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Fields of application

Possible Fields of Application

 

The orchestral work of the Nádizumzum ensemble demonstrates that the performance of well-known, easy to learn and catching melodies is essential in the new model which joins methods of music therapy and music education. The well known folk songs and the familiar accompaniment create a secure environment. Instruments that are appropriately tuned and modified provide opportunity for musicians to freely improvise while also adjusting to the orchestra. These instruments are easy to handle because no one can play false on them. This structured and safe environment also allows participants to explore the many possibilities that music has to offer, which usually keeps their motivation levels high. The Consonante method could also be used to form an orchestra where classical instruments are utilized, or in combination with other techniques such as Heinrich Ullrich's color scheme. Occasional musical collaboration allows for individuals to feel as though they can easily become part of a whole, a community where they can automatically feel that they can participate in and achieve common goals. These practices can eventually lead to the formation of an official orchestra, such as the Nádizumzum.

The Consonante can be combined with other methods: any student can give a consonant accompaniment for someone playing a regular musical instrument. It can be an encouraging experience for those who  less are not confident enough to participate in musical activities.

 

Therapeutic Use

The benefits of the method could also be used in hospital setting where patients often feel isolated, lonely, and incompetent. These oversimplified instruments, as well as the fact that the repertoire consists of melodies that are well-known and easy to learn, show that the „Consonante” method could easily be used in such settings to alleviate tension and provide joy for those who feel that they are not capable to live in normal community with one another. This method could be applied in cases of long-term hospitalization, in general nursing home settings such as institutions for the elderly or those struggling with dementia, as well as in children's homes, such as orphanages, or in homes for the socially deprived people.

 

This method could also be used in therapy for families, most especially within families that have a child struggling with severe disabilities. The structure and overall balance in such families often deviates from the norm: the members who are disabled feel as if they were not capable of living up to their family members’ expectations, whereas the abled members feel like having to take over all the tasks and responsibilities of the disabled ones. Such activities could provide opportunities to alleviate these preconceived roles. When family members are able to play together without stress and without judgment, they can experience that all the members have their own part in the performance, thus they can experience a new balance in the family.

 

Group sessions without the obligations of public performances can be beneficial for individuals with challenging and self-harming behavior as well.  Experience shows that these individuals enjoyes the music. However, their presence is not always beneficial for the whole group.  

As a new pilot project, smaller closed groups were formed using the pentatonic series of plastic boomwhackers which are difficult to destroy. Similarly to the orchestral work, participants always experience that their improvisation or subconsciously orchestrated sounds, for example throwing the pipes out, are consonant with the group performance. While making dissonant and chaotic music can be therapeutic and beneficial for other people, (Orff, 1989) loud and unfamiliar acoustic environment indicates fear, insecurity and other negative feelings for these people. Thus, musical chaos often increases their challenging behavior. In accordance with the basic concepts of special education it is important to build up predictable environment and repetitive routines for children and adults living with severe disabilities. In music it means firm musical structures such us well-known songs, familiar accompaniment or rhythm ostinato.

 

Educational Use

Musicing together with classmates can build a sense of togetherness. Participants develop their social skills, as well as their sense of creativity through improvisation and group work. The method allows teachers to provide learners with different kind of challenges: among other things the Consonante-instruments can function as some kind of percussion: students only have to pay attention to the rhythm played on them, but the flexibility of the approach also offers different possibilities. These include the use of the elements of the Orff-Schulwerk, playing a firm rhythm ostinato, or highly or moderately difficult accompaniments. Furthermore it is also possible to simply let the students improvise in their own creative way. The chosen melody gives frames to the improvisation, and the nature of the instruments guarantees that the player always stays consonant with the main melody as well as with the group. This practice creates a natural balance between individual expression and accommodation to the group.

 

Success within this safe environment in early musical education could allow students to become brave enough to try ordinary instruments as they develop their sense of creativity through improvisation and group work. To involve parents without previous musical training in the experience to be a part of a musical performance could make them motivated about their children’s prospective musical education.

 

 Children with severe behavioral or attention-deficit problems can also experience success in such an environment, which serves as motivation to persevere in participating in group activities. Performing within orchestral setting allows participants to develop their social skills, such as their ability to pay attention, to cooperate with one another, and to learn how to enjoy the gift of music.

 

At the time of changing voice, joyful improvisations can be more important parts of music-lessons. Teenagers need to practice their creativity and express themselves. Instead of forcing them to sing, the Consonante method and instruments offer an other opportunity to express themselves musically.  Musical performance can be a part of a complex art performance, such as dance or drama.

 

Consonante is originally based on folk music thus, offers a supplement for the receptive way of learning folk culture. Folk songs can be considered as the essence of national culture: some of them express universal human wisdom and sense, as lullabies, songs of love, lamentation, children’s games, or dancing. Other groups of folk songs are connected with religion, special national-cultural events, rooted of the different history of all nations. Rhythm can be variable based on linguistic reasons as different word stress, and on other cultural patterns. Anthemion pentatonic scale (see below) is the most consonant and “natural” scale. This simple and basic scale can be found in various forms and genres in world folk music. Using exclusively folk melodies based on this scale, the accompaniment could be any of the five tones, because in general each of the five notes is consonant in its relationship to any of the other notes resulting in a grand variety in accompaniment.

 

Teacher training expects from future pedagogues at elementary and kindergarten levels to develop children’s sense of music, awaken their interest, form their musical taste, as well as their aesthetic sensitivity and other musical skills. If teacher-training focuses to develop musical skills, students without previous musical education can perceive music classes as stressful events. It is illogical to anticipate that these educators could share the joy of music with their students. In addition to the training that these students need it is also crucial  to help them experience the cheer of musical activity.

 

Notes:

The Anhemiton Pentatonic Scale

The anhemiton pentatonic scale is based on five sequential perfect fifths. Studying them within an octave, harmonic intervals are the following: P5, P4, M3, m3, M2. These intervals can be found in the lower region of harmonic series, below the 8th pitch. Assuming that the sense of consonance and dissonance relates to the acoustical properties of sound, the anthemion pentatonic is the most consonant and “natural” scale. This simple and basic scale can be found in various forms and genres in world folk music. Using exclusively folk melodies based on this scale, the accompaniment could be any of the five tones, because in general each of the five notes is consonant in its relationship to any of the other notes resulting in a grand variety in accompaniment.

References:

Andorka Péter (2013) Az Orff-koncepció bemutatása. Thesis MA Master's thesis. Liszt Ferenc Zeneművészeti Egyetem.). http://www.andorkapeter.hu/letoltes/andorka_peter_szakdolgozat.pdf 2013.01.07

Bánki, V & Kismartony, K (2004) Útmutató a Zene-Játék 1. című tankönyvhöz. Nemzeti Tankönyvkiadó, Budapest,

Dobszay, L.:(1992.) After Kodály : Reflections on Music Education. Kecskemét: Zoltán Kodály Pedagogical Institute of Music.

Faragó, B. (2010) Pentaton örökségünk a világ népzenéiben Parlando 2011. 53./6. pp. 8-13.

Forrai, K (1988): Music in preschool. transl. and adapted by Jean Sinor. Budapest : Corvina.

Heller, E (2006) The development of musical knowledge and abilities in the lower years of elementary school (Doctoral dissertation, University of Debrecen Faculty of Arts. Debrecen, Hungary).

Orff, G. (1989). Key Concepts in the Orff Music Therapy. Translated by Jeremy Day and Shirley Salmon. London: Schott.

Ruddock ,E & Leong, S (2005) ‘ I am unmusical!’: the verdict of self-judgement. International Journal of Music Education 2005 vol. 23 no. 1 9-22

Shelemay, K. K.. 2011. Musical communities: rethinking the collective in music. Journal of the American Musicological Society 64(2): 349-390.

Stipkovits, F (2012): A Kodály-koncepció és az Orff-Schulwerk összehasonlítása. Parlando 2012. 54/ 6.

UNESCO (2001) “The cultural wealth of the world is its diversity in dialogue

Suggested citation:

Tiszai, L. 2015, March 07. Consonante /Possible Fields of Application.