Thank you for joining me in your local library branch recently for Fairy Harp Music together. I so enjoyed meeting you all. I would love to hear from you and to know what you enjoyed about our Fairy Harp Music session and would love to be sent any pictures of the childrens' responses to fairy music, or the activities below.
Active listening: Any opportunity for the children to listen to instrumental music in an effort to spark their imagination is a worthy endeavour. Saying something as simple as "close your eyes, and listen to the (fairy) music. Can you make a picture in your mind of what is happening in this music?" can be enough to set children on their own inner journey. There are no right or wrong answers when we are simply responding to what the music makes us feel. When the piece is finished let the children share their musical ideas with you or with a talking partner. This can also be a quiet art activity with children simply drawing or colouring in response to the music.
Can the children move their hands along with the music? Can they make themselves taller when the notes get higher and smaller when the notes sound lower? Can the children move/walk to the beat?
The video below features me playing some of the music you heard during our session together.
Links to Fairy Music on Youtube:
Make Your Own Fairy Wings:
Below is a link to 'wikihow' which details three different ways to make your own fairy wings. There are many ways to adapt this activity to your classroom or home setting. :)
Perhaps one of the simplest and loveliest activities is to make a fairy wish. This can be done just with our minds, or by tying a ribbon to a 'wishing tree' or perhaps to make a drawing or write the words of your wish on a piece of paper and display in your classroom or at home.
Make/Design a Fairy Door:
Below please see three simple fairy door drawings that can be coloured in, or used as inspiration to create your very own fairy door! In the classroom, these can be made of recycled cardboard or simply paper. Any materials can be used to decorate the fairy doors - again mixed recycled materials, or crayons.
What materials would you use to make your very own fairy? There are so many ways to make a fairy at home or in the class room! Paper? Card? Recycled clothes? Clay? A feathers fairy? How fun to brainstorm some ideas as a class and to create your own fairy?
Discover your local fairy lore
We are so lucky to have a rich heritage of the fairies / na síoga. It would be a lovely cross generational exercise to discover local fairy stories from your home village / town. Often the fairies chose very special trees (hawthorn, oak etc) and special fields / fairy forts for their homes. Often choosing land on hills and mounds so that they could keep an eye on us. Can you / your class find some local fairy stories? Does an older neighbour / relative have any fairy stories they could share with you / your class?
I have so enjoyed your wonderful questions about fairies, fairy music, fairy harps and fairy stories. Perhaps a class discussion about the fairies might give you a chance to hear lots of different ideas and opinions of the fairies.
Learning to disagree well: Can you come up with a strategy to agree / disagree well? I like to use 'two stars and a wish' when responding to an idea that I disagree with. Can you find two positive / kind things to say before adding how your opinion differs?
The King of the Fairies (The Daghda) had a magical harp called Uaithne who would only play for him and him alone. The Daghda was the leader of the Tuatha Dé Dannan, a mystical tribe of Gods who chose Ireland as their home and lived here for many centuries, protecting nature and enjoying their wonderful fairy music (Ceol Sí). News of the fairy music and magical fairy harp travelled far and wide and many tried to steal the harp - but The Daghda, the original King of the Fairies had a super power: his music put people under its spell! When he played his geantraí (happy song) anyone who listened became filled with joy. When he played his goltraí (sad song / lament) they became filled with sorrow and when he played his suantraí (lullaby) they fell asleep!
The story goes that The Daghda's music was the FIRST EVER music - from his geantraí, goltraí and suantraí all other music followed.
Listening Game: Listen to some Irish music now and vote to decide if your class thinks each piece is a: geantraí (happy song) goltraí (sad song) suantraí (sleepy song) Perhaps instead of raising your hands to vote you can vote by making a happy face for geantraí, sad face for goltraí and fall asleep for suantraí!