Monday, February 4, 2013

3 Favorite Low So songs

I know it doesn't have low so, but in honor of the Super Bowl- can you figure out this little melody?
l,___ d r m_ d____ f____ m r d t, r t,  l, l, l,     l, l, l,

Ok, now to the real post :) Since I began teaching, the lower grades plans have come easier.  I knew more songs for the beginning concepts and had more ideas.  Since I took my Kodaly Levels, I have gotten many more ideas for some upper grade literature and it has helped me be much more successful teaching grades 4-6.  Here are 3 of my favorite Low So songs.  I chose 1 that has a great game, one with a simple folk dance, and one with a partner song/ orffestration.  They each use low so in a different way which is good as well.

Our Old Sow (d-s):  This is definitely a crowd favorite that I learned during a Level 1/2 folk dance day at Capital U.'s Summer Kodaly Levels Program.  The students first learn the song by reading solfa notation off of the board (usually it is just solfa, because there is a dotted quarter note- eighth note pattern in this song.)  After the song is learned we do some "Music Remote" Games (Dropbox Remote Smart File).  Students switch back and forth between solfa and words at the sound of a drum, or visually when I switch the arrow to the other "channel". (I use the remote A LOT- it can be used for solfegge, words, inner hearing, AND rhythms. Sometimes just two categories, sometimes three, and if my students are really up for a challenge, all four.) This preps them for reacting to the drum beat for the game.

Game: Students stand in even lines and connect arms with the people next to them to make a "fence".  One student is chosen to be the farmer, and one the pig.  At the sound of the drum the "fence" switches directions (the students now connect with those in front of/ behind them).  The farmer chases the pig through the maze, not allowed to go through arms and break the fence. If the pig is caught within 3 times through the song, the farmer wins- if not, the pig wins.  After the students know the game well, we bring back the switching from Words to Solfa on the drum beat as well.  When the students are facing the front of the room, the sing words, and when they face the window, they sing solfegge.

(I bring this song back later to teach dotted quarter note and we review the game, this time switching from words to rhythm on the drum beat)

Alabama Gal (d-l-s): Alabama Gal is one of the first Folk Dances I teach. This is definitely a sight-readable song.  It has ti-ta-ti patterns in it, but typically I am teaching low so and ti-ta-ti at the same time so it works out.

Dance: Students start in two lines (traditionally one is boys and one is girls, but I almost never have an even number of boys and girls so I have them choose a partner to stand across from).   For line one, the head couple sashays down the set and back with hands connected.  Phrase two, all couples do-si-do.  Phrases three and four are what I can "Peeling the Banana".  The head couple leads the lines around on the outside, making a bridge for all to walk under.  The students are to connect hands as they go under the bridge.  At the end, the old head couple would be the Last couple, and the previously 2nd couple is now first.   Sometimes I teach this with Alabama Gal Won't You Come Out Tonight and use the latter as a transition song.  I use a recording from Chimes of Dunkirk sometimes, and others I have the students sing.

Early Morn (s-l-d):  This is a song I got from a teacher here in my district- Thanks Tracey!- and I love it!  It has so many instrument parts AND 3 melodies that fit together to make a really cool presentation piece. Only melodies 1+ 3 use low so, but I bring this back later for fa in melody 2 and the dotted quarter-eighth note pattern in melody 3.  The students love choosing to play certain instruments, and successfully doing ALL PARTS together.  Unfortunately, when Tracey gave it to me, it did not come with a source.  If I ever figure out where this Orffestration came from, I will let you know!

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  1. Great post! Do you know the source for Our Old Sow? Thanks!

    1. I learned it in my Level 2 Kodaly Course at Capital University, (Columbus OH) from Bruce Swank. In my notes, I have that he learned it from Barb Sletti at a 1992 MKMEA conference in Indianapolis, IN. Past that, I do not have a book for it.