Sunday, June 22, 2014

So... Where have I been???

In the past year, I've been involved in a variety of education-related activities including tutoring and teaching adults, and blogging has unfortunately taken a back seat.  However, I have been asked on rather short notice to do something that I've always dreamed of doing...  teaching music to children again!!  This will be a summer-long program as part of a "camp-like" activity at a private studio, but I am approaching it like a general music class in a public school.  That seems to be the best approach since I have been given a variety of ages with a variety of experience levels, and I hope to capitalize on all of their strengths in some way.  I am very attracted to both the Orff and Kodaly methods, although I obtained a Gordon certification several years ago from a summer workshop.  I hope to weave elements of all of them together to create an active, fun experience for my kiddos.  We have an acoustic piano and a few keyboards that I plan to use like Orff instruments.  What I mean is that I'm not going to teach a traditional "piano approach" especially since there's not enough for everybody.  I'm going to focus mainly on the moving, singing and musicianship, using particular notes, ostinati and other simple accompaniments to just incorporate them into the group experience.

I just wanted to share a few things that have helped me prepare for my first week.  Believe me, I had a frenzy of seeking, filing, evaluating and organizing potential materials, and trying to decide how to sequence and plan!  I have used a few activities from Mrs. Miracle's Fast and Slow kit, and plan to use the others in the coming weeks.

I have also referred to the book Discover Orff and plan to post more about that in the coming weeks.  Here is an idea of what last week's plans looked like.  (Last week was my first week!)  I'd like to learn to plan better, but this was truly a last-minute, skeleton approach just to keep me on track.  Most of my kids are early elementary schoolers who already know their ta's and titi's.  I think we may have had a class or two before I started writing this stuff down beforehand.  I'd love to hear any feedback you may have.  Yes, I know, I've been shooting from the hip. ;)

·        Sing Hello and warm up our voices
·        Do rhythm pattern work, introduce quarter rest
·        Bee, bee:  teach it, do it fast / slow
·        Engine Engine #9:  Make a train, do it fast/slow
·        Bear hunt:  teach the song.   show instruments, do a picture walk.  Ask which instrument does what and assign them.  Some things done with voices, let students explore, and take parts.  Others who don’t get instruments can act it out. 
·        Add patting and snapping to Workin on the Railroad.  Divide class into those who can snap and those that can’t.  Those who can will only snap.  Those who can’t will only pat. 
·        Go to the piano room.  Review warm-up exercise.
·        Have students take turns improvising phrases on the black keys.
·        Do rhythm cards, but add the rests.  Have students go to the piano to play their rhythms on either same or different notes. 

·        Sing Hello and warm up our voices
·        Do rhythm pattern work, introduce quarter rest
·        Review Bee, bee, act it out
·        Settle everyone down and clap while speaking it.  Then, take away the words and just clap.
·        Bring out cards and pocket chart.  Have students “notate” the phrases in the pocket chart.
·        Review Working on the Railroad with patting and snapping.  Then bring out rhythm sticks and jingle bells.  Give to respective groups and perform. 
·        Introduce kruzdanz, teach and practice the movements.
·        Introduce hoppo has the hiccups. Practice by rote.
·        Move to the piano room.  Have students warm up fingers.  Introduce C and F on the piano.  Have each student at a keyboard, play a C or an F to the pulse.  Then, we’ll sing Brother John while playing to the pulse. 

·        Sing Hello and warm up our voices
·        Don’t forget tonal pattern work with neutral syllables!! 
·        Do rhythm pattern work, with / without quarter rests
·        Review comparing / contrasting bee, bee with Here is a bunny.  Let them hear different groupings.
·        Do Kreuztanz again
·        Hippo Has the Hickups; first experience with rounds
·        Do first listening lesson with Mountain King. 
·        Move to piano room.  Warm up fingers, review C and F

·        Reinforce playing in time singing Brother John