Monday, August 29, 2011

Workshop Links

For all of you who attended the PNCC-AOSA Best Practices workshop this past Saturday, here are the links Janet shared: (PNCC-AOSA website)

NC DPI (Department of instruction) check out the artswiki

Book Ashley shared: Farmyard Beat by L. Craig

Upcoming workshops:
September 23/24 in Statesville: Gretchen Wahlberg and Sandy Lantz click on pdf for the workshop info.
March 2/3 Donna Marsello-Chiacos at Charlotte Latin School (South Charlotte)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

workshop today!

Our local AOSA chapter, PNCC (Piedmont North Carolina) had a "Best Practices" (AKA Sharing Session) today and several people shared. We all had a great time and I will be posting some notes in the coming days from that session. Check back and SIGN UP (button on the right) to receive email updates when we post. If you have a BIG thing to share just email me (go to "About Me" and you will either see an address or you will find a way to contact me). Hope to hear from all of you soon!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Third Grade Recorder Lesson

This is our second week back at school (!) and my third graders play recorders. They will get their recorders tomorrow and are so unbelievably excited! I used a new lesson to teach Hot Cross Buns (oh that infernal song!) and it was so fun. First I taught the song with solfege, then with words, then added an overhead clap on "hot", a crossed arm snap (at chest level) on "cross" and a pat on "buns". On "one a penny..." they turned around in place. We did this several times, adjusting the tempo each time. The next class we reviewed the song and then partnered up. Each partner group was given a 24" x 3" piece of laminated black posterboard. This will become 8 beats of rhythm the students will develop. Each group is also given a plastic ziploc bag containing quarter notes, paired eighth notes, and quarter rests (each a different color) on laminated 3" by 3" construction paper. On 6" by 3" pieces you can have half notes and half rests. We reviewed the notes and the note values on the board (draw quarter note and an equal sign with 1, half note = 2 beats, etc.). Directions were to work with their groups to develop a rhythm and practice their rhythm. I travelled around the room, making suggestions here and there and once everyone had practiced together a few times, students then were joined up with other pairs to make a group of four. Each partner pair was responsible for clapping and saying their rhythm, not the other pair.
Each groups rhythm became the "B" section for the song. Groups were numbered and the final form was A (song), B (group 1), A, B (group 2), etc. Students then were given an instrument (we kept it simple with groups each receiving tambourines and maracas/shakers) and we performed it again. Truly fun and the kids loved it AND it was a great way to review rhythms, create in groups, easy assessment, and perform a new song that we will transfer next week to recorders! Wahoo!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Song Material

This is a great site I happened upon today- full of song material, not necessarily "Orff" processed, but a lot of good material.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Create AND Organize? Say WHAT?

Although I am an artist and a musician, I also have a very annoying habit of being super organized; my chorus teacher (I teach in a Jrk-12 school and he is in the classroom next door) always jokes that I know EXACTLY where every CD is that is in my collection! So.. here are a few things I try to do at the beginning of every school year... there are always a few things I really want to try every year so I keep a file in my cabinet called, "To Do".. I know, VERY original, dontcha think? Anyway, when I'm looking for something I want to try, or when I find a new song I want to arrange or an arrangement I want to try, I put a post it note on the page and keep it on a corner of my desk; during a free moment I'll photocopy it and stick it in the "To Do" file. In moments of boredom (yes, I get bored easily, too.. geez, aren't you finding out a lot about me today!), I'll take out one of the things to try and plan it into my next week of lessons. This way, I try to work through some new things every school year.
Another thing I've found useful is when I complete a lesson, in my plan book I write a quick note like "don't try this again next year" or "awesome" or "tweak to create B section next year". That way when I'm planning the next years lesson plans I can look back to see what worked well and what I need to change/add/adjust. As previously stated, I get bored easily so I don't teach the same material every year, but I DO teach some of the same lessons and have found certain songs/lessons that are gems and of course, try to improve upon them every year.
Hope this is helpful!