The Birdsong copycat listening game is a great way to encourage children to really listen carefully and learn to focus their concentration.
To play this listening game you first need to find some recordings of real birdsong – and there are some lovely ones on youtube, try this forest birdsong recording.
How To Play
- Sit in a circle and play the birdsong, encourage everyone to really listen carefully.
- Take a suitable percussion instrument, a triangle works well, and after a couple of minutes listening together, stop the birdsong and pick just one of the birds calls, and imitate the rhythm with the triangle.
- Then play the birdsong recording again as you pass around the triangle – much the same as a game of ‘pass the parcel’, the kids continue to pass around the triangle until the music stops – whoever is holding the triangle then has their go at imitating the birdsong.
- Continue the game until everyone has had a go.
- You can repeat the game with different patterns of birdsong for a few rounds, and older children might try remembering the first rhythm and then adding that onto the new one. This is a really good way to develop ‘holding and hearing’ rhythms in the head.
- People often ask what equipment I use for playing musical excerpts (in this case sound effects) in my music lessons. Of course if you have the original CDs you can play them with a conventional music player using a remote control for stopping and starting.But these days the easiest way is to play them straight from youtube by using your phone or ipad and some handy bluetooth speakers.
- Here are two really good choices; I’d recommend the Anker Soundcore as a reasonable option for use in an average sized room, but these JBL Flip 4 speakers pack a bit more of punch if you’re in a bigger space.
In this Bird song opera video, the birdsong has been cleverly arranged to fit Papageno Papagena from Mozart’s Magic Flute
And in this video they’ve added the notation of the nightingale song underneath!
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