Sunday, August 10, 2014

Books and Music

On the Facebook AOSA (American Orff Schulwerk Association) page I noticed a lot of chatter about children's literature and music... sometime this week I am going to put a much larger post out here about how I organize and cross reference books and skills (yes, I keep a document.. necessary evil) with grade levels.  It really helps; took a bit of time to do, but it is oh so helpful.  One thing to get started.. take all your books you use and the lesson you have developed or the one from that fabulous workshop you went to last year, photocopy it and make an envelope that will fit on the inside cover of your book.  Use packing tape to tape the envelope to the inside cover or, if your lesson is small enough, tape it directly to the cover.  If using an envelope, fold your photocopied lesson and tuck it in the envelope; now you always have the lesson and the book together! 
I also keep the books on my bookshelf in the section labeled, "Book with Music Activities".  For the books I use with Artie Almeida's "Mallet Madness", I have a separate section with that title so I know where these books are.  I also have books that are songs and these are organized alphabetically.  Halloween/Fall books are by themselves and labeled accordingly, as are Winter/Christmas/Hanukkah (oh and check out Hanukkah Hop! GREAT book), and "Books About Music".  I have found this system works sooo much better. 
Several to buy AND are great with subs; I record myself singing them and put a CD in the front inside cover.. they each take about 6-7 minutes to sing.  I also have some where I have students use UPP and after each number they play that number on their instruments then rotate.. great for a sub!  I also love the illustrations on Over in the Jungle and Over in the Ocean- these aren't your typical paintings, kids!  The artist used polymer clay.. the colors and details are simply amazing!


  1. I have the Hanukkah Hop! How do you use it in music class? I love the book, but wasn't sure how to incorporate it with music other than world holidays.

    1. I read it and then we create word chains with Hanukkah themed words and use it as a "B" section to "Haida" song. We complete the class by dancing a Hora or another Hebrew folk song.

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