Showing posts from November, 2010

PS22 Empire State of Mind

PS22 Just Dance

PS22 Eye of the Tiger

PS22 Justin

PS22 Chorus

Every day for the rest of November I'm treating you to a wonderful chorus.  They were featured in the post on music in the schools.    Their blog can be found here.  Enjoy them.  It's all about the singing!

Song of the Month, December

I'm so excited, I figured out how to embed audio!  You can hear my students.  I'm so proud of them.  Let me know if you enjoy this new feature on the blog.

Frosty Weather
Source: 120 Singing Games and Dances for Elementary Schools by Lois Choksy
Game Type: Standing circle, hands held
Age: Preschool, Kindergarten, Grade 1
Tone set: Drm sl
Musical uses:
ta: first 8 beats, good in rhythm matching worksheet
re practice:  descending scalar pattern
in tune singing: with ostinato from la pattern at the end of the song
Orff instruments: chord bordun with color on words ending in -er.
Teaching Tip: When students become a clump, they tend to giggle and lose sight of the dangers of going back to their places without falling on each other.  Teach the song and the moves separately.  Time-out any child who falls during practice.  They need to be hyper-vigilant in order to stay safe.  

The Choksy book has a great explanation of the game, but I think you'll enjoy a child's perspective on the gam…

Orff vs Kodaly #4 The men and the music, Zoltan Kodaly

Zoltan Kodaly and his friend, Bela Bartok were disturbed by the rapid disappearance of Hungarian folksong from the memories of Hungarians.  Together they recorded hundreds of wax cylinders of folksong and meticulously analyzed and catalogued them.  They were founders of ethnomusicology.   Kodaly wrote his doctoral dissertation in linguistics on the intimate connection of language to melody in Hungarian folksong, based on his research with Bartok.  

From their analysis of folksong, Kodaly came up with a naturally unfolding sequence of musical concepts to teach literacy.  

For example:  Since the descending minor third (so-mi) was the most common melodic figure in nursery songs, that became the first concept that children would learn to read.  In the Phillipines, where the ascending perfect fourth is the primary nursery interval, the sequence is different.  Each language has its own sequence of concepts because each language has its own natural rhythms and inflectio…

Orff vs Kodaly #3, The men and the music, Carl Orff

It is said that the Renaissance begun with the "rediscovery" of the knowledge of the ancient Roman world.  Philosophy, sculpture, architecture, literature, and political thought made amazing strides forward in the Western World at the turn of the 16th century.  

The turn of the 20th century was caught up in a whirlwind of technological advancements that hit European culture like a hurricane wind.  Perhaps the tremendous interest in all things ancient was Europe's way of grounding itself and bracing against that great wind of change.  There was a renewal in interest in the ruins of Pompeii in the 1860s, just before the birth of Carl Orff. King Tut's tomb was discovered in the 1920s.  And Carl Orff was fascinated with the ancient Greek muses.  He noted that together, the muses formed "music,"  and it occurred to Orff that true music would incorporate all of the arts.  This combination is the foundation for the Schulwerk that he and his friends designed and imp…

COLLEGE STUDENTS! How to cite this blog.

I'm fine with your using information on my blog in your papers.  Just don't make these entries YOUR papers.  Here is the standard for MLA and APA forms for citation.

George Gonsalves, Suzanne, "Title of individual blog entry." Weblog entry. Kodaly and Orff Music Teacher's Blog. Date posted. Date accessed and URL.

*note that the period is inside the parenthesis.  If you used today's post, this would be the citation in MLA form.

George Gonsalves, Suzanne, "Off vs Kodaly #2, the Origin of the Species." Weblog entry. Kodaly and Orff Music Teacher's Blog.  November 10, 2010.  Accessed November 10, 2010

George Gonsalves, S. Title of blog entry. Retrieved January 1, 2007, from

The purple citation above would look this way in APA format.

George Gonsalves, S. Orff vs Kodaly #2, the Origin of the Species.  Retrieved November 10, 2010 from

Orff vs Kodaly #2, Origin of the musical species

The first 50 years of the 20th Century were the most bloody in human history.  In that time Zoltan Kodaly and Carl Orff came of age.  Here is a timeline that shows the origins of these great pedagogies and the political developments in Europe.  Major events in the development of Orff Schulwerk are highlighted in blue, those of Kodaly in red.

1882 Zoltan Kodaly is born in Kecskemet, Hungary 1895 Carl Orff is born in Munich, Germany 1900  Kodaly begins college Eugenics movement very popular in America and EuropeKodaly begins collecting folksongs on wax cylinders.  Notices note patterns and begins to come up with a sequence for teaching music literacy through a child's native language songs 1906 Kodaly earns PhD with dissertation "Strophic Construction in Hungarian Folksong"
1907 Kodaly becomes professor at the Liszt Academy in Budapest
1910s Kodaly introduces Bela Bartok to folksong collection.  The two begin to champion folksong and one another's music and become lifelong fr…

Orff vs Kodaly #1

I've just got to put my two-cents worth into the perennial and essential questions regarding these teaching methodologies.  In future posts I will explore the juxtaposition of them in several creative ways.  For now, let's explore why Orff and Kodaly are considered to be different from one another.

The Slogans
"The music belongs to everyone" - Zoltan Kodaly 
"Let the children be their own composers" - Carl Orff

There are 3 more posts in this series.  Look for the next one on Wednesday.  Here is what this series will cover.
#2  A concurrent timeline of the development of both methodologies and the major political events.
#3  A closer look at Carl Orff and the philosophy that brought about Orff concept teaching.
#4  A closer look at Zoltan Kodaly and the philosophy that brought about the Kodaly concept of teaching.

Should music be in public schools?

Music majors all over the country are writing their first papers of the year.  The subject, "The Case for Music in Schools."  As mentioned in a previous post, America pays lip service to its children without delivering with the cash.  Sure, there are loads of studies which have been published in peer-reviewed journals that prove that music education improves a mind's working.  Administrators know this, but there is little they can do about it if their budgets don't support it.

The following is a video which is typical of the kind of arguments usually put forth for music in our schools.

What really gauls me that higher math and reading scores are touted as the reason for promoting music in schools.  Children have souls!  They are not computers that need to be programmed to perform math problems or grab facts from reading.  They have bodies that need to dance, (and play and run, we need more phys ed too) sing, and create.

What's the matter with just having joy in…

Really cool PDF file on improvisation

This article is superbly written and very user-friendly.  It discusses improvisation pedagogy in depth and has an awesome bibliography.  Make yourself a nice cup of tea and curl up with it.

Improvisation Is Elementary: It’s all about Readiness! Heather Nelson Shouldice Farmington (MI) Public Schools