Here’s what we did this week…
- Move to the music; when the music stops, stop and clap 4 times.
- I had to tweak the directions to this until the music felt right to me. In the past, I have made it work with a signal (usually a high accented note from the piano). It ended up being a study in cadence and call and response. We tried it in a variety of tempos, but the most successful was with a lively skipping rhythm. We had to practice changing from feet to hands (this requires the ability to stop the momentum of the body). The students can really only do this successfully when they begin to anticipate when the stops are going to come, in this case at the cadence points.
- 2, 3 and 4 time
- Quick Reaction, with me calling ‘2’ for grouping of two beats (e.g. 2/4 time), “3” for three time, etc. We reviewed this first sitting in a circle, with patterns of clapping, patching and snapping. After they got good at switching without much effort, I started singing “Bim Bom,” from last week. I asked them which meter felt like it fit the best. They came to 2 time pretty quickly.
- Step/Clap, Quick Reaction. Same game with movement. At first I called out the number. Later, they were able to Follow (another common Dalcroze game) the changes in the music without me calling out. I embedded this activity in a story (since they crave stories each week) involving three kinds of clocks: a Tick Tock Clock, a Tick Tock Tock Clock, and a Tick Tock Tock Tock Clock. I improvised this story, but enjoyed telling it – it may be a keeper!
- La Cloche
- I had planned to returned to this song about chimes, but one of the students remembered it and requested it after the story because it seemed to fit the theme so well. We spent the rest of the tine learning the words (I also gratefully received some help on my French pronunciation), exploring the melodic contour with gesture and on the xylophone. We tried to sing it as a round, but they are not quite ready for that. I am sure we will get there eventually with this very sharp and musical bunch.