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!

Showing Tag: " movement" (Show all posts)

New Improvised Movement Video

Posted by Jerry Bradley on Saturday, April 29, 2023,
So here's an another example of improvisation in an Orff Approach music class. I had them practice poses, lots of practice, talked and practiced levels and let them change on chime signals. 

So fun! Obviously, I didn't tell them what moves to make. Some move appropriately to the music, others...oh well, they had fun. It's the top video on my video page.
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Improvisation in Orff-Schulwerk

Posted by Jerry Bradley on Thursday, March 30, 2023,

The Orff-Schulwerk method of music education places a strong emphasis on the value of imagination and participation in the learning process. Improvisation, a technique that encourages students to explore and experiment with musical ideas in a safe and supportive setting, lies at the core of this method. I will cover some useful advice for incorporating improvisation into your teaching in this blog post as we examine the function of improvisation in the Orff-Schulwerk classroom.

What does impro...

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Ok, Kids. Create Some Movement! Duhhhhh.

Posted by Jerry Bradley on Friday, April 10, 2015,
Even if your 4th, 5th, and 6th graders have done movement in your class, there are some groups who will just stare at you with calf eyes when asked to create some simple movement for a song. Some classes will jump right into it, but I recently had a class that spent more time talking about movement than actually doing it. For this group, I came up with a movement word list and a set of cards that could help them get started. I'm happy to say that it worked for them. My Word files for the card...
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No Rant. Just a Movement Game With Irish Music

Posted by The Orffsite Webmaster on Tuesday, 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. T...
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It's Not on the Test!

Posted by The Orffsite Webmaster on Friday, 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...
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What's in a Name? Apparently, Quite a Lot!

Posted by The Orffsite Webmaster on Tuesday, 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...
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A Generic Orff Sequence Outline

Posted by The Orffsite Webmaster on Monday, February 6, 2012,

Originally Posted by The Orffsite Webmaster on Sunday, November 7, 2010

It helps to have a map, but as long as you keep in mind your destination, musical understanding, it's ok to take detours and meander. If you just need a decent map to get you started, here's mine. Remember to always begin with speech and/or movement.

Generic Orff Sequence

Hear it (audiation)
Say it
Feel it (movement/body percussion)
Sing it
Play it
Accompany it (drones and ostinati)
Expand/Improvise it (add to the form...

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I Get Mail

Posted by The Orffsite Webmaster on Monday, February 6, 2012,

Originally Posted by The Orffsite Webmaster on Monday, September 6, 2010

Talking about approaches to teaching elementary music can sometimes resemble a discussion about religion! My purpose here is to share a way that's worked for me and not to bash another approach. In fairness, here's an email I recently received. Elementary music teaching is a big world. Orff-Schulwerk is the area I'm exploring, but it's not the only part of the universe. Dive in. The water's fine. Here's an email comment...

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