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"P", The Bucket Routine for older students

Today's Orffabet letter is P, for the shape of buckets and sticks when they are in storage in our guest teacher's classroom.

The following post and series of videos is for Upper Elementary, Middle School, or High School Students.  This is a rare opportunity for you to learn a routine without having to go to a workshop or Orff level.  You will learn the routine as your students would.

John is a teacher in the Worcester Public Schools.  He has taught this routine to Upper Elementary students as an after school program.  John's students worked on the routine for an hour or so every day for 6 weeks.  To see John in an earlier post, click here.

The "students" in this video are Orff Level I students in the Worcester Public Schools class of 2010.  They learned the routine in a 90 minute session with Level III students who already knew it.  Here is the routine after those 90 minutes.

This routine, inspired by African dance and Orff body percussion, is well outside the comfort level of some of these students.  For others, the routine is challenging but fun.  Watch how John responds to these students.  As he teaches, he assesses student ability and preference and coaches them into the roles that best suit them.

The teaching style is classic Orff.
First, he teaches the neumonics.  "The strong hand is...and the weak hand is..."

He teaches the body percussion with the neumonics.
Students drill the patterns and gradually put them together in the performance sequence.
Here we learn the rest of the body percussion and transition from part 1 to part 2.  Notice the consistency of John's speech.  
Now for the introduction for the entire routine.  How do we get into places for the beginning?  This is how.  
Now for the ending.  There are three parts to this bit.  The 4 bass drum bucket people are on either side of the stage doing their thing.  The soloists are doing question and answers at the center of the line.  The majority of performers will be doing this body percussion a la Keith Terry. For a little bit more of John's presentation of this percussion click here.  
John explains why sticks need to be held in both hands.  He takes plenty of time to explain it at the beginning so that he won't have to keep repeating himself.  The rest of his instruction on sticks is here.  
Once buckets are introduced, the tutti part is the most crucial to nail down. There has been so much repetition for part 1, that it might be best to work on the ending first.  
The four bass drum players, the heart of the steady beat, need their instruction now.  John always chooses kids who are leaders for these jobs.  It's tough for them because the part is ostensibly easier, but it's so crucial to the success of the whole performance that they need to do it.  When this is explained to kids, they happily give up the chance to solo.  For the rest of his instruction to the bass drum players, click here.  

The rest of the videos fit into the process of teaching the routine.  If you are seriously considering doing this routine I suggest you study them too.  I also suggest you contact John.  He's a wonderful person and a great teacher.  He would be happy to coach you via email, skype, or your district could hire him to do a workshop.  I think this routine would make a really awesome flash mob.  


Amanda B said…
Thank you for posting the process for this!
Michela said…
thank you very much!!! It's very useful!
Thank you for taking the time to post this!!! I will definitely be using this in my Middle School music program!
Heidi Stathus said…
Thank you so much for the sequential teaching instruction!
Karen Page said…
Excellent tutorial! I shall be using this in my classes in Abu Dhabi!

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