Dancing is one of the best ways of listening to, enjoy and understanding music.
When we dance to music we listen to and experience, the pulse, tempo and the structure of a song. We also listen to the different musical elements, instruments and the arrangement of a piece. When we dance our brain is putting all of this information together and also moving our body to the music. It's a full brain and body workout and it makes us feel good too!
Pulse is what makes us tap our toes, clap our hands and move to the beat. It is the consistent beat that we feel throughout the music. The tempo is how fast or slow the music is. When we dance we listen to the different sections that make up the song, moving differently to the verse or the chorus or to any musical elements our ears pick up on. When we dance we are putting all these elements together and moving to them. It's a full-on listening activity and it's great fun!
Below, we have a selection of music to dance to from our Full School Curriculum content, adapted to help families enjoy some dancing at home.
Let's listen to two pieces of music from Irish artists. We will find the pulse by clapping our hands and moving our bodies. Then we will make up a dance move to suit each song. Let's see how each song makes us move different and what musical elements we can follow.
Maybe you can think of a dance move to teach each other, or we can make up our own moves!
Le Boom - Dancing Bug
Le Boom are a Dublin-based duo that make great music for dancing. They use drums and keyboards and loads of electronic instruments to make their music.
Kormac - Scratch Marching
Kormac makes music with many different instruments. He plays drums, guitars and keyboards. In this song he uses turntables and old vinyl records to make all the interesting sounds.
The song is called "Scratch Marching". Can you march to this song? Can you make up another movement or dance to go along with the music?
Now let's listen to a piece of music from Benin in West Africa, beside Toga and Nigeria. T.P. Orchetra Polyrhythmo are a band that play a mixture of funk and afrobeat, a style of music very popular in West Africa. It's great music for dancing to! Let's listen to some of their music and see if we can find the pulse. Start by moving from side to side to the beat and then try making up some dance moves.
Let's watch the video below by Irish dance group,Dance it Out Ireland. They have created a brilliant video to show us some of the most popular moves in afrobeat! Let's watch the video and see if you can follow along. We can then pick our favourite moves to learn.
Ibibio Sound System
Ibibio Sound system are a London based band who use a mixture of electronic instruments together with drums and brass. They make music inspired by West African funk, afrobeat and electro. It's great music for dancing to!
Can you try some of the moves we learned in the video above or can we follow the moves in the video below? We can also make up our own dance moves.