Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Around the World We Go

If you have spent any time here you know how much I love songs from around the world.  I have two clapping song books from around the world, available from and am working on another book of singing games from around the world.  SO much wonderful material and so many pathways to take with each song. Will it be a focus on beat, a specific rhythm pattern, melodic direction, form, expressive elements.... the list goes on and on!

Today I have a song to go with the book, "Around the World We Go" by Margaret Wise Brown, author of "Goodnight, Moon".

Though I can't include the lyrics, here is the song with a very accessible arrangement for Orff instruments. Create a B Section with word chains using country names and you have a very playable piece to accompany the book!  Enjoy!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Giraffe's Can't Dance - Or Can They?

I love the facebook AOSA page! I also belong to the Kodaly Teachers, and Elementary Music Teachers and several other music teacher groups.  Such a wealth of information and people sharing lessons and ideas!  Just this month I found a wonderful idea using the book,"Giraffes Can't Dance"  by Melissa Burroughs and she so very kindly gave me permission to share it with you. 
Hope you enjoy it as much as my students did!
Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae available here from Amazon.

Day 1

Explore movements on index cards (whole class first), divide into 5 groups for our "Jungle Party"--each group has 4 cards to create a unique jungle dance for their animals. 
Melissa purchased these cards at Dollar Tree recently.

All groups practices together, then time for the party! 

Each group performs by themselves (consider using "Bossa Nova" from 'Rhythmically Moving 7).

With 5 groups and 8 beats between each group (play on drum or tambourine as signal to change groups), this works perfectly.

Students share what they liked about each groups special dances.

Day 2

Explore animal names with one and two sounds (first grade) and animal names that fit into rhythmic building blocks (second).

Compose 4 beat patterns (first) and 8 beat phrases (second).

Teach song add bordun.

Perform in rondo form.


Create story where they tell about one of their animal's adventure; where did it go?  What did it do when it got there? 
Consider use of arioso - sing the story.  

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Beat Stays Steady Beat Stays Same, Beat Does Not Ever Change

Well.. it's a nice saying but not entirely true-- the beat sometimes gets faster and rarely gets slower, but it does sometimes change. But let's not confuse the little ones - beat or pulse in a song stays the same. 
There has been a lot of conversation on several facebook groups I subscribe to about using beat buddies AKA beanie babies or stuffed animals filled with weighted beads.  These lovely critters make an appearance in my classroom quite frequently with my littles - I have Junior Kindergarten - 4 and 5 year olds and Kindergarten kiddos who really love them.

1.  Oh the Horse Stood Around

2.  Knees a Knees a Pizza Pie
Here is a previous post of another steady beat activity I use with my youngest students at the beginning of each music class.

3.  Can You Bounce Me?