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  • Writer's pictureJenny Ferris

Ministry of Silly Walks

One of my favourite clips from the wonderful Monty Python is the "Ministry of Silly Walks".

It is just delightfully absurd and even after all these years still gives me a good belly laugh.

If you haven't seen it before, treat yourself below:

It wasn't until I considered the connections between movement and music that I realised I could share this delightful clip with my students!

Learning and experiencing music kinaesthetically adds a whole new layer of understanding for our students and can make for a really engaging lesson!

Once students have watched the clip, have them create some walks of their own. You may then choose to explore some musical concepts such as dynamics, changes in tempo, articulation or even exploring timbre or musical style & genre.

Create a playlist of varying musical works which you will cycle through during the course of the lesson. Have students respond by altering their walk to fit the music. In the early years, this may be as simple as finding the beat. For older students you may want to challenge them to build a word wall describing each piece of music after walking to it (eg. allegro, staccato, frantic etc).

Some pieces I have used that you may consider include:

- Sabre Dance by Khatchaturian

- Gymnopedie No. 1 by Satie

- Dance of the Knights by Prokofiev

If you are teaching a Performing Arts program (rather than just music) and need to make connections to the drama curriculum, this is a great way to build characterisation through physicality! Have students create a walk, then associate character descriptions to that walk - is their character bold? Angry? Downtrodden?

Most of all, enjoy the odd looks as you lead your silly walk parade back to the classroom!

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