A relaxing musical exploration, which involves making an ‘ocean drum’ to create a soundscape and sensory experience with the theme of the sea.
What you need
- 2 paper bowls, sweetie tins or other metal tins
- A handful of rice, dry lentils or sunflower or pumpkin seeds
- Pens, crayons, paint, stickers, craft materials
- Sellotape or glue
- About 1m of light fabric or a long scarf (to use to create ‘the sea’)
- Light cardboard or a fan (to use to create ‘the wind’)
- Strands of ribbon around 60-100cm long (optional)
- A wooden spoon or stick (optional)
- Sensory lights (optional)
- Access to play music e.g. a CD player or computer
These YouTube videos show you:
Guidance and instructions
- Involve the person as much as possible in making the drum, if they wish to, and where it is safe for them to do so.
- Decorate the paper bowls or metal tins with pens, crayons, paint, stickers, craft materials.
- Fill one of the paper bowls or metal tins to halfway with the rice, seeds or lentils.
- Place the second bowl or tin on top and either using glue or sellotape, stick the rims together so the contents cannot escape.
- You now have a homemade ocean drum which can be tilted gently from side to side or forwards and backwards to make sound. Depending on the size of drum, a fun sensory experience can be to place the ocean drum above the head or on the lap and gently tilt it from side to side.
- Gently move the long piece of fabric up and down to create a ‘flowing wave’. You can do this on the floor, or on someone’s lap. If there are two people who can hold either end of the fabric, they can create a bigger wave.
- Create a sensation of wind by raising up and lowering down a piece of light cardboard or paper, or if you access to a fan, put it on a low setting. Ribbons can also be attached to the outside of the fan or to a stick or wooden spoon. You can then run the ribbons over hands, feet, legs or gently across the face or neck.
- If you have access to sensory lights, and the person likes lights, use them to enhance the experience, they may be relaxing or stimulating. They can be placed under or on top of lightly coloured fabric or behind ribbons that are attached to a stick.
- Finally, it can be nice to play music in the background. Suggestions of sea-themed songs are:
- ‘We Are Sailing’ by Rod Stewart
- ‘My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean’
- ‘(Sittin’ On)The Dock Of The Bay’ by Otis Reading
- ‘Beyond The Sea’ by Bobby Darwin
- There are also lots of meditation/relaxing ocean sound audio and videos available on YouTube, Spotify and iTunes.
What to observe, assess and record
- Any signs of enjoyment, excitement, relaxation, agitation, a like or dislike for certain sounds, textures, feelings or other aspects of the experience?
- Any positive or negative responses? Are they the same each time they do this activity?
- Does any part of their body move or respond to a specific sound, texture, song?
- Did the ribbons across any parts of their body get a reaction?
- Did they move their foot or hand, or any facial expressions when there was a certain song being played, or part of a song?
- Did you notice any body movements, facial expressions or vocalisations? Were they repetitive? Did they occur once or often?
- Is the fan enjoyed or making them uncomfortable? Does changing the position of the fan change the reaction?
- Is the person’s enjoyment or agitation related to a specific sound or texture?
- Are there any songs which were played that the person appeared to like? Similarly, were there any songs that they showed a dislike towards? Any excitement or obvious enjoyment? Consider whether the music would stir memories. Does the sound of the voice singing or the pitch of the song/instruments cause a response?
- What do you feel worked and/or didn’t work?
- If you have negative responses the first time, try it a second and perhaps a third time. It is important to not stop just after one try (unless it caused distress). If the reactions and responses remain the same then consider why. Is it a specific sound or sensory experience, or the whole activity?
© Fiona Sharp, F Sharp Music Practice
Email: [email protected]
F Sharp Music Practice YouTube Channel
Created October 2020