Greater Tampa Bay Area Orff ChapterPosted on by Randy
Make Practicing FUN!
We want to start this week by wishing our American friends a Happy Thanksgiving! Wishing you a restful weekend with family and friends!
With the holiday season upon us, check out our FUN tips and tricks for getting ready for concert time!
Make Practicing FUN!
Play Watching and Listening Games: Start a rehearsal off with some of these fun activities to get their brains and bodies engaged:
· Follow my hands – wait for the clap!
· Brain Gym:
o Arms rotate in opposite directions
o One arm up and down, other arm reaches up, then side, then down
· Follow my fingers.
· Tap hand for different consonant sounds. Hold for sustained sounds.
· Consonant echoes with movement in hands and fingers.
Share a Video or Recording of the Song: Listening to the song first can be helpful in getting students engaged and excited right at the start. Also, listening to it again later on can help keep students motivated. Use the listening opportunity to discuss some listening elements like form, tempo, dynamics, etc. in the music.
Movement and Actions: Adding actions or movement to your song is a great way to help students remember the words quickly. You can create the movements yourself, as a class, or use choreography suggestions from the song if provided. Another fun way to practice the song is to do the movements and whisper or mouth the words. Denise calls this “Magic Lips”. You can also use the sing/audiate paddle (see image below) to switch between singing the words and thinking the words.
Beat and Rhythm Activities: Tell your students beat is the steady pulse, and rhythm is the way the words go. With your concert songs, try doing these two musical elements in a variety of ways to keep it interesting:
· Keep the beat or play the rhythm using different levels of body percussion (snapping, clapping, patting, or stomping)
· Keep the beat or play the rhythm on non-pitched percussion instruments. Set up hula-hoops with instruments inside and rotate students to the various instruments.
· Switch between beat and rhythm while you sing the song – this can be a FUN challenge! Below is an image of a beat/rhythm paddle you can make and use for this activity:
Body Percussion Echoes: When reviewing the song by rote – add a little twist with some body percussion. You sing a phrase – student sing and clap/snap/pat/stomp the words back. For an added challenge, you sing a phrase and students freeze – they sing it back and walk to the rhythm of the words.
Pull Concepts: Use your concert songs to review and teach other concepts in your curriculum. Try starting off a rehearsal by writing a phrase from the song on the board to practice the rhythm or read the melody.
Finish the Phrase: Sing the beginning of a phrase and ask if anyone can finish it. Use this to go through a section of the song, or a part the students are finding challenging to remember.
Break Time: The students (especially little ones) will get bored if you practice the songs the entire class. Try alternating practicing concert songs with some of your favourite singing games, listening activities, or centers.
Use a Variety of Accompaniments: Try singing the song acapella, with the piano or other instrument, and with a recording track if available. As you get closer to performance time, practice with the accompaniment you intend on using for the concert.
Pretend Performance: Ask the students to stand up to sing the song and “LOOK PROFESSIONAL”. Take the time to discuss what real performers do on stage – watching the conductor, not playing with their hair, not touching other kids, etc. Praise the students who are doing a great job.
Riser Practice and Entrance/Exit Routine: Take the time to teach students how to stand and move properly on the risers. Go through how to move on and off the risers. Try this and practice the song too, reminding students of your expectations throughout. Video Self-Evaluation: If you have time, record the students singing their concert songs. Watch it together and discuss what they can work on and how they can improve before the show. The students can use the following method to quickly self-reflect or use the worksheet below:
· Show me 1 finger if you didn’t sing.
· Show me 2 fingers if you sang, but you didn’t try your best.
· Show me 3 fingers if you tried your very best, and sang with your best singing voice.
~ My beautiful Angel’s were lined up to sing their angel song when we all heard the toilet flush. My lead female actor forgot to turn off her remote mic when she went to the bathroom. – D.W.
~ Right before the last song of a program, a little girl who was in the center of the risers on the top row projectile vomited. The students reacted like the parting of red waters; bailing off the risers to the left and right with a clean split so that all we could see the girl who threw up standing solo covering her mouth. Bless her heart! We closed the curtains and reformed on the floor of the cafeteria and performed our final song. – T.V.
~ My husband is my sound engineer. I forgot to turn off my mic pack during the concert when over the speakers my voice boomed, “Am I hot?” The audience laughed and I heard several responses of, “Yes!” – S.B.
~ I had a child playing an orff instrument who just continued to play on with a smile whilst getting choked from behind the entire song by a student who had a wand with tassels. The choker was trying to give the chokee a beautiful necklace of sparkly tassels and the student’s helper didn’t notice. I’ve also had a student mid song take of their shoes and huck them off stage because they were uncomfortable. – K.E.
~ My third year teaching, I had kinders on stage. Little girl lost her hat and turned around to get it. When she bent over, she mooned the audience. – J.S.
~ During the dress rehearsal for the first Christmas concert of my teaching career, I had a student throw up IN MY HANDS because there was no garbage nearby and it seemed like a good choice in the moment.. not a good choice, BTW. Thankfully, she didn’t have anything substantial in her tummy and another student ran and found a garbage can fairly quickly. Somehow that didn’t scare me away from the profession. – A.V.
~ Early in my teaching career, we were singing at a grocery store in a cramped space beside a gigantic blow-up nutcracker. During the performance, the Nutcracker began to deflate, laying itself across the top of the heads of my choir. The kids were trying their best to keep singing. Then, it suddenly re-inflated, only to deflate across the choir again a few minutes later. This happened repeatedly throughout our half hour performance, but because of the cramped situation, no adult could get to the Nutcracker to stop it. I later found out that one of the kids must have been standing on he cord. A Nutcracker dance I will never forget!!! – A.D.
~ During the concert a little girl in grade primary peed herself because she was so nervous. Then a little boy slipped in it as we were trying to get them off the risers. – K.L.
Students practice more and practice better withe the book/CD. For $10 choose a quality Handel recorder or a Yamaha recorder, the Recorder Resource Student Book and a CD. (also includes email to download CD contents) If you are in the USA, you can get this package from West Music!
Recorder Resource Kit: Includes 38 songs, sequenced for success! BAG ED C’D’ F Includes mad minutes, theory, duet parts (for differentiation or split classes). Reproducibles are given using regular and kids notes notation. Includes projectables!
This set of lessons for spring will give you everything you need to get your PreK classes singing, playing, moving, listening to and creating music. It includes 40+ poems, fingerplays, songs, listening examples, movement activities, instrument exploration, and storybook lessons.MusicPlay PreK Canada Store
Indigenous Singers of Canada
Indigenous Singers of Canada is a collection of rhythm arrangements to songs by popular Indigenous artists in Canada. This resource features 8 Indigenous singers from Metis, Inuk, Dene, and Cree backgrounds, including Tom Jackson, Susan Aglukark, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Shane Yellowbird, and many more.Indigenous Singers of Canada Canada Store
Alto Recorder Resource Teacher’s Guide
This is a beginning recorder method for Alto Recorder with 60+ unison and duets in the book, carefully sequenced so that children will have success in the very first lesson.
The Teacher’s Guide includes projectables, performance movies, optional soprano recorder parts, fingering posters, piano accompaniments, and ukulele/guitar chords.Alto Recorder Canada Store