Category Archives: Orff Arrangements

Outside Games & Recorder Composition

Outside Music Classes

For those of you in the south, you’ve had nice weather for a while now.  But up north in Alberta, the last snowfall was May 5th.    After a long winter, when nice weather finally arrives everyone wants to be outside – students AND teachers.  
 
I really enjoy taking music class outside.  Singing games, especially chase games, are better played outside than inside.  Inside, you have to find ways of slowing down chase games, but outside you can let the kids run!

Singing Games – Chase Games in Musicplay

Lucy Locket
Mouse Mousie
Charlie Over the Ocean
Tisket a Tasket
Let Us Chase the Squirrel
Cut the Cake
Ickle Ockle
Our Old Sow
Hill Hill Come Over the Hill
Kye Kye Koolay
Turkey Lurkey
King’s Land
Frog in the Middle
I Like Turkey
Built My Lady
John the Rabbit

Frog in the Middle 

This is a seriously fun game!  And if your students are finding frogs outside, this is a great game for spring!

 

Game Directions: The children form a circle. Choose one child to be the frog in the middle. The “frog” stands with eyes shut and arms outstretched. While the children sing the song, the “frog” turns. At the end of the song, the two children closest to the frog’s hands step out of the circle and race in the same direction. The first one back to tag one of the frog’s hands, wins. 

Teaching Purpose/Suggestions: This song is great preparation for low la and low so.  Your students should be able to read the rhythms in the song. 

Ickle Ockle

Musicplay 5
Fun chase game – and so much more fun outside than inside.
Great reading song – ls m and ta, ti-ti
View the kids demo video at www.musicplayonline.com
 

  
Hill Hill

Musicplay 2
View the kids demo video at www.musicplayonline.com
We played the game outside because it’s way more fun outside where you can run, than inside.
Teaching Purpose:  great reading song – so-mi, and introduces half notes.
 

Directions, music and kids demo movies for all the games are found at www.musicplayonline.com.

All of these songs can be found in Musicplay and in the 

Singing Games Children Love Collection!

 

Volume 1 with lots of chase games

Volume 2 clap games, movement

 

Volume 3 games for K-3     

 

Volume 4 games for Gr. 3-6

 

Recorder Composition

30 recorder players composing at the same time could drive you crazy in the classroom. But outside, students can improvise and compose melodies in their own space and using the template in the Recorder Resource Kit, they will create compositions that are playable and musical.
 
Limit students to the rhythms ta, ti-ti, rest
Limit the notes the students can use to BAG or BAG E or BAG ED (depends on their playing ability) . If using BAG E they should end on G or E.  If BAG, end on G.
1.  Have students create a rhythm pattern under the hearts.  Check it.
2.  When rhythm is successful have them improvise melodies on that rhythm using the notes BAG or BAG ED.  When they have a melody they like, write the letters in.  They should then play their melody for you.  If it’s successful, they should write the notes on the staff.
3.  Accompany melodies that end on G with a G-D bordun on a bass metallophone or xylophone.  Accompany melodies that end on E with an E-B bordun.
 

This is the template that I use for composition.  It’s in the Recorder Resource Kit 1.  it’s also in the files at Musicplay Teachers Group on Facebook.

 

This is an example of a 4th grade student composition – ends on E, so accompany with E-B bordun, sounds great!

 
 
 
Boomwhacker Composition

Divide your students into groups, give them pentatonic Boomwhackers and invite them to create a rhythmic composition with movement. (Melodic composition is possible, but takes longer) My students really enjoyed this and all groups were on-task, engaged, and successful. We did this for 2 periods, then groups performed for each other.  

 
 
Drumming or Bucket Drumming

I’ve been teaching bucket drumming in several elementary classes this month. It’s tons of fun, but would be fun to teach outside. You wouldn’t have the ability to project music to teach, so you’d have to plan to teach everything by rote.  More bucket drumming ideas will be coming to musicplayonline.com
Easy Bucket Drumming is an excellent resource.
Order Bucket Drumming in Canada.     USA/International – order here

Playground Balls

Plainsies Clapsies

This is the best game ever with playground balls.  In the classroom, I use beanbags, but this game would be fun to try with playground balls.  Are you old enough to remember playing with playground balls in elementary school?
View the kids demo video at www.musicplayonline.com
This game is way easier to figure out from the kids demo than directions.
Great teaching piece:  ls m and ta, ti-ti
And kids LOVE it!!!
 

 
 

Skipping Rhymes in Singing Games Vol. 1

Cinderella
Bluebells
Had a Little Crate
On a Mountain
Miss Lucy
Oliver Twist
Skipping is another playground activity that might be lost unless music and PE teachers encourage it.  Miss Lucy and Oliver Twist are in Musicplay and are traditional skipping rhymes.

 

Outside Music Classes are FUN – share your ideas, photos and videos  at Musicplay Teachers Facebook Group!

Watch this week’s teaching tip:

 
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Performance Assessments

Are you doing assessments for your end of the year report cards?  One of the areas that I want to assess is how well children perform music in choirs, Orff ensemble, on unpitched instruments, recorder, ukulele or guitar.

Assess a Choral Performance

When you’re conducting a choir, it’s almost impossible to assess the performance of an individual child during the performance.  But you can video the performance, and use it to assess some aspects of performance.
* are students watching the conductor?
* do students use good posture in performance?
* are students singing with an open mouth?

Discuss the Performance with your Students:  (Musicplay 3, song#1)

– “Did we use good diction?”
  “What could we do to help the audience hear our words more clearly?”
– “How can we sing softly and stay in tune?”
– “Did we all breathe in the same places?”
– “Did we sing the phrases the same way?”  “Did we start and end phrases together?”
– “Did we match pitch?”
– “Did the voices sound nicely blended, or were there individual voices that you could hear?”
– “Were the vowels pure?”
– “ Was the tone pleasant, open and resonant or was it sometimes “shouty”?”
– “Did the class maintain a steady beat and perform rhythms accurately?”
– “Could you hear the dynamic contrast at the end of the song?”
Ask the students to think of compliments and comments about their own performance.   

I NOTICED………..    I WONDER……….

Brian Burnett suggests the use of the words “I noticed” and “I wondered” when making comments about performances.   I liked this because it frames statements in a positive way.

THREE STARS AND A WISH

Another way to assess performances that I like is 3 stars and a wish.
If a group has performed in class, invite students to share 3 things they liked (3 stars) and a wish for what they might do differently.
* . ______________________________________
* . ______________________________________
* . ______________________________________
I wish ____________________________________

Quick self assessment for students:

Show me your fingers.  Ask them to hold them against their heart, so it’s just between you and them.
4 fingers – I did an awesome job
3 fingers – I did pretty well
2 fingers – I tried my best, but made mistakes
1 finger – I could have tried harder and could have done a lot better
 
Part of an assessment or a performance can be a student self-evaluation:

Student Self-Evaluation of Choral Performance

 

3 Second Listen

Part of the Assessment might be done in rehearsal. I use the 3 second listen for large groups or for a very quick assessment.  I have the class line up in class list order. (alphabetical).  Then I have them sing as a group, often with a recording.  I walk up and down the rows listening to each child for about 3 seconds, and record their grade on my class list.
X = excellent
VG = very good, with a few pitch slips
S = satisfactory – somewhat close, but is not fully in tune
NY = not yet – the child is wildly out of tune, speaking or not trying

 

Teacher Assess Orff Ensemble

I’ve used this rubric to assess performance in an Orff ensemble.
If possible, video the performance, then assess each child.
 

 
And you can have students do a self-assessment.

Student Self-Assessment in Orff Ensemble

 

Recorder Solo Assessment

This is a very detailed assessment.  I’d probably only use this once in a term.

 

To the Teacher: Since it is very time consuming to assess a complete performance of a solo by every child, assess one skill in isolation every week and assess only 1-3 solos or parts of solos per term.  I seat my students in alphabetical order, and grade directly to my class list.  Instead of calling attendance, I identify the skill to be performed, and give them a short exercise to perform it on.  For example, I assess tonguing on a short rhythm pattern:ta ta ta ta | too-oo too-oo    I can assess legato connections at the same time.  I assess rhythm reading by holding up rhythm flashcards and having each child read one. Pencil and paper exercises are given in the kit and should be marked and grades recorded.  Use the mad minutes as a  tool to assess note names by cutting off the top part and having students complete them in a given time (I use 3 minutes).

This is a much quicker rubric to use:

Rubric for Assessing Student Playing:

1 – Plays correct notes and rhythms with excellent tone, legato tonguing, breath control, and posture
2 – Plays correct notes but is missing one or more of the following: accurate rhythms, excellent tone, tonguing
3 – Plays most of the notes correctly but is missing two or more of the following: accurate rhythms, excellent tone, tonguing
4 – Plays few of the notes and rhythms correctly
 
Assessment is a big topic and these are just a few of the ways that you might use to assess performance.  Share your ideas, rubrics and videos on the Musicplay Teachers Facebook Group!
 
 

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Which Rhythm? Print Version – USA
 
 
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Valentine’s Day Unit on MusicplayOnline

With less than two weeks until Valentine’s Day, the Musicplay Online team has been busy preparing some NEW activities available on the site. The great thing about these activities – they are so versatile. This week we will share with you some ways to integrate these activities with a variety of songs and how they can be used in different grade levels. 

Valentine’s Song Database 

Here you will find all the songs related to love, friendship, and Valentine’s Day available in Musicplay.
 

 
 
Valentine’s Word Composition

This is an activity that can be used in many different ways and for a variety of grade levels. Only use the rhythms that are appropriate for your students.  It never hurts for your students to see some more challenging rhythms. 
 

 
 
Some different ways to use this activity include:

  1. WARM-UP – Practice known rhythm patterns. Students can then transfer the patterns to body percussion or non-pitched percussion instruments.
  2. CREATE A “B” SECTION – Use this activity to create a B section or Rondo with other songs from Musicplay – Some songs that would work well for this include “I Like You” (Song #68 from Musicplay Grade 1) and “Love Somebody” (Song #60 from Musicplay 3).
  3. CREATE AN OSTINATO – Create a 4 or 8 beat ostinato to play with the songs “I Like You” (Song #68 from Musicplay Grade 1) or “Love Somebody” (Song #60 from Musicplay 3).  Transfer the ostinato to body percussion or non-pitched percussion instruments and try it while you sing the song at the same time.
  4. ASSESSMENT TOOL – Use the worksheets below (available on MUSICPLAY ONLINE) to assess reading, writing, and creating rhythm patterns.
 
 
 

Valentine’s Day Matching Game – INCLUDES FLASHCARDS!

 
 

Recorder Mad Minutes:

 
 
 

For more information and a tour of the new Valentine’s Unit check out the video link below:

 

All this and MORE available with your subscription to:

www.musicplayonline.com

Easter Dynamics and Composition Lesson

Find the Easter Basket

A fun lesson for the week before Easter, would be to teach your classes, Find the Easter Basket.  This has always been a favorite lesson for me to teach before Easter.  It’s a great opportunity to review dynamics, including crescendo and decrescendo or diminuendo.

Process:

  • if teaching to K, teach the song by rote
  • If teaching to Gr. 1-5, read the rhythms for the song by projecting the digital resource or musicplayonline.com, read from the student books, or write them on the board.
  • Teach the melody by rote, or if your students can read la so mi, have them read the melody.
  • Explain how the game is played. Don’t let the students shout. If the sound is harsh, have them clap the rhythm of the song softly and getting louder to show where the basket is, instead of singing.
  • Play the game.

Game Directions: Choose one child to hide the Easter basket and another child to look for it. The child who is going to hunt for the basket leaves the room while the “hider” hides it. When the finder returns, the class sings the song, singing softly when he/she is far away from the basket, and singing louder as he gets closer to the basket. The basket must be hidden in plain sight. The game continues until everyone in the class has had a turn to hide the basket or to find it.
If you have a really large class, and kids are getting wiggly waiting for their turn, play the game over two classes. Keep track on your class list of all the students that have had a turn to hide or find the basket. In my classes, the kids get to hide OR find — not both.

Teaching Purpose/Suggestions: This song is included to teach or review dynamics.  Show the dynamics projectables.  (These are in the digital resources, or at musicplayonline these are in the concept slides.  If purchasing as a TPT activity, the slides will be a projectable.)
Older classes still like playing games!

  • For an older class, show them how a simple game song like Tisket a Tasket can be turned into a jazz classic.  Search on YouTube for Ella Fitzgerald’s version of the song.
  • Discuss how the Ella Fitzgerald version differs from the game song given here.
  • Make a Venn Diagram that shows how the versions are similar and how they are different.

Extension:  Create an EASTER RONDO
1.  Teach the Orff arrangement, starting with the bass part and adding as many parts as your students can handle.

This arrangement is from The Orff Source by Denise Gagne
2. Have the students make a pattern using Easter icons
K-1-2:  For the little ones use one sound/two sound cards:
Bunny Chick Bunny Chick.  Bunny Bunny Bunny Chick

2-3-4: For older students use two beat rhythms:
Easter bunny, Easter Bunny, Basket, Chick . (ti-ti ti-ti,, ti-ti ti-ti, ta ta ta rest)

3. Have them play the patterns on body percussion or non-pitched instruments.  Or, improvise melodies based on the rhythm of the patterns on barred instruments. Use the patterns as an introduction to the song, or as an interlude between repetitions of the song.

For the little ones, make a pattern with one and two sound cards.  With your older students, give them cards with two beat rhythms.  I use white CD envelopes to store my cards – then I can easily see with set of cards I have in them.  A tip from Christie Noble and Tracy Stener (authors of Making Music Fun series)- copy sets of cards onto different colored cardstock. (that’s why I used black and white drawings) . Then the kids are less likely to mix up the sets.   I’ve made the cards so they are quick and easy to cut out – make a set of cards for your class in minutes.
I’ll post the word rhythm cards at musicplayonline.com in the printables for Gr. 2 #75 Find the Easter Basket song tomorrow when I have my technicians to help me.
To view The Orff Source visit www.musicplay.ca
To view the printables visit: musicplayonline.com