About Me


I am a certified Orff-Schulwerk elementary music teacher, teaching in an urban school. I switched from secondary to elementary music teaching in 2006 and it's been the best move (not financially! ) of my career. If you want to have major impact on students concerning music education, elementary is where it is happening. Disclaimer: The topics in my blog do not necessarily reflect what is happening in my current teaching position or with my current students, administration etc. I have a long teaching history and may chose to deal with an element or problem that I have witnessed or experienced in a previous school or have seen being dealt with by other teachers I have encountered...so there!

No Rant. Just a Movement Game With Irish Music

March 6, 2012
Setup: See photo. It's set up for two classes. For one class you will only need three chairs, yarn for the alley markings and whisk broom or other items for the center chair.

Game play: Children form two lines with an alley between. Three children sit in the chairs to start the game. The person with the "broom" hands it to the person of his choice. The two broomless students move in agreement down the alley and to the end of the lines. The new person with the broom moves to the center chair. Then next two people in line move to the outside chairs. Game continues with the new broom holder handing the broom to the person of his choice...and the game continues in like fashion. Once they have the pattern down, put on some Irish Jigs or similar music.

You will probably need to review with them possible ways to move: skip, hop, glide, gallop, tiptoe, march, sashay holding hands, and other jivey and cool ways including crawling, crab-walking etc.Don't let them move in a boring way.


 

It's Not on the Test!

February 24, 2012
I'm not really a boat rocker. I can be a bit annoying, however. I don't know the history, but some while back, my district thought that giving our 3rd and 4th graders a music assessment test was and idea who's time had come. I'm not arguing that point in this post. I am saying that the current test is not a measure of whether or not my students are learning music, nor a gauge of what kind of job I'm doing in elementary music. I frankly, don't have a clue as to what it is designed to do except...
Continue reading...
 

What's in a Name? Apparently, Quite a Lot!

February 14, 2012
I'm taking a short hiatus from square dancing in my second grade classes.They have already mastered squaring the set, circle right/left, dosido, partner swing, promenade, right and left grande, and more. Some parents from non-American cultures get distressed at the word dance, so what we're really doing here is-moving rhythmically in organized patterns, keeping a steady beat while listening to the directions from a caller chanting or singing over a traditional rural folk tune, that may have h...
Continue reading...
 

My New First Page and Blog Explanation

February 6, 2012
I've noticed that most of the other music education sites I visit are basically blogs. I intended my site to be more website like by having some static content that is useful at anytime. I still plan to keep it that way, but I'm joining the crowd a bit by moving my blog to the first page. In doing so, I had to copy my old posts, hence most of the posts that seemingly were done in February of 2012 were actually made before then. I've posted the originally blog post dates in the posts, for thos...
Continue reading...
 

Rubrics and Evaluation Ideas for Orff Teachers

February 6, 2012

Originally Posted by The Orffsite Webmaster on Sunday, January 8, 2012

This blog is short and sweet, really sweet!  As I told my Twitter followers, you will want to kiss my feet in gratitude after checking this out! ha. The folks who put these evaluation rubric ideas together are the ones who really get what Orff Approach teachers actually do in the classroom. You won't find much evaluation of music literacy, symbols, lines/spaces, etc. You will find things like creativity, movement, playing...


Continue reading...
 

A Thoughtless Question

February 6, 2012

Originally Posted on Tuesday, September 13, 2011

This was the tweet that initiated this post: 

musically8 Allison Friedman:  Prof. just asked me: How can music be related to the Science, Tech., Engineering, Math (STEM) focus our country has? any ideas

 Before answering such a question I have to ask, what is the Prof really asking? Is he so uneducated not to know the relationship of Music, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics? How can even the dimmest bulb wearing the moniker, Professor, ...


Continue reading...
 

Help for Non-Skippers

February 6, 2012

Originally Posted by the Orffsite Webmaster on Monday, September 12, 2011

Here is a suggestion for helping students who have problems with skipping. This comes from one of the elementary PE teachers at my school.:

We teach them step, hop then alternate/the leg that is up will take the next step and the other foot will do the little bitty ant hop, step, hop. We do it in slow motion then try to do it at normal speed if they are getting it. It is a developmental stage with opposition, so it is...


Continue reading...
 

What Should Your "Real" Lesson Plan Look Like?

February 6, 2012

Originally Posted by The Orffsite Webmaster on Monday, August 8, 2011

Got lesson plans? Of course you have them. Do you actually have daily, detailed and specific plans for every grade level, every class? I doubt it. I'm a believer that daily lesson plans should be for teachers and not for administrators or even subs. Some administrators, not mine, insist that lesson plans be so detailed that a visiting teacher could walk in and teach your class by following your written plans. This is insan...


Continue reading...
 

More #Orff Tweeters, Please!

February 6, 2012

Originally Posted by The Orffsite Webmaster on Saturday, July 23, 2011

I've written previously about building your own Personal Learning Network (PLN) using Twitter. The news is getting out. It is a valuable resource for elementary music teachers and music teachers in general. Unfortunately, the word hasn't seemed to have spread across the land of Orff-Schulwerk . So far I've discovered only about ten folks who Tweet anything related to Orff process, instruments, lesson plans, books, use of ...


Continue reading...
 

Here's a Cool Online Recording Program

February 6, 2012
Originally Posted by The Orffsite Webmaster on Thursday, July 14, 2011

The recording software online is getting better and better with things like soundation.com and Soundcloud. Here is a real awesome site that is sort of an extreme Band-in-a-box program, but is online and free. It's at ujam.com 
I think your students will go crazy over this thing. 
What you do is sing or play a melody with a metronome click track and when you are finished, the program generates a chord structure for you mel...


Continue reading...
 

Categories