Tuesday, October 1, 2013

triangles, sticks and drums - oh my!

Sorry I've been off the radar for the past week - I've been dealing with some personal health issues. However, I am back to blogging!

My first year of teaching, I rarely used instruments. Seriously - like, never. They terrified the heck out of me and I had ZERO experience with them. During student teaching, I became familiar with recorders, but nothing "percussion" like. This is really sad because I am a percussionist. FAIL! 

Anyways, I came into the program at my school with the hope of surviving the first year. In the past, the students had used Mallet Madness and there were tons of smaller bell sets in storage. I didn't go near them until my second year, where I pulled them out a couple of times with the younger and older classes. This was a headache! It takes forever to get everything out and placed and then that is all you can do for the day because of the set-up/tear-down time in between. UGH!

This year, I vowed to instrument it up. I've been to some workshops with Orff ideas and they've been great! I love taking a poem or story and having the students choose instruments to play during certain parts. I have also been adding instruments to the song powerpoints I've been using. The kids are getting really good at reading the music, their instrument part and listening to others. In the next few years, my goal is to incorporate the Mallet Madness resources, as well as start up a recorder program. Fingers crossed!

Here are some of my favorite instrument ideas I've used this year:

I love this book! It is short and has huge pop-up pictures. Plus, you can start off with 3-4 instruments sounds and add more and more throughout the year. It gets the students talking and negotiating which instruments should be what and why!

This activity is so awesome! And...IT'S FREE! It is so good for my younger students. It reinforces our different types of voices, ta/titi/rest, a fun game and instruments. Each slide only has 1 instrument, so our new learners can see their picture really big. You can find it here, from The Sweetest Melody 

Last year, I introduced bucket drumming. Wow! So much fun and so much chaos. The kids love it and it's a great way to talk about steady beat, being a group and form. Here is a fun one for Christmas from "The Nutcracker."

Finally, I love boomwhackers! Cheap and fun for the kids to start learning about instruments and reading music parts. I started using these last year on a whim and couldn't put them down. Here's a fun fall activity with all of the C boomwhackers. It also has an action song and ta/titi work. 

I am always on the lookout for more Orff instrument books, songs and ideas to show the kids. I don't have a smartboard, but our district is 1-1. Send me any ideas you have so I can stay on my instrument track this year :)

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