Monday, November 18, 2013

Chinese New Year and Jewish New Year Songs from AOSA Session

These are the two songs that were missing from our presentation at the AOSA Conference this past weekend in Denver. Use at will but please give credit. THANKS! Xin Nian Kuai Le (Happy New Year in Mandarin, Chinese) Process: • Teach melody with text. • Add “dragon” head movement every four beats; hands beside head like a dragon moving side to side, add other movements as suggested by participants to prep for teaching process of orchestration. • Transfer movements to instruments; perform. • Add “B” section with unpitched percussion. • Perform as suggested or develop alternate suggestions for performance. Tapuchim u'dvash (Jewish New Year Song) Process: • Play BX part for students, asking them to pat heads when they hear the higher sound and shoulders when they hear the lower sound. Once they are comfortable keeping this ostinato, add song. • Teach Hebrew text and melody by rote. • Transfer BX part to instruments. Add AX/AM and SG/AG parts. • Lead short discussion about Jewish New Year and tradition of eating apples and honey for a sweet year. • Brainstorm as many apple varieties as you can think of. • Working in small groups, students create 8-beat speech ostinato with apple words, adding movement with apple colored fabric. • Share group ostinato with class. • Put into Rondo form with song.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

AOSA National Conference!!!

I am sitting in the airport in Denver getting ready to board and so very excited to be going home! I am also very excited that my dear friend and fellow nutty music teacher pal, laurie and I had an awesome experience this morning as we presented "I LIke to Move It, Move It" to about 100 fellow music teachers from around the world! we had 1 New Zealander, 1 German, and EIGHT Chinese teachers in addition to teachers from throughout the US!!!! A HUGE thank you to all of you who came! You were a great crowd at 8:00 am!!!! I will post the music and processes for the Chinese New Year song and for the Jewish New Year song tomorrow! Check back soon!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Winter Rhythms

Still here in Denver and have had a horrific headache today; apparently not uncommon with the altitude! Having an amazing time at the National Orff Schulwerk Conference and so excited to present tomorrow! I had a few minutes and was able to finish a project I started last weekend; snowflake rhythms! Right click on each file, save, and put into a powerpoint. OR, email me at and let me know if you want me to send you the powerpoint. Happy to share! Have students say "snowflake" on each split snowflake and "flake" or "snow" on each whole snowflake! Consider buying some cutouts at Dollar Tree ( I just bought some last weekend that are papery) and giving pairs of students some whole flakes and some cut apart flakes to create 4 beat rhythm phrases they could play on triangles or finger cymbals or Orff instruments set up in C pentatonic.. I sense a song coming on!!! They could even be used by older students for syncopation practice! The "swirls" are rests (have students say "wind" inside their heads!! Enjoy!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Off to National AOSA (ORFF) Conference in Denver!

So excited.. tomorrow, VERY early (6:10AM!!!) I will be flying out to Denver for the National AOSA (American Orff Schulwerk Association) Conference! Can't wait to reconnect, have some time to recharge, and to present at the National Conference for the first time! If you are going, hope you have fun! My session is Saturday AM, 8:00.. yup, bright and early. It's called, "I Like to Move It, Move It" and is mostly a movement session that features a Russian dance (Sasha!), a movement/prop activity focusing on melodic direction to "Aquarium", a piece from the Volumes my co-presenter and I wrote lyrics to called "Whoopsy", the dance "Seven Jumps", a Chinese New Year song/dance/movement activity, a Jewish New Year song and dance, and a dance to "I Like to Move It, Move It". How's that for packing a lot of diverse cultural song material into an hour and 15 minutes? Woohoo!!! We already have 120 pre-registered so its bound to be a high-energy, fun-filled ride Saturday AM! Hope to see some of you there!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Betwixt and Between

I am SO in the middle of things right now.. having just completed Halloween, finishing some fall/autumn songs and activities, and getting ready for our HUGE concert entitled, "Falling Into Winter". Usually our "Winter Holiday Concert" is in December, but I will be having my fourth (and hopefully LAST!!!) surgery this year.. long story.. November 26th! So, our concert is in a couple weeks! We've been practicing for a while now and I love this point in rehearsals.. we add final touches and practice using "Sing Like A.. " cards. So funny! The kids love to pick a card and sing like they are in outer space, or a cowboy, or an opera singer. It's hysterical, and after 6 weeks of practice we are READY to have some fun with the same old songs. Classes are mainly split into 2 parts; rehearsing, and then other more skill-based lessons/songs. I met with my sub last week; reviewed the 52 page sub plan document I created.. ugh... she's good to go, thankfully! Wonderful person and a retired music teacher, THANK GOD!!! I am also getting ready to present (for the first time!!) at the National Orff Conference in Denver week after next AND I have my daughters sixth birthday party next Saturday with about a dozen "princesses". Oh BOY! So I am wrapping things up, getting ready to be on leave until late January, making sure recorders are ready to start in January, making sure lessons "make sense" and at home, wrapping Christmas presents for my daughter and husband so that if I don't feel fabulous, at least things are ready and the responsibilities don't just fall on my husbands shoulders (which is what happened last year as I had emergency surgery mid-December and he had to go searching through the house to find/wrap all the hidden presents). I am ready for this hernia repair surgery, though; been a bit painful. The good news is that I have lost 22 pounds, and am leaving my students in a good place with great sub plans and a great sub! Ah.. what a relief it is! Happy Fall!