Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tuesday Book Club- Favorite Resources- Kodaly and ORFF

Just thought I would make a quick post listing some of my favorite Kodaly and Orff resources that I use for my classroom.  These are books I use for ME- not read to the kiddos.

1. 150 American Folk Songs to Sing Read and Play

This Orange book is the BEST! I just bought it for my student teacher!  It has an index in the front by tone-set and I use it ALL THE TIME.

2. Sail Away

Both of these books are great folk song resources.  They have hundreds of songs written in staff notation with indexes of pitches.  I have used them numerous times to get songs for my retrieval collection

3. An American Methodology

This is basically a Kodaly oriented 5-year year-plan.  It is a wonderful resource when looking for songs, or ways to prepare, present, practice, and play new elements.  (More on the 4 p-s later).  This book goes by concept- both pitch and rhythm elements and lists songs and has TONS if ideas on how to use them kids so the same activities aren't being used OVER AND OVER AND OVER.  I know I have my standby rhythm and pitch activities so this book is helping me get out of my box.

4. Kodaly's 333 and other Kodaly sight reading books

Love these! They are great to put on the board or just for myself to practice my own musicianship skills.  They start simple and gradually add more pitches and more difficult rhythms as the book progresses- they move through the pitches in a typical Kodaly pentatonic fashion- s-m, then la, then do, re, etc.

5. Classical Cannons

This is a book of tricky cannons, organized by difficulty.  Use it to challenge your best groups!

6. 150 Rounds for Singing and Teaching

Kids love rounds and cannons.  Some of these are great for younger ones, some for older. They love hearing the harmonies and it makes the kids feel accomplished when they perform a round or cannon in more than two groups.  I had a 3rd grade student once who, let's be honest, wasn't that into music-  until we did a round in class one day.  He said "This is AWESOME!" and has been a model music student who sings out and loves every minute of class.  Who would have thought that his hook would be when "two or more groups, do the same thing, but start (clap clap) at different times!

7. The Kodaly Method

This is a great introduction to the Kodaly method.  It has chapters on the history, starting young children, starting older learners, expanding their knowledge, etc.  I had to read this book for both undergrad and graduate school and there are great passages in every chapter.  It also has a song index, with songs written in staff notation in the back.  Love it!

There is also a newer book out called Kodaly Today that helps teachers apply the method to classrooms in the 21st century.

8. Simple Gifts

These books are a rare find.  I believe they are out of print.  I have books 1 and 2, and would love to eventually find 3 and 4.  They list songs by concept and have them written in Stick Notation. There are so many songs and you just have to flip through the corner to find your concept.  Book one is basically s-m-l and quarter note, paired eighth notes while book two adds do and re as well as rests and sixteenth notes.  I have learned you can get them from the Silver Lake College!  Awesome!

9. Any book by Lynn Kleiner

I saw Lynn at an OMEA conference a few years ago and man does she have ENERGY!!! Her songs are great for the primary kiddos.  Many of them are either rhythm or play oriented- a lot have notes beyond the primary understanding- but do I still use them?- OF COURSE.  Kids love the puppets and games and FUN that goes along with her songs.  She has Ocean themed books, Farm books, and many more.  She also has GREAT guided listening activities.

10.  Any book by DeLelles and Kriske

These Orff guys are wonderful- not only do I use their Game Plan series (see past post) but I also have many other books by these great teachers.  They have wonderful Orff instrument stuff that I would love to add more of into my lessons. They also take some of the rhythms from Music For Children (by Orff) and give a teacher great ways to use them.

11.  Mallet Madness and Mallet Madness Strikes Again by Artie Almeida

Another great resource for activities to do with the Orff instruments in the classroom.  She uses story books, folk songs, and much more.  The books come with visuals one can copy as needed.  Great books!

I also use many other Orffestration books by various authors for my Orff group and in class.  I really want to use the instruments more next year.  Goal for this summer I guess!

Stay tuned for a succession of posts on the 4 p-s- Prepare, Present, Practice and Play.  I will give sample lessons and other ideas as well.  I only have 2 days left of school so I will have plenty of time next week to write up everything!

Thanks for reading! :)


  1. The Simple Gift books (volumes I-IV) can be found through Silver Lake College (Sr. Lorna Zemke). You have to request a catalog and send in a check or money order but they are well worth the wait. I know what you mean with them being a rare find, for a while I've only had volume IV. I hope that helps! :)

  2. Thank you for that information! A catalogue is on the way- just in time to finish up my Graduate courses in July/ August :)