In the house... Composing at Home (Children) >

In this activity you will compose music for your family playing objects that you find around your home, inspired by John Cage's Living Room Music

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In the house...

Listen to Living Room Music by composer John Cage. 

The first and last movements of the piece are played on household objects, such as magazines, a table, books, the floor or bits of the house such as window frames or a door.

Image result for living room music cage

Above is the score. Each of the four 'Players' can choose what household object to use. This means that each performance is different.

There are 4 beats in each bar. In the first and second bar these are broken down into 8 quavers (half a beat). In this activity you will create music for 2-4 people using rhythmic patterns of 8 beats.

For more pieces of music that use interesting objects go HERE

Your turn!

You are going to create music for your family to perform! The idea is to play your music sitting around a table or in the living room. Go around your house and find objects that make interesting sounds - be sure to ask your parents! Choose your best sounds - 1 for each family member participating.  

at home 2

Using the blank scores (HERE word doc and HERE pdf), write the name of each person playing your piece at the beginning of each row. Each row is a different Player and each column a beat. Using counters, seeds or coins create a pattern of 8 beats for each Player. Practice playing your music together, making sure you keep a steady beat. At first, it will help to count to 8 out loud to keep you together. Try playing it at different speeds. It's trickier than you think!

When you are happy with the pattern you have created, mark the pattern on the score with pen or pencil or fill in the word doc and print it out. Now create a second pattern on the second sheet and so on (print as many as you need). Put together your patterns to create a final piece. You can repeat patterns with or without everybody playing. Try with different objects. In the photo above, you can see that sometimes I've asked the Player to play twice on a beat by putting 2 beans in the box.

Record your music and send it to

For the PRINTABLE version click HERE.