Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Workshop March 7!

Cue the music.. "I'm so excited.. and I just can't hide it..."!  Our local chapter of the American Orff Schulwerk Association (AOSA) is hosting a workshop Saturday, March 7 in Davidson, North Carolina!  This is a fun one for me as I get to present with my music buddy, Laurie!  I love working and creating with her; we are like two sides of a coin; one of us starts an idea, another one finishes it.  I love creating with her!!  The workshop is called "Putting it All Together:  Sing, Move, Create, and Play.. with ipads, too!"  Should be a very fun-filled, exciting and BUSY workshop!!!  I am very excited about using the ipads and helping others to realize how to use them in the music room and, in particular, using them WITH the Orff Schulwerk Approach.  Have you seen the book, 'Rabbityness"? 
I LOVE this book.  It deals with grief and grieving, in a sweet, subtle way and without talking directly about death or grief.  It is lovely, full of color, and  a gorgeous, vibrantly painted didgeridoo.  Laurie and I had a good cry over pancakes reading the book (Laurie has recently experienced the loss of her mom) and then we wrote an activity that uses ipads, instruments, and we wrote a song to tie it all together.  I am in love with it already and can't wait to share it.  Hope all of you who are local can make it!  http://www.piedmontorff.org/Amiee_Pfitzner___Laurie_Siegel__Flyer.pdf 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Valentine's Roses Are Red with the flu to use with Ukuleles!

So I just began to teach ukuleles two weeks ago.. we ordered them on a Wednesday, they got here on Friday (thanks, Amazon.com!) and I used them for the first time last Tuesday.  A fellow Orff teacher shared how to begin by teaching the story of the Four Little Pigs (George, Charlie, Edgar, Allison) to teach the string names.. kids loved it and the fourth graders remembered today the names of the strings!  Hallelujah! RETENTION! 
I have been working to develop some lessons where students play borduns (first and fifth of chord structures) on Orff instruments AND ukuleles and my last group of 4th graders just left and we had a BLAST!  I used "Roses are Red" set in 3/4; yes, I know most of you are probably saying, "It's 6/8!".  Well, yes... but, for our purposes today we used 3/4 in order to feel STRONG beats in 3 and also because while we experience 6/8, my 5th grade music teachers teach 6/8 and we don't label it in 4th.  :)
So... longer story longer... here it is! 

1.  Sing song, students pat or sway to the strong beat several times, then sing the song.  They will want to add "achoo" after the 2nd verse about the flu.. go for it!  Way more fun!
2.  Review how to play C chord (every other student has a ukulele; we are partnered and I tell them once they've learned it they are the expert and have to help their partners!). Let them just PLAY for several minutes to review how to strum down, etc. and then switch.. I walk around fixing fingers, etc.
3.  Show the slides with the music, talk through how to play only where it has a "C" above the measure, make a grand, STOP gesture or use a STOP sign to show where to NOT PLAY (G7 chords).  If your students already know this, wonderful; mine don't and this was their 2nd lesson in ukes. Switch so 2nd partner has a turn, do same thing (by this time I am NOT singing and only they are.. I'm pretty firm on this!).
4.  Show how to pluck the top string closest to their "chinny chin chins" for the "G7" chord.  Keep holding on to the C chord; don't let go!  Play using C chord and plucking G string (yes, I know.. but they don't know about G strings yet!).  Switch partners, play/sing.
5.  Each partner pair has an Orff instrument set up to play high C and G for C chord and remove bars around low G so they can switch to low G and high G (right hand stays in place on high G bar the entire time).  This will become the borduns the Orff instruments will play for C chord (high C/G) and G7 chord (low G/high G).  Play together with ukuleles, sing, switch, etc.
6.  Now comes the writing portion.  Show the slides new versions of the song and then the slides with the one syllable color words and rhyming words.  Students create new versions, give them about 10 minutes to practice, call time, one final minute to practice, then perform.  They were funny and clever.. some a little raunchy, which we had to discuss, of course.. ugh!  It was a fun lesson, though, and got them writing, singing, playing 2 kinds of instruments, accompanying themselves, and rhyming.. phew!  All in 40 minutes!!  Enjoy!
If you'd like as a pdf email me at musicquilt@hotmail.com

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Liebster Award

Liebster Award

Thank you Beth for nominating me for the Liebster Award! 

- Beth's blog, http://bethsmusicnotes.blogspot.com/ is a rich, abundant resource of folk music and material!  SO many wonderful songs, so little time!!!

 If you don't know, like I did, what a "Liebster Award," is, here is some info: 
It is said that the Liebster award was created to recognize and/or discover new bloggers and welcome them to the blogosphere.

  • This award exists only on the internet, and is given to bloggers by other bloggers.
  • It has German origins – the word “liebster” has several definitions: dearest, sweetest, kindest, nicest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, welcome, sweetheart and boyfriend (really?)
  • It follows similar principles as a chain letter, in the sense that it should be passed forward to a certain number of people.
  • It can be misconstrued, depending upon your personal views, as either something wonderful (who doesn’t like awards?) or as an annoyance (a chain letter that involves work).
  • The choice lies within each of us to ACCEPT it, and continue PAYING IT FORWARD or to refuse to accept it, thereby STOPPING or INTERRUPTING the chain. However, if you stop the chain, you are only hurting yourself (keep reading for benefits you will have)!
  • Personal views play an important part in our choice to participate. Some people have refused to accept it and have made attempts to “break the chain”. There have been many people who have been nominated, yet refused to accept it, and now their blogs have been abandoned.
  • Variations have been made over time to the “rules”.
  • Marketing plays a role in accepting this award, as other bloggers are promoted. (This is not a bad thing, however, since people should help others!)
  • Other awards are a part of the whole “meme“. These include “One Lovely Blog Award”, the “Sunshine Blog Award” and the “Versatile Writer Award”.
The Liebster Award was created to highlight blogs with growing audiences. The rules for receiving this award are:
1. In your post link back to the blogger who nominated you as a thank you and a 'shout out'.
2. Answer the questions that the tagger set for you plus create 11 questions for the people you've tagged to answer. See below for my answers.
3. Nominate 5-11 people (Blogs with fewer than 200 followers) and link them in your post. 
4. Let your nominees know and provide them with a link back to your post (so they can see the rules).
5. No nominating the person who nominated you, however send them a thank you :)

1. Why and how long ago did you start blogging?
I began with a blog when we started the adoption process 10 years ago to adopt our now 7 year old daughter.  A few years after  we came home with our daughter from China, I began the blog (2011).  I am a creative person and I also love to share. I have been very blessed with the resources I have available to me and wanted to share some of my thoughts, observances and resources with other music teachers. I also began presenting more regularly to other music teachers and wanted a way to share those experiences with others. 
2. What one word sums up the heart of your blog and why?
Resources! I am passionate about providing quality resources that are easy to find, FREE (!!!) and that are accessible for children.  It's great to buy books and teacher materials but often times they would take too long to teach, are unrealistic in the amount of parts, rehearsal times, etc.  I have always kept things on the blog free and will continue to do so.

3. Is there something you learned late in your blogging journey you wished you knew before?
I wish I had labeled everything slightly differently and by grade level.

4. What is your favorite past time other than blogging?
Singing, playing instruments, digital scrapbooking and zentangling.

5. How many hours per week do you dedicate to your blog?
Hmmm... it's not really "per week"; it depends on my mood and how much new song material I am ready to share and whether or not it will be part of a larger post.

6. What category of blog posts do you enjoy the most?
Movement and rhythm activities.  Also using literature in the music room with songs or activities I have written.

7. Where does your blog inspiration come from?
Creativity leads to tangible works of creativity; I have to share them!! 

8. Which post that you've written are you most proud of?
It is difficult to narrow it down to one; I did get a TON of response to my
and another favorite
and also the "Five Extra Minutes of Class.. Now What?" post here:  Five Extra Minutes of Music, Now What?
Finally, I really love the Chinese New Year song here
9. Is there any post you have been planning to do, but have been postponing it for a while now?Nope.. can't wait to publish info on my upcoming book!!! :)

10. What's your favorite aspect of blogging?
Making resources available!
Here are my nominees:
Amy Burns' technology ipads page

Monday, February 9, 2015

Maori Song PERFECT for Earth Day or unit on nature or trees

I have a "thing" for New Zealand.. well, truth be told, I have a thing for other cultures.  While researching music for an upcoming book (hopefully publishing late this year!) on international clapping songs, I came across a lovely fellow music teacher and fan of Orff (Orff-fan.. get it?) and she introduced me to a couple new Maori songs from New Zealand.  The Maori people are fascinating and their waiata (songs), while lovely, are often not appropriate to use outside of their culture; prayers, war songs, songs specific to Maori life.  There are several, though, that are powerful and breathtaking and I'm not talking about the haka (war chants where tattoed men slap their chests, raise their eyebrows, open their eyes big, stick out their tongues and clap/stamp).  One of these is Koromiko... truly lovely!
This is a collection of the waiata (folk songs) of Maori:  http://www.folksong.org.nz/waiata.html
Consider also playing some titi torea, Māori stick games.

This is one of the late Hirini Melbourne's nature songs. More info on Hirini Melbourne here: 

Perfect piece to add ostinato; listen for the stick on the backing track.

   Lovely melody, combine with the names of the trees where you live!

About halfway down you will find the song, under resources:


Koromiko, Karaka, Ti Kouka             Lowland Hebe, Karaka, Cabbage Tree
Nga rakau o te ngahere                       The trees of the forest
Nga rakau o te ngahere           The trees of the forest

Tarata, Ngaio, Totara                          Lemonwood, Mousehole tree, Totara
Nga rakau o te ngahere                       The trees of the forest
Nga rakau o te ngahere           The trees of the forest

Titiro ki nga puawai                Look at the flowers
Titiro ki nga rau                       Look at the leaves
He rereke tenei i tena              There’s a difference between this one and that one
He rereke, he rereke                            They are different, all different
He rereke, he rereke                            All unusual, all unique