Erica Marx

Sound Ball

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Sounds are tossed around the group as if they are physical objects. 



let go of thinking and share quickly

accept offers


From Ted's blog

With group in a circle, one person ‘throws’ a random sound to another person in the group. That second person ‘receives’ the sound with the motion of catching a potato or small beanbag and—importantly—repeats as precisely as possible the sound sent to them. Right away, that receiver tosses a new sound with a new gesture to another person in the circle. The zippier the movement of sounds around the circle, the better. As always, encourage active physical gestures to send and receive and remind folks to resist planning ahead for ‘clever’ or ‘creative’ sounds. What comes, comes.

See if participants can keep their attention focused on the sound ball as it moves around the circle, even if they’re not directly involved in the transfer. Move with the ball’s pattern as if you were surfing or serving its “energy.”


Fast Pairs

Once you’ve gotten a few rounds of Sound Ball under your belt, have the group form pairs around the room. Each pair can then send their own sound ball back and forth in rapid-fire succession. To up the stakes, encourage a different physical gesture with each sound sent out. 

Throw your face

After a while in that mode, invite a new facial gesture with each sound. This variation gets good laughs, expands emotional and imaginative range, and builds the ability to pass the ball more quickly. Then, when you get the group back together, the game continues with far greater zip.

Gesture Ball
Each person passes a random word illustrated by a hand or body movement. The gesture could demonstrate the word literally—like slapping hands together with the word ‘Clap!’—or it could offer the meaning more metaphorically, like throwing the hands out to the side with fingers flared and stepping forward with a bright smile to say ‘Jazz!’ In every case the person receiving the gesture ball should repeat the sound and the movement before sending a new combo along to the next person.

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