Monday, February 11, 2013

Mallet Maddness!

After OMEA I finally have time to go back and review Mallet Madness by Artie Almeida!   This book is published by Heritage Music Press which a division of the Lorenz cooperation in Dayton Ohio.  They also have a lot a great SMART board activities and an awesome magazine with tons of ideas and printables so check them out!

Mallet Madness is a great ORFF based book with tons of ideas to utilize ORFF instruments in your classroom. Whether you have 6 or 35 instruments, there is an activity for you.   There is a unique rotation set up in this book so each kid gets to play multiple instruments, whether they be drums, xylophones, metallophones, glockenspiels, or other un-pitched percussion.  

Using these activities you could have students playing many instruments during one class so they don't have to wonder when they might get to play the cool instruments getting dusty in the corner.  This book is set up so students come in and go to an instrument and do the first activity, rotating for different snags, books and games, until the end of class.  This is hard for me: 1 because my room is tiny and 2 because I have no set up time between classes.  I do try to pull out the instruments at leat every other week, if not more, and rotate once during a class, then have the students choose another the next week.  I tend to set up enough for one row to play at a time, and we have a signal for when to switch.

There are 34 activities in the book and there is a volume two with many more.  Each activity has a focus listed in the top right corner, reproducible flash cards, and a lesson plan.  It covers everything from getting started and recognizing instruments to complicated ORFF accompaniments, uses of children's literature and more.  You can now even get SMARTboard files to go with each lesson.     

My 3 favorite activities are the following: 

Crazy 8s- the students start by playing eight beats on their instruments, then they play 7 with one beat of rest, then 6 with two beats of rest, and so on.  I love to then convert this to a movement activity with the song "tell my ma" where students step then freeze on the beats.  It is a super fun activity that can be chaos the first time, but is really cool when they get it together.  

Chinese Ribbon Dance-  I have my students learn to play this pattern (descending la pentatonic scale).  Once they all know the pattern we add words I got from a record (yes a record) I found in my room with the same name.  In the streets of China Town, ribbon sticks go round and round. As the boys and girls do race, all about the market place.   She also has a bass part to add in as well, and a gong!  The next week I pulls down the ribbon stocks and teach the students different motions the can do.  The following week we rotate, 1/2 on ribbons, 1/2 on instruments.  This is always a favorite in our multi-cultural show!  

Rumble In the Jungle-  This is a book by Giles Andreae and David Wojtowycz.  You teach the rhythm "Rumble, Rumble, rumble in the jungle" (I I I I ii ii I I) and analyze the parts.  Then read the book with students interjecting with the rhythm at each page turn.  The next week, have the students at instruments and play the rhythm in C pentatonic.  The first measure hands together, the second alternating hands and ending on home tone C (do).   I like to then extend and change it to "music, music music in the classroom" and have students write poems about instruments we play or songs we sing- forming each classes poems into a little book for my bulletin board. 

All in all this book has so many great ideas for grades K-6 you could do a new one each week and not run out.   It teaches kids about melody, rhythm, and most importantly gets them improvising and composing on instruments that they LOVE to play anyways.  Check out an Artie Almeida workshop if you can, and get her books to get even more great ideas!  You can get the book at most music stores or go directly to the Lorenz site (see link above).  

Have fun with Mallet Madness! 

1 comment:

  1. I love Mallet Madness! Thanks for sharing how you use it!