Listening Activity #5 - The Beatboxer, the Flute and the Orchestra

Many children grow up thinking that there are two ways to play an instrument: the right way and the wrong way. Greg Patillo is one of a number of musicians who prove that an instrument can be played in many different ways and combining many different skills. His most famous video is this one of him playing the Super Mario Theme tune and beatboxing on the flute which has been viewed over 25 million times. Why? Probably because it's fascinating to watch someone combine two different disciplines and play one of the most famous theme tunes of all time. It's important for children to see musicians play their instruments in unconventional ways. It helps to broaden their horizons and realise what's possible, what other people like and that their own musical ideas have value. The fact that Greg is playing a popular song by The Weeknd can help children to see that you don't have to play classical music on the flute or the cello. Just have fun with others, play music you like and don't worry about trying new things!

  • What sounds do you think are possible on your instrument?

  • How has Greg Patillo changed the melody from the original (if at all)?

  • How do Greg and Eric make sure there's a solid rhythm throughout the song?

  • How many different sounds can you hear Greg make?

  • Watch this video of Kenny Muhammed beatboxing with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra... Anything is possible!

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