PERFORMANCE
Further to earlier discussions on whale song in November 2008, OPTUS has advertised an innovative musical performance

http://www.optuswhalesong.com.au/ . This link shows an orchestra on a floating pontoon in the ocean, playing music to communicate love to whales. What a wonderfully creative and inspiring form of Social Oceanography. Congratulations to those involved.

 

 

Courier Mail news article 5/12/08

 

Whale song takes hit: Sea under siege from our noise.

ROME

: Greenhouse gases worsen ocean noise by raising acidity levels and causing sound to travel farther, making it ever harder for marine mammals to communicate, UN and wildlife experts say.

 

“Acidity is a new, strange and unwanted development…for a whole range of marine animals,” Mark Simmonds of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society said yesterday. Mr Simmonds, the society’s scientific director, was speaking as the UN Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species began three days of debate on a resolution aimed at combating ocean noise, which is caused primarily by shipping, oil and gas exploration and military sonars.

“Noisy activities are producing an acoustic fog that prevents whales from maintaining social groups, finding each other for breeding purposes, and so forth,” Mr Simmons said. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in

California, which is studying the rising acidity of seawater, says on its website: “As the oceans become more acidic, sounds will travel farther,” notably low-frequency sounds “used by marine mammals to find food and mates.”

 

Legal expert Veronica Frank of the International Fund for Animal Welfare said ocean noise has doubled each decade for the past 40 years and is expected to keep increasing. “Blue Whales’ capacity to communicate has been reduced by 90 per cent,” she said. The proposed resolution would urge the 110 parties to the CMS to mitigate the impact of ocean noise on vulnerable species, assess the environmental impact of sound-producing activities and avoid the use of high-intensity naval sonars that could pose risks for marine mammals.

 

 

The issue of ocean noise is an “international hot potato” because of the commercial and military interests involved, Mr Simmonds said.

 

Whale song
Having chosen the photograph of the whale for the header of this website, I started to think about a subject that I studied a long time ago at University called ethology (not to be confused with ethnology). It is defined as "The study of animal behaviour, with emphasis on the behavioural patterns that occur in natural environments." Strange to think about animals in a section about music performance, perhaps?

Not so strange, however, if we consider the phenomenon of whale song and communication. There are many behavioural sciences that can inform our music practice, so it would be interesting to discuss what features of whale song may have application to communication in different music environments. Can we transfer any of the principles to human musical communication?

Music performance can be informed by arts and science. Contributions are invited from zoologists, animal psychologists, ethologists and anyone who can she some light on this topic? There are samples of whale song on websites, such as the Whale Mammal Institute

http://www.oceanmammalinst.org/songs.html

 

BioAcoustic Research

Beam Reach Marine Science and Sustainability School.

 

Social Oceanography
This U-tube video shows human interaction with whales as two Australian fishermen in a 4 meter tinnie (aluminium boat) have a close encounter with 3 whales. One man is so enthralled with the magnitude of the experience that he cries out in

human whale-like singing sounds. He seems to be lost for words, so resorts to moans and expletives!

 

Whale song in movie music
Thanks to Dr Jennifer Cattermole for her insights into the use of whale song in the music sound track to the movie Pear ta ma 'on maf (the land has eyes). This is a full-length feature film set on the island of Rotuma, Fiji; written and directed by Bilsoni Hereniko. The music was composed by Clive Cockburn and Audy Kimura, with addition of recordings by Rotuman artists. Cattermole presented a paper on "Representing Romuma" at the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, ANZ conference that was held at Southbank, Brisbane in December, 2008. She stated that the whale song always seemed to be associated with the heroine and the pain that she was feeling so it was like a leit motif that occurred throughout the movie. There are other movies that have used whale song in this way.

The book "

Whale Song" by Cheryl Kay Tardif

www.kunati.com

Bored with whale song and lift music?
Critical discussion about music used in therapy at
http://www.tddir.com/health-therapy/treatment-1263.html
Details of Humpback Whale Song
http://www.whaletrust.org/whales/whale_song.html

 

Whale song research: (Excerpt from ABC Queensland website)

 

University of Queensland researcher Dr Michael Noad sees more whales in a couple of weeks than most of us see in a lifetime - and he's working on being able to understand them. He studies the perception and use of sound by humpback whales and is also involved in large international collaboration, the Humpback whale Acoustic Research Collaboration, or HARC, which is looking at this off the east coast of Australia.

 

Michael says that the whales can be incredible to hear. "The whales can do moans and groans, there are growls, there are snoring sounds... It's only sung by the males, and it's only sung during the mating season.

 

"All the males, singing this very complex song," Michael continues, "they all sing the same song at the same time... It's highly structured and goes on for about ten minutes per song... The pattern of the song changes with time, from year to year changes creep into the song, but all the whales make the same changes... so they're all singing the same thing."

 

The male whales can be quite violent towards each other, it seems. "Singers tend to be by themselves and whales that swim over to the singers tend to be other males," explains Michael. "There can be a whale punch up when you have a group of whales... A competitive group has one female and two or three or four males trying to get as close as they can to the female... They'll ram each other, whack each other with their tails...It's pretty physical."

 

The whale song is also incredible loud. "I don't know that I really want to be swimming right next to a singer," laughs Michael, "they're so loud! I'd be worried about what it was doing to me... It would be more like a bone-shaker than a soothing melody."

 

University of Queensland researcher Dr Michael Noad sees more whales in a couple of weeks than most of us see in a lifetime - and he's working on being able to understand them. He studies the perception and use of sound by humpback whales and is also involved in large international collaboration, the Humpback whale Acoustic Research Collaboration, or HARC, which is looking at this off the east coast of Australia.

 

Michael says that the whales can be incredible to hear. "The whales can do moans and groans, there are growls, there are snoring sounds... It's only sung by the males, and it's only sung during the mating season. "All the males, singing this very complex song," Michael continues, "they all sing the same song at the same time... It's highly structured and goes on for about ten minutes per song... The pattern of the song changes with time, from year to year changes creep into the song, but all the whales make the same changes... so they're all singing the same thing."

 

The male whales can be quite violent towards each other, it seems. "Singers tend to be by themselves and whales that swim over to the singers tend to be other males," explains Michael. "There can be a whale punch up when you have a group of whales... A competitive group has one female and two or three or four males trying to get as close as they can to the female... They'll ram each other, whack each other with their tails...It's pretty physical.

The whale song is also incredible loud. "I don't know that I really want to be swimming right next to a singer," laughs Michael, "they're so loud! I'd be worried about what it was doing to me... It would be more like a bone-shaker than a soothing melody."

 

 

MUSICAL PLAY

MUSICAL PLAYGROUND

Musical fence at Winton, Queensland
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=R_oK8i_3-JU

Playing chimes in musical playground
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=KMaQBW-2XTs
 

 

COMPOSITION EXPERIMENTS

Experimentation with changing pace of visual images
Not sure if you should try this at home?? Composing music to slow motion video footage.

 

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=X0-TbUUXDtM

 

Further details are available from

http://discovery.com/timewarp


Articles written by Sandra Kirkwood from November 12, 2008; last updated 30 January, 2017.

© Sandra Kirkwood, 2008

 

 

 


 

HomeContact usServicesTopicsPhotosMusic ProjectsAbout UsRegistrationResearch
Enabling Creative Solutions. Networking.