Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Great Big House in New Orleans with Student Created "B" Section

I've always loved this song since learning it during Orff Level I Certification. I was looking for another song to perform at our "Holiday Concert" which is in mid-November this year (usually in early December). So, I came across this song the other day and was so inspired by the use of the words, "pumpkin pie". I had quite forgotten about that part of the song and so I came up with a "B" section students can develop. My kiddos loved creating new "pie flavors". Have fun with it!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Inspired.. Another Center/Rotation Idea

I came across another blog the other day- have seen it before but was truly inspired by one of her ideas. She (blog can be found here: a Smart Board designer, teacher, trainer, guru and teaches in a 1:1 ipad school. Wow! I saw one of her ideas and really loved it. I re-created some of what she had, changed the wording and idea to fit my classroom and here it is! This would make for a GREAT addition to the centers/rotations and allow for a great deal of creativity! I showed it to my art teacher this morning and she is going to do something similar for her rotations! Wahoo!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Winter Vocal Exploration

I just added these on my TPT store, but for those who'd like a few "freebies", here are 4 from the collection! Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Creepy Crawly Spiders Song

Creepy Crawly Spider song with simple Orff arrangement using Sol, La, and Mi, quarter, eighth, and quarter rest notes. Save as a picture file and then create a Powerpoint with these. Printable using cute (NOT SCARY) spider "notes" to create alternate B section or practice using rhythms. Perfect for Halloween; no mention of "Halloween" or anything scary! Enjoy!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

How I process and plan a concert...

So usually our Holiday Concert for our Lower School ( I teach in an independent, AKA private school) is usually in December. However, this year I am having my 4th surgery (and hopefully FINAL one) at the end of November so we are going to have our holiday concert in early November. I am calling it "Falling Into Winter". I typically begin with a concert theme or title; not a whole lot of creative options with a holiday concert, although one of my favorites was "Songs of Night, Songs of Light" and we performed many songs about the moon, stars, starlight, and songs using, as one of my students said, "sparkly sounds"; glockenspiels, cymbals, and jingle bells. It was one of my favorites! Once I've settled on a theme, I then have to find or write music for that concert. This year I wrote an opening song with the concert title. It's a play on the word "falling" as both leaves and snow falls. As the concert is early in November, I begun this past week practicing a few songs with each class, then gradually, as students become more familiar with these songs, I start to add a couple more, then as these become familiar, we add more. Typically I review these at the beginning of class as a "warm up" and then we move into more complex (and lengthier) lessons involving a rhythmic or melodic concept, etc. Often once we start to learn a song, I will find that it might be "too" easy a song for the children, so I'll add a more rhythmic part on unpitched or Orff instruments to the orchestration. I keep in mind that what is added needs to challenge the students growth and use something that will focus on a concept (syncopation, half notes, etc.) that I can use as a practical application of a skill. Programming for me includes some novelty or fun songs, something in Hebrew (see my post last year about performing traditional Hebrew folk songs instead of contrived Hanukkah songs), something to do with "light" or candles, some more serious material for older students, and an audience participation number that I call "Surprise" in the program. Last year I used "Sleigh Ride" which the students rehearsed and at the concert I taught parents. It was hysterical and everybody loved the activity!!! I always find concerts and performances to be fun for all, and I really do love to create music or make a twist on something "old". Happy concert planning!