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  • Relaxation and movement: Francois Cesari and his music stories for children

    I enjoy the fact that I can open up the infinite world of sounds to a new generation”, states Francois Cesari in an email to us. Since 2015 DAN MOI supports the French jaw harp player and percussionist who was part of the trance music band Goayandi for a long time. His new band project is called Watt The Foxxx. When Francois is passionately talking about a new generation, it’s children aged between 6 months and 6 years that he has in mind. For the last 2 years he’s been regularly sharing sound experiences with them. On this mission, too, the instruments from DAN MOI are involved.

    Francois Cesari with a group of children making a pair of cymbals sound.

    In my music educational work I connect music with imagination. Together with the kids, I make up stories. But we not only talk, the animals and plants make sounds, too, and thereby come to live. If it’s about a turtle, I play the Handpan drum. Then the turtle meets other animals, which are all symbolised by sounds, such as frogs and birds.” The mood and the ideas of the kids play a central role in his approach. Eventually, the kids should be motivated to grab a music instrument themselves, or at least develop a stronger awareness of music and sound.

    Naturally, sound and movement are not disconnected. Francois’ method aims on stimulating the motor skills of the children and animating them to move and dance. Finding tranquility via sounds is equally important. “The babies are virtually hypnotised by the instruments. When they listen to the mouth harp, kalimba, wind chimes, or bells they become quite and relaxed. With the 2 year old kids or older you can do more things. For instance, I use bells, bird voices, Shaker, and Vibraslap. Each sound is assigned to a character and a certain motoric movement in the story.

    A DAN MOI Mouth Harp played by Francois with his former band Goayandi.

    When Francois is visiting a nursery with his program, he is getting maximum attention. The mix of listening, moving, and speaking helps the children to focus. Francois uses the instruments of DAN MOI for many of the exercises. He says, it is really a beautiful thing to see how sensible the children react to the auxiliary percussion and percussion instruments. “Your instruments are inspiring the kids to experience a vast variety of emotional moments: Sometimes, I use the jaw harp like a robot. Then they laugh. The thunder drum is making them awake and they are a little scared as well. They are surprised by the bird voices and they love dancing with the drums and percussions the most.

    The french percussionist Francois Cesari playing a live concert.

    A stimulating and active early musical education is what Francois Cesari desires. He made a lot of good experiences with that approach and he even considers putting it down on paper, so that other people can use it, too. Francois’ lessons are not only well remembered by the children. The teachers and parents are inspired by the playful way of dealing with music, too. They carry on doing some of the exercises with the kids themselves.

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