Lesson Plans

Nisse Polka

Nisse Polka This past summer I was in Finland at JaSeSoi Ry’s International Music Village (Finnish Orff Association).  It was amazing and I loved my time both in Finland and making music with musicians and teachers from 14 countries.  I also fell a little in love with the Scandinavian lifestyle and their connection to the… Read more »

Carol of the Bells: Orff Arrangement

Carol of the Bells Have you ever met anyone that didn’t love “Carol of the Bells”? I haven’t either, and my students are no exception. “Carol of the Bells” and the Orff instrumentarium were destined to go together, and so here is an arrangement that will satisfy every student in your classroom. Everyone can play… Read more »

Nature’s Second Instrument: Rhythm

Nature’s Second Instrument: Rhythm It’s time to have fun with rhythm! Explore possibilities of rhythm and form in Cyndee Giebler’s second installment on Elemental Composition!* Using just quarter notes, two eighth notes, and quarter rests, discover Cyndee’s ideas for using a simple 8-measure composition as inspiration for providing a ready-made musical context for just about anything… Read more »

Step Back, Baby

Step Back, Baby History “Step Back, Baby” can in found in the song collection My Singing Bird published by the Kodály Center of America. Bessie Jones, author of Step It Down and member of the Georgia Sea Island Singers, taught the song at the Kodály Music Training Institute when she visited in 1973. The song… Read more »

Skin and Bones Part 2

There was an Old Lady All Skin And Bones: Part 2 Did you miss Skin and Bones Part 1? Click here! In part two of his post using the folk song “Skin and Bones”, Drue Bullington shares how to use this favorite folk song with upper elementary students to continue the fun through 6th grade!  … Read more »

Skin and Bones Part 1

There was an Old Lady All Skin And Bones: Part 1 One really enjoyable aspect of Orff-Inspired teaching is being able to use “recycled songs.” These are songs that one can “spiral” from year to year adding new levels of engagement and skill. In this two-part post, Drue Bullington demonstrates how one simple folk song… Read more »

Steps to Prep the Recorder

Steps to Prep the Recorder: Get your students making music the first day they play!  By Kate Bright, recorder enthusiast  The very first time I picked up a recorder, I fell deeply in love with this sweet instrument.  I grew up as a clarinetist, but developed jaw problems and had to quit woodwinds forever –… Read more »

Dinosaur Stomp

Dinosaur Stomp Intended Grade Level(s): 4-5 grade levels with paired readers* from 2-3 grade levels  Materials:  Saturday Night at The Dinosaur Stomp by Carol Diggory Shields; ISBN: 978-0-7636-3887-0  Choose rhyme stanzas from the book suitable for paired reading*. You can choose longer or shorter stanzas depending on grade level. Create sentence strips with the selected rhyme stanzas so pairs,… Read more »

What’s Cool for Back at School?

What’s Cool for Back at School?  Lynn Osborne shared this lesson in our “Back to School Lesson” contest from last year, and was the first runner up from our entries. In this lesson she shares her process for getting to know what her students like about school and a variety of ways to explore sing, say,… Read more »

Fun With Composers: Marriage of Figaro

Fun With Composers: Marriage of Figaro Fun with Composers, by Deborah Ziolkoski, is an Orff approach to classical music that provides an integrated approach to the arts. Classroom teachers and music specialists can successfully incorporate their user-friendly interactive listening lessons that highlight children’s literacy, art activities, drama, movement, instrumental play and more! Marriage of Figaro is a… Read more »