Discovering the Senses through Music

Canon Barnett TML performance 1

Over the past few weeks, our Trainee Music Leaders have been working with children at Canon Barnett primary school on a project called Discovering the Senses. Last week we were treated to a performance of the highly imaginative music theatre piece that they had devised, complete with brightly coloured wigs, masks and some beautiful singing. Read the story of Mr Sense below and find out how they explored the senses through sound and song.

There was once a man called Mr Sense who lived in a bin. He had a very high squeaky voice and his favourite food was old chewing gum. Mr Sense loved to chase rats, he would chase them with a long stick that he carried around, and pop them in to his brown sack. As well as carrying a stick and a sack, Mr Sense would also wear a cloak so that people would think he was a hero, but it was really to keep him warm in the night, when he’d wrap his cloak around his body like a blanket. Although it might not sound like it, Mr Sense was a nice chap, but wow did he smell!

1. SIGHT: (Narrative)
1. Mr Sense lived in the most beautiful bin you’ve ever seen.
2. Depending on the weather, it would change colour.
3. In the cold it was blurry, in the rain it sparkled and when the sun shined it looked as if it was moving very slowly.
4. When it was both raining and the sun was shining, it looked like a rainbow
5. With lots of different colours.
6. Colours that seemed to chime with every drop of rain…

2. TOUCH: (Percussion)
It was a warm night and a very gentle rat went for a relaxing night walk. However it didn’t know that Mr Sense was on the hunt.

3. SMELL: (Narrative)
1. Now Mr Sense didn’t smell too wonderful, in fact he smelt disgusting, like a bin.
2. It seemed to be the mix of all the nice smells like vanilla, bubblegum, watermelon, perfumes, strawberry and roses
3. That individually smelt lovely but altogether in Mr Senses bin, they smelt very weird, like sweet vomit.
4. What Mr Sense really needed was a very good bath with some very strong soap
5. And so one morning Mr Sense woke up and decided to stroll down to the sewer for a really smelly bath!
6. What an adventure he was about to start, at the beginning of what would turn out to be a very long day!

4. HEARING: (metallophones)
In preparation for his next adventure, Mr Sense went to get some chewing gum from the dirty-rotten floor when suddenly he heard the echoing squeaks from the alley below.
[Echo piece….]
He crept quietly into the alley and stopped. All was calm. He open up his big ears widely, and listened for all of the sounds he could hear.
Cue 0 – Closed fist [Silence. Listen for sounds….]
Cue 1 – One finger [Start whispering the sounds that you hear]
When he listened very closely he could hear the faint scratching and fidgeting of what could only be a rat.
Cue 2 – Two fingers [Make extremely quiet sounds with instruments. Play along at the same quiet level as the ambient sounds you can hear]
He tiptoed slowly and very carefully, following the sound, hoping he would soon see his prey.
Cue 3 – Three fingers [Xylophones play A to F, making very slow footsteps]
The sound grew louder as the rat moved faster in its attempt to escape.
Cue 4 – Four fingers [Faster louder footsteps, now accompanied by the hand chimes]
Realizing that he may not get a better chance, Mr Sense began to chase the rat!!
Cue 5 – Five fingers [Play loudly. Sounds at top Volume]
Cue 0 – Closed fist [Silence quickly followed by Xylophone runs low to high, one after the other]
…But the rat escaped, and scurried away.
It would live to see another day…Canon Barnett TML performance 2

5. TASTE: (Vocals)
It was now the evening and storm was coming. Mr Sense was tired of trying to find a bath. He could hear rats all around him, but he was just too tired to catch them now! The rain was falling hard and sounded like horses running towards him, getting louder and louder and louder, until suddenly the noise STOPPED!

Instantly Mr Sense saw some chewing gum stuck to the floor! He bent down and smiled, as he popped the old chewing gum into his mouth. It was delicious and sizzled on his tongue. It tasted both sweet and sour, and popped with a tangy zing. He picked up another piece and started to chew, but it was disgusting, it tasted like lemons, but Mr Sense was so happy that he didn’t really mind. He may not have had his bath today, but he would have searched high and low if he had to, to taste chewing gum. It tasted sweeter than honey to him!

All of a sudden it grew very cold in the sewers, so Mr Sense quickly ran back to his home in the bin, and wrapped his cloak around him to keep him warm. ‘Maybe I’ll catch a rat tomorrow’ He thought to himself, and off Mr Sense went to sleep. It had been a very tiring day.


I can smell the grass grow,
It tastes like honey.
I can feel the wind blow,
Over London city.
We can see the rain fall,
Can you hear it pitter-patter?
What a beautiful world,
What a beautiful world!


Canon Barnett TML performance 3

We’re currently accepting applications for our Trainee Music Leaders scheme. For more information, head over to our website.


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