Over and Over

Over and Over is one of my absolute favorite Games for Song.  I remember we had been playing with our eyes closed for almost an hour one time, when I suddenly began to feel my friend Bret breaking out into a smile.  I really don’t know how I could feel that, but with my eyes closed, it was making me smile so much that I could barely contain myself from laughing.  I opened my eyes and looked over at him, and he opened his eyes at exactly the same moment and we both had these enormous grins on our faces.

Stand or sit in a circle when everyone is not too tired.

To get started, play Rhythm Hey or Melody Hey until everyone has a melodic rhythmic motif and is settled nicely in with the group.

Any melodic or rhythmic motif will do, but you will need to repeat it many times precisely the same way, so make sure that it is simple enough to remember and repeat over and over for a long time, and doesn’t require heroic strength or speed.

Once you have all settled on repeating motifs that you like, stop going around the circle with Hey.

Play your motif over and over.  And as you do this, also sing your motif silently in your mind like when playing Sing / Touch.

As you play your motif over and over, try not to let it change. Try to maintain it as perfectly as you can.  If you make a mistake and your sound changes for a moment by accident, then try to incorporate that change into all future repetitions. Continue to repeat this new sound, again resisting changes.

Start by playing for at least twenty minutes, and then keep going!

We play for a long time, and eventually there will become a negative feeling or a distracted thought. That is the important part, so do not stop when this happens. Keep playing! When will the mood change?  When you finally give up on the mood changing.

Play until everyone is smiling. Then take a break.

Over and Over is about the work of attention. Over and Over is easy if you relax and let it roll along.  By starting with Play / Touch, and by asking you to incorporate changes that happen, we make the playing more active.  This makes it a bit more of a wrestling match, but we add this in, because these musical games are even more fun if you have to find your own balance.

In fact, I was playing Over and Over with Jeff Lieberman the other day, and without stopping we rolled right into Make It/Let It.  The two games go together really well, and we had a blast.

If you want to get some more ideas for how to make up little rhythms and melodies, Twelve Count is a great place to start.

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