Monday, July 29, 2013

Singing Games post 1 :)

Lucinda, our WONDERFUL teacher
Alright.  So we had 6 hour long classes where Lucinda Geoghegan from Scotland taught us SO many games.   My plan is to give you two posts now (week 1 and week 2) with the song and game info as an index of all the games she taught- where they originate, basic info about them and attach her handout via dropbox. If I already use the song to teach a concept I have put the concept in parenthesis.  Some I have not retrieved yet so I haven't decided what element they would fit best in my classroom.  On the handout is staff notation of all the songs as well as game directions.  Then, as I teach some to my students I hope to post videos of us playing.  I think this will be the best way to get them all out there.  She gave me free reign to share any way I can!

Many of the games she taught and then we put them into cannon, put parts of the songs into our "thinking voices"or changed directions/ partners, etc.  She was great and continually making the games harder and harder for the kids so they don't get bored!  Kids don't always want to do the same thing over and over and she taught me so many ways to differentiate and continually challenge my kids.  Be sure to push the classes that can handle it.  These games are so fun!

Tip: For the tricky dances or partner clapping games I have eager students come in at recess to learn it first BEFORE I teach it to the rest of the class so they can help me demonstrate.

If you want directions to many of these games- check out her book! All of these songs and games are
copyrighted in the Singing Games and Rhymes Series published by the National Youth Choir of Scotland.  (Get it here).  I LOVE this book. Seriously. Get it.

Week 1:

Hi-Lo Chickalo- This is a partner clapping game.  First you sing it as written and then sing it "backwards"  To extend you can have students stand in a circle facing a partner, and then turning around on the last beat of the song to have a new partner the next time.  You can also have 1 student sing the Hi-lo version, while the other sings Lo-hi.

Double Double This This- Another partner game.  She had us standing in a circle and switching on a signal or saying certain words in our "thinking voice".

Apple Tree (do)- A circle ball passing game where students pass to the beat, but are to pull their hand away on the word OUT.   If they don't pull their hand away OR pull it away at the wrong time they go into the dungeon for one round.  Add more balls or put it into the thinking voice for more of a challenge.

Sheep in the Meadow- This is a game to get to know the students birthdays.  They sing the song then tap on their legs as they say each month.  They STOP tapping on their month.  Have the students put the months into their thinking voice then find others who were born in the same month as them by watching around the circle as they think the months.

Land of the Silver Birch (Low la)- This is a tricky partner clapping game that is REALLY cool when done in cannon.  I was really excited about this one because my students know the song but no game.

My Paddle's Keen and Bright (Syncopa)- Canada Same as Silver Birch in that it is a tricky partner clapping game that can be done in cannon OR you can have students stand in groups of 4 and each line is with a different partner (person to their right, person to the left, person across, etc.)  I am so eager to teach this one because my game for this song is a pretty basic passing game.

London Bridge- Very similar to what we all know and love instead of someone getting out, on the second verse those across from the arch (which was chosen during the 1st verse) walk under the arch never letting go of hands to turn the circle inside out.

Go Round The Mountain (m-r-d)- This can be a concentric circle song OR a stick game.  Both versions are very fun and take a lot of thinking for those in 3rd grade.

Hot Potato Pass it On- This is a stick passing game that changes directions.  Very fun!

Bells in the Steeple (3/4)- Double stick passing game in 3/4.  Always looking for 3/4 songs!

Naughty Pussy Cat (s-l-s or s-f-m-r-d)- Maze chase game- similar to Our Old Sow if you know that game.

Epoi Tai Tai (syncopa and whole note)- New Zealand Mauri SongSame version as I know only we stood in a circle facing partners so we could change partners on the last beat of the song.  This is a great one for putting certain words into a thinking voice.

Circle to the Left (tika-tika)- Circle Arch game.  Those who are caught under the arch become a second arch.  There are continually more arches each round until only 1 student is left who is NOT an arch and they get to run through the arches as fast as they can :)

Wash The Dishes- 4 person "basket weave" game.  Very cute for the young ones.

Four White Horses (low so)- Neat version of this game.  My friends and I changed it a bit so I will be posting a separate post on my new version that I will teach from now on that involves changing partners, etc.

Round and Round (bom makeleli)- Name game with ball bouncing.

Acha Bacha Chant- Ball passing game- ball changes directions at end of each line.

Good Day to You (dipi du)- ball passing game with changing meter (3/4 2/4)

Down the River- ball passing/ ball bouncing game.  Can be done in cannon with 2 circles.

Check back soon for a week 2 overview post and possibly one with info from the 20 minute session she will be giving later this week!

Again, if you want directions for all the games, instead of just an overview of what the game can teach, all of these songs and games are copyrighted in the Singing Games and Rhymes Series published by the National Youth Choir of Scotland  (Get it here).

Sunday, July 28, 2013

4 Games I learned in Musicianship/ Solfegge

Dr. Arpad Toth teaching :)
Bit of advice before I start this post.  If you ever come to Hungary and feel you were placed into the wrong solfegge class- SWITCH! I chose not to switch and the class was way too easy for me.  The test was based entirely on dictation which is not my strength, but the class moved pretty slowly for me. With that being said- I loved my teacher, Arpad Toth, the whole time.  He had a great personality and always told us Kodaly was crying in the Heavens when we couldn't get something (and then that he was smiling when we did get it). He was very good at differentiation and would make separate worksheets for those who needed more help on dictation, intervals, etc.  I got a lot of new Renaissance music I can use with my students AND the last 2 days of class we played games that worked on our gained skills and I had a lot of fun with them.  Some could be adapted for Elementary school- some are more suited for middle and high school, but I thought I would list my favorites here.

1.  Evolution
         This game is a variant on Rock- Paper- Scissors where everyone starts out as a plankton and has to work their way up to Human.  To do this, each "animal" has a melody.  You have to find someone on the same stage of life as you (singing the same melody) and play them in Rock-Paper-Scissors.  If you win, you evolve- if you lose, you stay the same.  At the end there should be one left of each of the 4 animals preceding Human because they won't have been able to evolve past this stage.  
The animals and 4 beat melodies are:         
        Plankton (d_-s,_)                          
        Fish (ss-mm-ss-mm)
        Chicken (s-sss-s-s s-sss-s-s)
        Monkey (s-s- d'_)
        Human (s-m-d_) 
To make it more fun (and easier to find someone in the same stage of evolution as you) you can add motions to each of the animals as well.   (Swimming for Fish, wings for chicken, etc.) 

This game encourages kids to sing "alone"- knowing their melody, and singing it loud enough to find a friend.  But really- it is everyone singing at once- just all different motives.  

2. Scale Snake
           In this game, you stand in a circle and sing scales up and down.  In my class I would probably limit to major and minor (la based).  Students each sing one note of the scale and sit down if they were the one to sing the 2nd half of a minor 2nd (t-d going up, but d-t going down, and the same for m-f).  Last person standing "wins".  This game is just to practice knowing where minor seconds fall in a scale and the winner is determined purely by luck.  It also practices inner-hearing, because students have to be able to find the next successive scale pitch without singing all of the notes. 

3.  Interval Dash
           Students are seated in a circle with one person in the middle.  The child in the middle is the leader and sings an solfa note (from a given scale) to someone in the circle.  The person sung to then has to sing a perfect 4th above the given note. If they are right- the person in the middle moves on to someone else.  If they are wrong 2 things can happen:  If the sung interval is totally wrong, everyone makes a mad dash for another chair, last in the middle is new leader.   If the sung interval is a perfect 5th rather than a 4th, just the 2 students on either side of the singer change places.  The person in the middle can try to dash for a chair ANYTIME one becomes free.  In this game it is important to tell students they MUST TRY to sing the correct P4 interval.  Even in my class of adults, we had students singing things like d-t, on purpose so everyone would get up and switch chairs.  

4.  Zip-Zap-Chords 
            Students are standing in a circle.  Prior to this game, the blues progression will be common knowledge.  To play the class collectively sings the blues progression (or just part of it, like the final 4 chords V, IV, I, I).   Here's how it works.  One student sings the root of the chord while pointing to a second (hands together above head, brought down as he/she sings).  The student pointed to (student B) sings the 3rd and puts his hands above his head (hands together).  The students on either side of student B then sing the 5th while "chopping" in towards student B.  Student B then sings the root of the next chord in the progression and points to another.  The game goes on in this fashion.  I hope to make a video of this game when I get back to school, because it is slightly confusing to just read.  The motions are not truly necessary, but give the game a ninja feel which the students have been pretty into lately.  They also help keep of track of who sings what- feel free to make up your own motions that work for you. 

Stay tuned for singing games posts- there will be a few because Lucinda taught us so much! 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

10 Elementary Pedagogy Week 1 Goodies

For the past week in Elementary Pedagogy in Hungary I have gotten so many new ideas!  Some may seem obvious but were light bulb moments for me and others I would have never thought of myself.
Below are a few of my favorites.

1. Felt Staff
         Why have I not thought of this before??? I use dry erase staffs and many other manipulatives, but a felt staff {with pockets} can be so much faster for simple melodic dictations.  The felt notes "stick" to the felt staff so the student can hold up their work to show the teacher and you don't have to worry about a marker being dried out, students taking forever to make sure their note heads are perfect, etc.  The pockets hold the note heads so you don't have to worry about plastic bags, etc.

2. Solfa Apartment Building
          For a while I have been using Solfa Street when presenting new notes.  Bori used a Solfa House/ Apartment instead and I love it.  Do lives on the first floor, re on the second, etc.  This really shows the relationship between notes (step or skip) and transfers right to a set of solfa steps because there is no elevator in the building.  :)  (The steps where half steps are in music are drawn smaller)

3. Cat and Fish
           This is a game for very simple pitch recognition after students have learned LA.  The teacher has a picture of a cat and another of a fish.  The Cat can only sing s-m-s and the Fish can only sing s-l-s.   The teacher sings 1 melody and the students have to say which animal is singing.  The teacher can then make it harder and make 2, 3, or 4 phrases in a row (cat, fish, cat cat [s-m-s s-l-s s-m-s s-m-s]).  Students can also lead.

4. Hot Crossed Buns
           Everyone knows this song, but Cyrilla added movements that help show the contour of the song and made it a little more fun.  Students clap above their head on HOT, pat a partners hands on CROSSED, and pat their legs on BUNS.  On "one a penny, two a penny" students roll their hands in front of them (getting slightly higher for the 2nd phrase when the pitch changes).  I love this because it is an un-concious way to show the changing pitches of the song.

5. Solfa Ship Distress Signal
          A classmate came up with a really fun idea for after students have just been presented a new note.  Students get into groups of 3 or four and they are the captain of a solfa ship.  They are required to come up with a secret signal to send to another ship using only handsigns.  The other ship must decode and sing the message, then send one back.  This is very similar to the way ships actually communicate with flags or morris code.  I have been trying to think of extending this and making it some sort of musical battleship game but have quite figured it out yet.  When I do there will definitely be another post!

Some other random things are:
1) Always tap the pulse when inner-hearing or playing a rhythm type game (or have a student do it) ESPECIALLY when passing rhythms in a "telephone" like way by tapping it on the shoulder of the person in front of you.
2) To not only sing patterns for students when looking for a new note, but play patterns on various instruments (piano, recorder, orff instruments, etc).
3) When asking students to figure out the solfa of a song- don't always have them start at the beginning- especially if the end is super easy and can lead them to be successful in the rest of the song.
4) Have students demonstrate A LOT.  Try to choose successful students to sing on Solfa alone, or read a rhythm aloud many times a class so they are used to it.  Have the whole class do it together, one or two solos, then the whole class again.   If the student is incorrect in any way you can ask the performer what they noticed about their version that is different from the teachers.
5) The question: WHAT COMES BEFORE SOUND??? (the answer is silence).  This is a great way to get kids to be quiet :)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Musical Signals (Vocal Instruction Cues)

Yesterday in Elementary Pedagogy Cyrilla Roswell, an amazing Kodaly teacher from the UK taught her first mock lesson for us (check our her book series here. It is like GAME PLAN but Kodaly based). She used a really great tool for giving instructions that I will definitely be implementing into my classroom in the fall.  Musical signals were given as instructions and she can sing quite a long melody (on a neutral syllable) to her students and they know EXACTLY what to do.  It blows my mind.

I plan on starting this by singing the actual words, and slowing moving to a neutral syllable as they get used to them.  It also will help later with intervals and patterns because some will be recognized right away.   All of the signals are below.

s-d' ~ Stand up

s-d ~ Sit down

s-f-m-r-d ~ Come and sit by me

s-s-m-l-s-m ~ Find yourself a partner

d-r-m-f-s-s ~ Come and make a circle

d-m-s-d' ~ Find your own space

A longer post to come this weekend on more specifics of fun games and such that I have learned so far in Elementary Ped.  from both the teachers, Bori and Cyrilla, as well other other classmates.

NOTE:  In the picture of the African song in the last post (here) there was some incorrect solfegge.  What I typed works, but when we sang the song again in class today I realized there were a few mistakes.  Check it out again and be sure to catch the corrections at the bottom.  I was unable to change the picture at this time, but have given the word and new solfa below the picture.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

First Few Days in Hungary (and an African Song!)

Just wanted to give an update on Hungary so far.  Everything has been so great 

I arrived to Budapest fine, but when I got there I realized both friends I was 
supposed to meet had been delayed and I could not figure out how to get to the 
train station by myself with the language barrier (and not sleeping for 24 
hours).  I decided to wait about an hour and half for Krissy who was delayed and 
we figured it out together... kinda.  First the machine for the bus tickets to 
get to the train ate our money, and then when we finally got on the bus, we 
missed our stop so we had to walk along the side of the road about 1/2 mile to 
get where we were supposed to be.  Then, because of delays, the train tickets we 
had bought online were no longer valid so we had to get new ones, now without 
reserved seating.  We stood for a lot of the ride until some nice people let us 
into their car.  Turns out the were part of the program we are in! One is a 
student with me in all my classes, and another was the level 3 musicianship 
teacher.  They helped us get off at the right stop and then showed us to the 
Kecskemet Town Square.  From there, we were pointed in the wrong direction to 
our hotel by a local so we got a little lost, but found it fairly quickly and 
that detour helped us find the institute and church where our classes are.   
Since then everything has been awesome.  We have class from 8:45-6 (but with 2 
hours for lunch).  

I was a little discouraged at first because I tested into Level 1 musicianship, 
even though I have taken 3 levels in America already.  I was going to switch to 2 but my 
Level 1 Teacher, Arpi, is super fun and I am getting a lot of songs that I can use with 
my kids.  I work with a small range for my students (do, re, mi, so, la) and the 
Level 2 (which my roommate is in) is using the entire scale (do, re, mi, fa, so, 
la, ti, do plus altered tones) which wouldn't transfer back home well, even 
though it would make me a better musician.  SO, I am doing Katie's homework with 
her to get the Level 2 musicianship training, while still staying in level 1 to 
get songs and hone weak skills (like dication).  See the end of the post for a great African song we dictated in Musicianship! 

Elementary Pedagogy is super fun and I am learning new songs and ideas (and 
getting harder musicianship training than my musicianship class...).  There is a 
Hungarian teacher (Bori) and a teacher from England (Cyrilla) who team teach. So far in this class it has been a little lecture on the Kodaly Philosophy with some s-m, ta-titi teaching as well.  We do many handsign cannons in this class which I love! 

I am also in a Singing Games class with a woman from Scotland (Lucinda).  Most of 
the songs she taught today I knew- But ALL of the games were new and some more 
advanced than ones I know, so my students will LOVE them.  I also have choir and 
every other night there are lectures or concerts by local musicians or world 
class teachers.  Many of these will be posted at a later time, as she said she would email 
hand-outs so we should NOT write anything down.  Most yesterday were hand-clap games with 
songs like "My Paddle Keen and Bright" "Land of the Silver Birch", or passing games with 
songs like "Apple Tree." For my previous post on Apple Tree and a SMARTboard file see here.

The city is beautiful and we plan on doing more exploring this Saturday 
afternoon and Sunday (we have class Sat morning).  We want to go to the 
Hungarian Baths and into Budapest to explore the "big city".

Sineladu Banaha:  This is a 3 part African Song, but there is contention about exactly which language it is, and what the translation is.  I have seen that it is Zulu, Congoleese, and a few others.  The consensus seems to point to Congoleese, but I am unsure.  The song works great as a cannon.  It is super easy for part work, because it can also build parts (Some stay on line 1 while others (or teacher) sings line 2.  Then when that is solid you add in part 3. 

You can also do a 4 beat body ostinato with the song.  We did {chest, snap, clap, snap} as 
straight quarter notes.  At first we all performed all of it, then we passed the ostinato 
around the circle each doing 1 beat while singing our favorite of the 3 parts.  This would
obviously be a challenge to pass the ostinato around for young students, but with my 5th or 6th graders, it would be something super fun to work towards and it would be very rewarding 
when we all got it.  Enjoy!                                                                                        

Note: I typed in some wrong letters for the solfa.  What I wrote works, but is not exactly what I was originally taught.  Sometimes I make a song what I WANT it to be- not what it really is when I go home to write it down.  We sang the song again today and I realized I had changed some things in my transcription.  Corrections are listed below: 
In Line 1: Yaku  (2nd mm, beat 4)should be d-r 
In Line 2: 2nd Banaha should be r-m-f


Friday, July 12, 2013

Hungary Preview!!!

Rendering of the Kodaly Institute
I can't believe I leave for Hungary tomorrow!!!  I am so excited for the 3 weeks of intensive classes to better myself as a teacher! I am signed up for musicianship, choir, elementary pedagogy, and singing games!  I arrive in Kecskemet on Sunday, take a musicianship placement test, and classes start bright and early Monday morning.   I already got a PDF of songs to learn for my pedagogy class and at least half of them are new to me so I am really pumped.  

I hope to post at least once or twice a week (if not more) with new ideas/songs/ games I have learned.

One of the songs on our list to learn was this Squirrel song.  I am hoping it has a fun game or instrumentation, because I am always looking for more tom-ti songs.  If not, it will still of course be used, but my 5th and 6th graders are often a tough sell.  I will have to start coming up with my own "orffestration" for it, that my students can learn and then adapt to make it their own, just in case :)

With traveling, however, comes a few (tiny) downsides.  I realized this week that when I get back I will only have ONE WEEK to get my new classrooms ready.  Luckily my custodians let me in early to start getting furniture placed and instruments set up.  On Tuesday when I got to school, my general music room looked like this (and the big table covered in stuff is not even in the picture):

Now, a few days later it looks... better... but I am still a few hours of work away from being ready for students.  Command hooks are going to be my best friend as I lost a lot of storage in the move.  A full classroom tour will come in August, when everything is set up.  :)

I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer!