Monday, August 26, 2013

Hungary Workshop 1- Even More Ideas from the Wonderful Lucinda Geoghegan!

While in Hungary, not only did I attend classes, but I also attended the International Kodaly Society Bi-Annual Conference.  I went to many workshops that gave me a LOT of great ideas for this year.

One of my favorite workshops was with the wonderful Lucinda Geoghegan who also taught my singing games class.  (See posts Here an Here to check out those games.)  She is so great that everything during her workshop was new ideas from the class.  Some ideas were "ah ha" moments, some were "how have I never thought of that?" moments and there were tons of new songs and ways to teach/ reinforce skills.

I decided to just list my 3 favorite ideas from this workshop.  No handout this time :( but I will do my best to describe everything in as much detail as possible.

1. LYCRA Have you ever wanted a parachute but either didn't have the space for it, or the funds to get one?  This was me until Lucinda's workshop.  She uses a big piece of Lycra (you can get it at any fabric store).  It stretches so a few, or a lot, of kids can use it at once and it is MUCH less expensive than a parachute.  I got my piece (a yard and a half) for about $20 which will be reimbursed by my PTA if I remember to turn my receipt in :)  It can do everything a parachute can do and you can get it in super fun colors or patterns to match your schools.  This was one of those "how have I never thought of that?" moments.
Swatches of the varieties of colors and patterns you can get of Lyrcra

While the lycra was out Lucinda did a few things with it.  One was just moving the fabric back and forth to the beat while a stuffed animal "sits" in the center of it- he of course likes to JUMP at the end of a song on a rest for example).  In between repetitions she told one special student that the animal was talking to him and asked if the stuffed animal wanted to do the song again faster or slower.  This gives students choices within limitations- which is a great way to involve students without them taking over the class.

She also demonstrated high low un-conciously with the following game: coo coo cheery tree, can you change place with me (s-m-ss-m-ss-m-ss-m).  During the song the students moved the lycra up (on the so's) and down (on the mis) to the heartbeat. After each round the teacher would choose someone to change places with OR call groups (boys, girls, 7 year olds, people wearing sandals) to all switch.  You can also have a special student choose who to change with.

To put it away she said "shake it, shake it, shake it, shake it, shake it, shake it STOP! (students freeze)
She did that a few times.  THEN she explained that when she says POP! instead of stop students are to clap their hands.  This forces them to drop the lycra and the lycra can be balled up quickly and hidden.

Rubber non-stick mat
2. FEET - Lucinda had these great large rubber feet that she used to help demonstrate beat, or phrasing.  She had some in Red and some in Blue.  You could get more colors as you get in to pieces with more complicated forms.  She used them with Queen Queen Caroline (see words below) and the RED feet marked the beats in the A phrases, while the BLUE marked the feet in the B phrases.  Students can use them to walk along a "magic path" to the heartbeat of a song, or as they start to learn more difficult concepts, they can lay them out to match the form of the piece.  It was just a great visual and physical way to show the beat or form, aside from the letters or fruit that we typically write on the board. Great for inner-hearing too because students can sing the red feet out-loud while putting the blue inside their head, etc.  You could make them out of foam, or even just laminated construction paper. If you put velcro on the back they will stick to the carpet so kids can walk on them without them sliding all over. Or you can get the one pictured here.

Queen Queen Caroline
Washed her hair with turpentine
Turpentine did make it shine
Queen Queen Caroline

To extend her Queen Queen Caroline Lucinda also changed the verse to King King Constantine at her signal (same chant, different name).  When Queen Caroline was around she loved polka dots so we painted the castle with spots to the beat, but when the King came around we showed phrases because he liked smooth lines.  Her signal was just "HERE COMES THE KING!!!!"

3. POLY-RHYTHMS- Even with the little ones Lucinda was already starting to do some 2/4 vs 6/8 work.  She taught Tick Tock (see below) and a simple hand clap game to that (clap own hands, hit partners hands, repeat) and then she taught hickory dickory dock with the same game.  As a challenge we stood in a circle and tried to do both at the same time (every other pair was a 2/4).  The different timbres (singing and speaking) helped us to stay on our own parts.  This is great to start prepping 6/8 un-conciously even with little ones.  They love the challenge of part-work!

2/4 Tick tock, tick tock, goes my little clock
        s      m      s      m      s      l     s s     m

6/8 Hickory Dickory Dock, the Mouse ran up the clock.  The clock struck one and down he came, Hickory Dickory Dock.

A few gems to remember from Lucinda: Children don't always need the technical terms (especially the really little ones)- rather, they should experience concepts and get to be kids.  You can teach them the terms later.  Music should be taught from the inside out and children OF ALL AGES (yes, even middle and high-schoolers) should move and feel the music.

Tour of the new room!

A painting a family gave me last year
- I love it!
Welcome back to school! Wow what a whirlwind August!  I am finally settled into my new room and have a chance to give a virtual tour of my favorite things (and things that I hope to add super soon).  I am so excited for this bigger space for my students to Learn, Sing, Dance and Play!

I moved rooms this year, and this is what my room looked like before I left for Hungary in July.  It was a mess! I was super excited to have more space (including a chorus room) but not super excited to clean everything up.
What a mess!

Before I left I spent a few hours working and then when I got back used about 3 full days to get it all cleaned up and ready to go.  

Now I have 2 rooms (all in one modular classroom), one for general music and one for chorus (YAY no more chorus in the gym or cafeteria!) 

 The chorus side now looks like this:  I have my risers set up, as well as the piano in the center of the room and cabinets full of small instruments, classroom supplies, etc.  I am also storing a bunch of stuff in the closet and behind the risers as well.  
Front of Chorus Room (risers face this wall)
Right side of Chorus Room- My Desk!

Center of Chorus Room, looking at risers
Check out my
 chorus room!

It will be so awesome for the kids to practice on the risers every day instead of just the 10 minutes before each concert.  They are going to look so much more professional this year! I am also doing warm-ups for other grades on the risers during general music so that they are used to standing up there for when their grade does a show.  YAY risers!

Instrument Wall
The general music side is actually the same size as the previous room I had, but because I don't have the cabinets or bass bars in that side it looks and feels much bigger.  On one wall I have all my instrument shelves, including a few of many types of instruments I may use throughout the year while the rest are stored in the chorus side.  It will be so much easier to get the orff instruments out now because they are no longer blocked by dulcimers, or bass bars, etc.  I can also set them up before a class in the chorus side and we can just move over for those songs so I don't have to worry about students getting them out or putting them away quickly.  I hope to put a music history time line above the instrument shelves soon. 
Front of GM room

Along the front of the room is my bench, SMARTboard, and dry erase boards.  Just like last year, these will all be used often.  I love my SMARTboard!  I also have a huge grand staff that will be great for teaching staff anything because students can see from all the way across the room. 

The back corner of the room has my MUSIC IS "bulletin board".  My room has walls that you can staple into or push thumbtacks into so there really isn't a designated bulletin board area.  On my music is board I have an acrostic saying all the subjects music teaches, and then a smaller frame describing those subjects more in detail.  Music is:  Math, Physical Education, History, Reading and Writing, and Science.   My rules are also framed right around the corner.   Rather than saying "rules" they start with "In This Classrrom" and then I go on to list positive ways we can take care of ourselves, each other and the classroom (our Wilson Way) while in the music room.

The back wall will soon have a word wall- probably just a simple one with each grade having a ribbon that I can stick words to as we learn them using wooden clothespins.  Something that we can easily reference, but that wont be too visually distracting.  I will be sure to make another post just on how I decided to do the word wall- I can never quite decide how I organize it, teaching 6 grades but when I saw the clothespin idea it seemed to fit. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Singing Games Post 2

Hello- sorry for the delay in writing this second Singing Games Post.  I just got back from my whirlwind tour of Vienna, Salzburg, and Prague and we had kinda spotty internet.

This post will work the same as the previous Singing Games Post (see HERE).  All the songs listed are from our 2nd week of Lucinda Geoghegan's Singing Games class at the Kodaly Institute in Hungary.

I will list the song and some basic info, and then if you want directions, check out her book. The games for week 2 are definitely harder than those taught during week 1 so they are more for upper grades.  She was great at differentiation so be creative with the games!

Taking her class and workshops also inspired me to purchase one of Lucinda's books which you can get here.  It is also on Amazon (but much more expensive there- so buy it from Scotland!) Soon there will be another post with her great tips from the Workshop she gave at the International Kodaly Symposium my 3rd week in Hungary.  Lucinda is so wonderful that none of the info was repeated and she gave some great "ah ha" tips.

Now for the games!

Jump Down, Turn Around (Ti-Tom)- This is a circle partner game.  Great for the 1st week of school as your partner changes each round-  It is pretty simple to learn too!

Bim Bom {major} (Ti-tika/ tika-ti)- Partner hand clap game.  You do a different action on each word, and then try to put some in inner hearing.  Trickier than it seems- but fun!

Lil Liza Jane (syncopa)- Partner hand clap game- can be done in a 4 part cannon.  In a 4 part cannon, turns into a hand-clap dance.  Very fun version of this song.

Moses Supposes (beat, ta, ti-ti)- Counting "out" Game.  Students stand in a circle and say the chant while passing a ball around the circle.  Whoever gets the ball on the word "Moses" is out.

Ma Come Bali Bela Bimba- Ball-bouncing game OR Partner hand clap game with changing meter.  This game is very challenging- especially when you put words into inner hearing! I was much better at the partner version than the Ball-bouncing version.

Senua De Dende (Syncopa)- Ball passing game OR Partner hand clap game.   Both versions were very fun- but tricky.  This is a game I would suggest getting awesome students to come in for recess to learn and help demonstrate to the class.

Dipi-du (tom-ti or ka-tim)- Changing Meter ball bouncing/ passing game.  So excited to get a game for this song!  Students must be good at bouncing to friends!

Chevaliers de la table ronde- Changing meter cup game!  So excited to do a lot of cup games this year with all the hype from Pitch Perfect!

Tue Tue- Changing partner hand clap game.  Done in Circle Formation. Great for multi-cultural lessons

Bim Bom {minor} (Rest)- Students find rests by making "very interesting statues" on each one, or passing a stick on each one.  Also a fun partner game with beat actions.

Hulamakado- Partner stick passing game.  Start with passing and successful students can try to toss.  2 different patterns that fit with the 2 sections of the song.

Laughing Singing (ti-tika, tika-ti)- Circle Action Game.  Can be done in cannon- very cool!

Ludaim- Cup passing game with interesting meter.

Gut Shabes Aich- Ball passing game.  2 patterns for 2 different sections of the song.

Sto mi e milo-  Clapping game in 7/8 time.  Many stages- great for differentiation.  As students master one stage, they can move onto the next.

If you want directions for the games, these songs and games are copyrighted in the Singing Games and Rhymes Series published by the National Youth Choir of Scotland.  (See Link Above)