CNMN > Projects > Listening & Sounding Games

Dina Cindric

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  • Voice
  • 5 to 12 years of age
  • 13 to 18 years of age
  • Adults
  • Seniors
  • Intergenerational

5-10 minutes per game

  • Education
  • Community associations

Listening & Sounding Games


These Lis­ten­ing & Sound­ing Games are fun and easy games for two or more peo­ple and will active­ly engage par­tic­i­pants in a process of deep­er lis­ten­ing and play­ful sound­ing with the voice.

They are inspired by and adapt­ed from the­atre games, vocal improv exer­cis­es and my work in tra­di­tion­al Balkan singing. Like many folk singing tra­di­tions from around the world, tra­di­tion­al Balkan folk singing is an oral tra­di­tion; the songs, their sto­ries and the ways in which they are sung were passed down from one gen­er­a­tion to the next, learned much in the same way that one first learns to speak: by lis­ten­ing, imi­tat­ing and repeat­ing.

I dis­cov­ered that these three ele­ments were essen­tial to the devel­op­ment of musi­cal­i­ty and pres­ence in my singers and so it is I began imple­ment­ing these games, draw­ing from three forms of singing found in many oral singing tra­di­tions: uni­son singing, the drone, and call-and-response.

These games be used in any set­ting – from the class­room, to the com­mu­ni­ty cen­tre, to the choir rehearsal. I have most­ly used them as warm-ups, but they can eas­i­ly be used as stand-alone exer­cis­es, incor­po­rat­ed into pri­ma­ry or sec­ondary school les­son plans, or even used as spring­boards to new pos­si­bil­i­ties for inter­pre­ta­tion, impro­vi­sa­tion and performance.

The games are an excel­lent tool to get non-singers to sound, but they are also very effec­tive for expe­ri­enced singers who might oth­er­wise be more accus­tomed to singing from notat­ed music or lyric sheets, to go beyond the page and into their sens­ing bod­ies result­ing in a more deeply felt and embod­ied sound­ing that can be car­ried over into their oth­er music-makings.


  • deep­er listening
  • whole-body par­tic­i­pa­tion
  • height­ened senses
  • increased aware­ness
  • ease, con­fi­dence and joy in sound­ing with the voice
  • increased musi­cal­i­ty and presence
  • deep­ened rela­tion­ships amongst group members
  • a greater sense of con­nec­tion and ensemble

You’ll find down­load­able colour­ing-page instruc­tions to each game below.
Print them out, colour them, and share them with your groups!

This game real­ly gets peo­ple lis­ten­ing – beyond the ears. Encour­age par­tic­i­pants to use their eyes to see, their ears to hear, and their bod­ies to feel.

This game encour­ages peo­ple to lis­ten, imi­tate, explore the voice and gain con­fi­dence in their singing. By incor­po­rat­ing ges­ture, this game is very play­ful and fun for young and old alike. Vari­a­tion: Use it as an ice-break­er! Have indi­vid­u­als sing their name with an accom­pa­ny­ing ges­ture, which the group sing and ges­ture back! Up for a chal­lenge: Have one indi­vid­ual sing the call, and anoth­er sing a dif­fer­ent response. This game can eas­i­ly turn into an impro­vised song!

No time to think! This game will get peo­ple out their heads and into their bodies.

There are so many pos­si­bil­i­ties with this game! Some ideas: incor­po­rate it into a per­for­mance; give direc­tions for dif­fer­ent tem­pi or dynam­ics in the walking/sounding; have par­tic­i­pants walk silent­ly and hum when still; try it with­out walk­ing, sit­ting with eyes closed…

This game is great to begin work on tim­bre, into­na­tion, and lis­ten­ing and sound­ing with the whole body,

This the­atre game lends itself well to sound­ing with the voice. Devel­ops lis­ten­ing, pres­ence, whole-body aware­ness and a sense of con­nec­tion. Vari­a­tion: Instead of fac­ing one anoth­er, try it with two singers seat­ed with backs togeth­er touch­ing. Begin by breath­ing togeth­er. Turn the breath into voiced sighs then into sounding.

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