Thanks for stopping by A Family Place. I enjoy working with families, and sharing the power of music with them. Kindermusik provides this outlet for me. This blog will allow me to share thoughts and ideas that can help families in their journey.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pictures/video from Orffestrations camp

Here two additional photos, and another video from the 
Orffestrations camp at Berry College.
The video is a speech ensemble.  A poem is about spaghetti, followed by ostinato patterns about slurping and garlic bread, then all three parts are together.  The children really enjoyed this activity, especially the boys as they "slurped".  The children experience different parts simultaneously.  This type of activity is a prelude for 2 and 3 part singing. 

Friday, June 26, 2009

Orff with children

My last post was about Orff-Schulwerk and my training.  I enjoyed two weeks with other music teachers learning more about how to create arrangements for Orff instruments.  This past week I implemented what I learned as I led an Orffestrations camp for children.  This class met for 2 hours each day at Berry College, and included 11 children, ages 7 - 10.
 Most of these children have prior music experience:  Kindermusik, piano or children's choir at church.   We had a wonderful time making music together.  The children enjoyed being together, singing, moving, playing instruments, and were eager to do their best each day.  As I pondered our accomplishments during the week I came up with the following:

1.  cooperation - working together is an important part of making music & a life skill.

2.  listening & critiquing  - was it too loud? did we hear the singing? was it expressive? did we maintain a steady beat? what did we like?

3.  time & space - as we moved through the room we had to be aware of our friends so that we did not bump.   The same concept is needed in the grocery aisle with a buggy!

4. identifying patterns in music - rhythmic and melodic patterns were presented after singing, moving and playing them!  

5.  steady beat - pulse is most important!!

6.  parts - the children were able to layer up to 3 parts.  We did this in speech and playing instruments too.  The children could play a part on their instrument and sing at the same time.

7. vocal expression - we always wanted to use an interesting voice, as if we were telling a story.

Here is a video that will allow you a glimpse of our class.  I'll post another one later.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

What is Orff?

I am taking my level 2 Orff-Schulwerk Certification. I drive to Cobb County every day for two weeks, and meet with over 50 other music educators. It is the highlight of my summer! Why? Because the classes stretch me, and encourage me as a musician, teacher and person. But what is it? Here is a synopsis:

Orff Schulwerk is a "philosophy" of teaching music. It is not a method. It is a way of teaching the entire child, the cognitive as well as the affective domains.

1. Movement is always first.

2. Body percussion. (snap, pat, pat, and stamp)

3. Rhythm instruments and recorders.

4. Pitched percussion instruments are added and integrated into what we know today as Orff Schulwerk.

5. Improvisation and composition are included in an Orff class.

Orff (named for Carl Orff) Schulwerk (German for School work) takes teachers and students into deeper levels of teaching and learning. Going beyond knowledge and comprehension, students apply their knowledge, often independent of the teacher, through composition and improvisation.

Being exposed to this type of learning, and then applying this new information to my teaching is exhilarting. Helping children express themselves through music and movement is why I continue my education through Orff classes.

There is an Orffestrations class for children ages 7 - 10, at Berry College. The class meets June 22 - 26, and there is still space available!