Thursday, October 11, 2012

Creepy, Spooky, Scary.... Leaves?

I love fall- everything about it- pumpkins, the smells of cinnamon and nutmeg drifting around, the crisp, cool mornings and the songwriting. Huh? Whatcha talkin' 'bout? Well... for me, October is when I start writing and arranging what seems like a gazillion pieces of music for our Winter Holiday (AKA Christmas) Concert. I love to write and am in the middle of putting the finishing touches on several Orff arrangments/songs I have written- I'm pretty happy with them and am going to TRY to find some time to put them in Sibelius and put at least one of them on here for you. My schedule is a *little* busier than last year. haha!
Speaking of fall, though- have you ever sung/played "Pass the Pumpkin"? I would love to post pics/videos of my kiddos doing it but I teach in a private school and can't post pics of my students on public blogs, etc. due to privacy issues with some of our more well-known kids parents, so check out this video: My process is as follows: 1. Teach song- students discover stead beat and patsch; on "ooo" wiggle hands, on "you" clap 2. Set up your classroom as a rotation of rainsticks, gongs or metals, and Orff instruments. 3. Transfer patsch to bordun of D and A (play long D and long A together at the same time to the beat). Transfer "ooo" part to rainsticks, and "you" part to gongs and metals. All students practice ALL parts. 4. To select who is going to play the first instrument in the rotation, students all sit inside the circle of instruments, sing song in a circle, pass the pumpkin, 1st time on "you", ONE student goes to an instrument, does NOT PLAY... this is only to determine who is going to what instrument, not to play YET.. we'll get there. Next time on "you" the student who had the pumpkin last chooses someone else to go with them so you'll have 2 students going to the instrument, sing again, on "you" the student who had the pumpkin last chooses 3 friends to go, etc. Keep adding numbers so you can get everyone to the instruments and then rotate through playing the instruments and singing; this way makes it easy as all students play the same amount of times. We usually rotate through every instrument- singing the song over and over.. drives me a little crazy to hear it that many times but they LOVE it!!! Check back next week for a mixer dance to go with "Pumpkin, Pumpkin" . UPDATE:  Mixer Dance link is here!


  1. What a fun passing game, and a great way to use the rainstick and gong - 2 instruments my students seem to ask EVERYDAY if they will get to play them! :) What is your source for the song? I'd love to use it, but couldn't quite understand the lyrics on the video.

  2. Hey Mrs. Ratcliffe-
    Source- not sure but I think this is a traditional song w/o a known "author" or composer. You should be able to right click on the picture of the music and save it. If not, the lyrics are "Pumpkin, pumpkin, round a fat, turn into a jack-o-lantern just like that". Have fun with it!!

    1. Unfortunately I can't find the actions to go with "Pumpkin Pumpkin round and fat"...would you happen to have a link where I can see them?

    2. Here is the link: Let me know if you have any questions and thanks! :)

  3. Replies
    1. While i would like to be able to post a video, i teach at a private school and have several celebrity and well known parents. Due to privacy issues, i cannot post pictures or videos of my students. There was a follow up post to go with this. Were you able to get the directions?

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.