Thursday, 18 February 2016

Holiday Rhythms

The process of teaching kids to play with rhythm best starts with language.  This video (4min) shows what we've been doing in our music classes at the start of this school year. Each of these children are so involved and responsive.  The teacher might be a little breathless at the end of it, but the imaginal world created in the room - pirates, stage, camping, and more - is well worth the learning and joy.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Bucket loads of rhythm

In the first half this term we developed an exciting musical experience using $1.50 buckets from the Warehouse.  Isla Noakes came back from a workshop run by Robyn McQueen, ONZA Vice President.

We've took the idea from tapping out word rhythms on bucktes to improvising tunes using those rhythms.  We started with the names of fruits, vegetables and the children's street names on buckets.  The children leapt from row to row of upturned coloured buckets changing the dynamics to suit the pattern being played.  The row in waiting danced up and down the rows.  It was a hoot.  Delightful.

Next we transferred those rhythms onto tuned instruments.  It was a bit nerve-wracking trusting the children to not harm any instrument in the process.  No damage at all!  The older classes created interesting ostinatos and beautiful, mesmerising sounds.

Migrating from a simple drum to instruments. 

Creative Drama Through Play

Found Sounds from around the school

Playing with the sounds of water, toys, rubbish bins, poles and trees the kids are creating a canvas to record on later. 
Here are photos of the kids out and about the school grounds collecting found sounds to be used later in a composition using classroom instruments. We have been using garage band to layer various sounds discovered in and around the school.

Next steps are to combine the songs recorded with ukelele backgrounds with the found sounds.  What creativity I'm discovering.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Marimba Festival

Our Marimba Band played with other schools last Saturday in the 11th Annual Marimba Festival.

We were pretty proud of being there.  Here's around half of the  group of schools playing under the direction of Jeremy Hantler. (You'll see Mhara Marimba playing below the camera).

Here's some shots of our children playing.

Western Heights Marimba Band

Western Heights Band in full swing.

Playing to the crowd

Marimba Bands 

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Creative Play

A group of our year 3 & 4 children  participated in the Creative Play Festival hosted by OrffNZ.  Our theme was what happens when you leave toys lying around home.

Our children were captivated by the performances of the other, older children at the festival.

Nesta's playing of the bass marimba held the whole group together.  The children took the names of their toys, and played with them.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Finding song in our names

I've been exploring the wonderful process that is Orff-Schulwerk.  As I've said before, I'm a beginner in this form of Music Education.  So everything I'm doing this year is something of a first-time experiment.

Room 8 proved to be an exciting discovery field today.   I wrote the names of some of the kids on the board and it was Rhys who noticed a pattern in the colours and positions I was writing them in.

Here's how they looked.

We split the class into boys & girls each side of the room. The boys took the bottom two lines.  On the lowest line the boys stamped their feet.  On the secon line up, they patsched their knees with thier hands.

The girls then worked on the top two lines.  Kayl and Aarav's names were chanted accompanied by clapping, while Riki and Aadil's names were clicked with the fingers above the head.

Next we transferred the rhythms onto the Xylophones and Marimba.  Take a look at the process we have been involved in today. These children were just so engaging to work with.  They were engaged.