Children · Dalcroze · Teaching

7-9 year olds: 1/17/17

  • Spinning
    • Kids of a certain age often like to spin when they come into a classroom. I’ll leave it to the psychologists to explain why, but sometimes I’ll start where they are. So today I began to play music that matched their spinning. I gradually changed the music and pointed out that it no longer sounded like spinning. I asked them what it sounded like, and soon all were doing the movement. We added several more movements and each time I returned to the spinning.
  • Clap 4: at the signal, stop and clap 4 times.
    • This game was a repeat, but this time I added an element. At the first signal, they stop and clap. At the next they touched their knees four times. We kept cycling between the two until most of them could remember, and then we continued adding. They suggested the movements. I aimed for music that met their predictions most of the time. We tried a variety of tempos and dynamics.
  • Story: The Duration Family
    • They managed to squeeze another story out of me! Mother (quarter note), brother (eighth notes), the dog (sixteenth notes) and grandma and grandpa (half notes) like to play a game on Saturday nights. They sit in a row (labeled with the appropriate symbol. They turn on the radio, and wait for their music to come on, at which point one of them gets up and moves around the others. At the end, they all go out for a walk. Each member pairs up with someone from another group. They hold hands and move their own movements simultaneously. The set up and rules were a bit cumbersome here, and I might not do this again. I did enjoy watching them move together with another’s movement. This is something that even some adults might find tricky the first time, and many of them managed to do it with accuracy. Many of the kids assumed their roles thoroughly, especially grandma and grandpa.
  • Ice skating to Vivaldi
    • After the focused concentration of the previous game, we cut loose with some free movement to a recording from the Winter movement of Vivaldi’s 4 Seasons. The music changes from pointed staccato to very free and sweeping phrases: perfect for walking with ice skates and then skating.
  • Cool Down: snow angles
    • Everyone created or led a tempo. Most of the class joined in. Some took the opportunity to rest. They are feeling more free to make individual choices.
  • 1-3-5
    • With not much time left, we ended by singing (call and response style) phrases using 1, 3 and 5 of the scale. I also associated hand signals and took a few moments to remind them of the Haydn Surprise Symphony melody.

That’s it for this week!

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