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Three Things {Orff Rules, Plainsies Clapsies, and a Recorder Freebie}

Hi everyone! I hope you had a good weekend. My family just got back from Cincinnati for a short, one-day trip, and it was fun and relaxing!

Today, I’m writing again with my “Three Things” linky party, in which I blog about three things that worked for my and my students this week. Thanks to Whimsy Workshop TeachingKimberly Geswein fonts, and Jax and Jake for the cute clip art and fonts!

Three things that worked in my music classroom: A singing game, Orff rules, and a recorder freebie!

#1: Reviewing Orff instrument rules before playing instruments
My first graders have been practicing steady beat and rhythm, so I had them sing “Engine Engine” (all on sol-mi) while playing the beat on the Orff instruments (a bourdon, on C and G.) I think the reason this was more successful for my students than in years past is that I took my time to explain how to play the instruments correctly before having students go to the instruments. I used Cori Bloom’s Orff instrument rules in the first lesson, which you can see below (click on the pic to buy them in her store):

Three things that worked in my music classroom: A singing game, Orff rules, and a recorder freebie!

After I went over the rules, I only had six students come to instruments, and showed the entire class how playing the beat should look. I promised the students who didn’t get to play that they would play in the next class. In the next class (which was this week), we reviewed the rules again, and then everyone got a chance to play…and I really do think it was so much better than it has been in years past! Reviewing the rules and seeing the model of just a few kids playing really seemed to do the trick! Even when students can keep a steady beat well on their bodies, they sometimes falter a bit when they get to instruments, so I was happy with how well they did!

#2: Stony Creek {A Recorder Freebie}
My fourth graders have been practicing B and A on recorder. Of course, they love playing the recorder, but they love it even more when they can play music with accompaniment! I created this freebie last year, and my kids loved playing it this week! (Click on the picture to download it.)

Stony Creek: A recorder freebie for BAG! Check out other elementary music ideas in this post!

First we spoke the rhythm, then we said the letter names, then we said and fingered the notes, then we played. I have to say, they were pretty excited when they found out I composed it…but it wasn’t too hard to do on GarageBand!

#3: Plainsies Clapsies

My second graders have been practicing la, and they LOVE the new song they’ve learned, “Plainsies Clapsies.” (Click the title to view it on the Holy Names Kodaly website…which is an amazing resource that you should check out if you haven’t yet!) Students get to use beanbags to do all the motions, which is both challenging AND fun! It also works well to prepare 2-beat meter, as they are tossing on the strong beat and catching on the weak beat.

Make sure to read the things that have worked for other music teachers by clicking below! Happy teaching!



2 comments

  1. When I read "ORFF RULES," I understood it as "composer Carl Orff is awesome" and further assumed that your classes were mesmerizing their parents with huge productions of Carmina Burana. Ah well, it is late where I live.

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    1. LOL, that gave me a good laugh! Orff is pretty awesome, but that's not what I meant! :)

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