Children · Dalcroze · Teaching

7-9 Dalcroze: 12/14/16

Here’s what we did:

  • All move freely; I choose one person’s movement to play after which the class guesses who I was playing.
    • This was by request. I like this game because it encourages the kids to move in their own way.
  • Make a shape with 3 or 4 people.
    • Simple instructions, but took them a while to achieve it. They all ended up making shapes on the floor, probably because they needed to cool down after all of the moving. It is difficult even for adults to make creative decisions in groups. It seems as though kids this age find it difficult to decide and stay with something, though there is no shortage of ideas. I noticed a tendency to want to make a shape that could be named (square, circle, triangle…). Some were not satisfied until their group’s shape resembled an identifiable shape.
  • Move away from your shape, at the signal come back.
    • No music accompanied at first. The signal was a single triangle chime. Soon I added music and encouraged them to express tempo and dynamics (many do this naturally). Then I made the signal the final 2 bars of Deck the Halls, the goal being to make it back to their shape by the last note. At first I had to keep the tempo slow and give verbal cues, but after a while they were able to anticipate.
  • Plastique: make a circus ‘trick’ with a group of 3 or 4.
    • Playing with the elephant story from last week. I allowed them to use a ball. One group created a 3 part piece that included different levels and tempo changes. It was very symmetrical.
  • Minor=move alone; major=find partner.
    • We stepped patterns with quarters, eighths and half notes. As longer durations are always more challenging to move, I encouraged them to stretch their ‘trunks’ on the half notes.
  • Boom Da Li Da
    • I used this as a quick movement transition before a rest. Fun song in 3 that has a 3x’s as fast section.
  • Anacrusic Scale
    • While they were resting on the floor, I played a growing scale (Do, Do Re, Do Re Mi, etc.) They sang back call and response style.
  • Modes exploration: At the xylophone, choose a starting note to call ‘home’. Play anything you like, visiting home when you want the melody to rest.
    • As they played I accompanied them at the piano to give them a flavor of each of the modes that they chose. This was meant as an introduction to these rich sound-worlds.

That was their last class (with me) before break. Happy New Year to all!

Michael

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