Saturday, December 7, 2013

Elf on the Shelf Speech Piece with Ostinati and Possible UPP

So.. don't laugh.. last night I woke up at 1:45 AM with this ostinato (#1 and #2) running through my head! We had just tried a few new Elf on the Shelf things with our daughter... we love our elf, Eeewee! Most of my students have an elf and so this will be fun to try with them! I couldn't get it out of my head so had to get up out of bed (now 2 AM!!!) and write it down; well, once I'd done that I couldn't leave it alone so had to write a little poem to go with it for an "A" section and a third ostinati. So many possibilities to play with; write a little BAG melody for recorder students to play the A section instead of speaking it; review sixteenth and eighth note patterns, play on boomwhackers, develop pentatonic melody in C and accompany with Boomwhackers; play ostinato on Orff instruments in small groups set up in C pentatonic, improvise melody using rhythm of A section, use C, E, and G for ostinato parts 1, 2, and 3, etc. As you can see, once you get going the possibilities are loaded! Have fun!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Surgery Update

Yup! I am alive and well... With about 25" of new incisions and glad to be getting out of the hospital tomorrow after seven days in here!!!!YIPEEEE.... HOME!!! I have a couple things I have been working on for after the New Year and will post very soon!

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!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Halloween Rhythms with Sixteenth Notes.. for 3rd/4th/5th grade

This is along the same idea as the previously published Halloween Rhythm Slides for 2nd grade only this time with sixteenth, sixteenth and eighths, eighths and sixteenths, quarter, and eighth note rhythm patterns. There is a PDF available (email me at OR save each slide (right click, save as) and then insert into powerpoint. SO much fun.. my third graders just learned sixteenth notes about a month ago so this is great practice for them. See previous post below about how to use with manipulatives and heart chart and have a little contest in the classroom or just use for self-assessment. See the 2nd Grade Halloween Rhythm slides. Have fun! Enjoy the weekend! It's cold here in NC! Heading to Denver in a couple weeks for the National Orff Conference- first time presenting there! SO excited! Hope to meet/see some of you there!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sing Me A Monster

I love Halloween songs and music, but I'm always looking for ways to encourage solo singing. Some groups of children are amazing, and others, well.. *sigh*... it's a struggle to get them to use their singing voices as a solo; sound great together, but then there are those groups or children who LOVE to talk but are shy about their singing voices, particularly as a solo instrument. I encourage and we do a lot of solo singing and was so excited earlier today when I had my first graders who LOVED singing a monster! I am a digital scrapbooker and, as such, have quite a large collection of digital graphics and images. You can find lots of VERY cute monster images on google by doing a search for "cute monster images" or "monster cartoon image". These were the ones I printed, laminated, and cut: Here are a few to get you started: First I showed the students a monster card and I talked about the details, then using "Sol and Mi" I sang a short song about the details. Do this a few times with more monster cards, then give each child a monster and ask them to notice the details; how many eyes, hands, what color, big, small, dots, smiles, etc. I let them show their monster to a neighbor but ONLY 1 neighbor, otherwise, keep your monster "classified, top secret". Use the toy microphone (thank you Dollar Tree!) and the teacher sings, "Sing Me a Monster" on "Sol Mi Mi Sol Mi" and the student sings back details about their monster. If a child is too shy, ask them what details we could sing about, then the teacher sings and the whole class echoes the teacher. After each child sings about their monster they show it to the "world".. giggles, snorts, and whoops and hollers! Have fun!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Halloween Rhythm Dictation slides for Powerpoint (Quarter and Eighth Notes)

I made this last week for my 2nd graders and we had a great time using it! Let me know if you'd like the pdf instead of the pictures.. save into a powerpoint! Teaching process is on the bottom, as is a printable 4 beat heart chart (soooo awesome.. not sure who to credit this idea to but it works like a charm!). Use the manipulatives suggested (small Halloween erasers from Target dollar spot) or make your own! Great to use as a self-assessment!