(A look at the concepts presented at the ECMMA AZ Chapter workshop presented by Jo Kirk)
Part 4 of 4
How do we get our students to the success in movement, the game, play, social environment, and learning? Below is the movement learning sequence:
A. Movement Exploration :
This when everything is done independently, with no partners and no circles or lines, and no hand-held movements. This is important because students today are becoming more like machines where they are doing things with no idea of what they're doing.
1. Exploring creatively to music:
During this stage, the child is doing things with their own body. They are getting to know their body parts and what they can do. (Did you bring your hand today? Ooo, what are these (fingers), what can we do with those (wiggle).... Another example is the getting to know each other game, or combine body parts (hand and foot) or levels, time and space.
2. Creative Imagery
Moving to a visual cue. Such as “Itsy Bitsy I'm so Tipsy”, stop and go games like “Pass” (say and pass a bean bag x 8, then the teacher whistles for stopping the passing), and using the storyline with “Oliver Twist” with the younger children, and/or when telling the first part of “Blue Bells” (visual beginning). Another idea is using body shape cards or pictures for the children to copy with their body.
3. Related to Music
The path to using all these newly learned movement patterns with music.
B. Structured Movement
1. Finger Plays: These utilize the body from the waist up only. No lower body
movement, and done while seated.
a. Regular movement that follows a steady beat such as “One Finger One
b. Irregular movement does not follow a steady beat (like the Turtle song,
Ten Little Fingers, Pat-a-cake, etc.)
2. Action Songs: These employ whole body movements such as the song
"Singing in the Rain".
I’m Slinging in the Rain
I’m Slinging in the Rain
Just singin' in the rain
What a glorious feelin'
I’m teeter-tot, teeter-tot
Leader: Thumbs up... Children: echo… (return to chorus)
Add in succession Elbows in…chest out..
Knees together... Head together…
Keep it together…Tongue out...
3. Follow the Leader: Research shows that we all possess an internal beat.
Our next activity was the “Bow Wow Wow” song (Jo sang it after picking up
her stuffed dog and announced that she wondered who’s dog he is. She
sang while bouncing the dog to the steady beat, and asked, “Who's dog is
he?” (If no one knows, sing again until they get the right answer, hopefully
at least 4 times.) This activity teaches children listening skills in a joyful
manner. Then she said, Oh Mary, this is little Tommy Tucker's dog and he
wants to come to your house to bounce with you. Can he come and
bounce with you?” Mary took the dog and began to bounce him and the
song was sung to the beat that Mary used (shown by her bouncing the
dog). This method teaches unconsciously that the beat controls the life of
the song, by following the child's beat. This can also be done with a wood
block to the “Somebody's Knocking At My Door” song.
4. Steady Beat Games: These include “One Finger One Thumb”, “Oliver
Twist”, “Head and Shoulders Baby”, etc.
5. Steady Beat with Recordings: Activities using recorded music such as
“Shake Señora” (specifically with the magic plates and the “take it away”
part), “Everybody Do This” song, etc.
6. Moving With a Group games: These include moving with partners, circle
games, dancing in lines, stationary games where one or more travel inside
or outside (circles and lines). "Cut The Cake" is a stationary circle game
with two “traveling". “Camp Town Races” is a partner and circle dance.
“Blue Bells” becomes a partner dance once the partner part is added.
Jo told us that it's important to know why we do what we do as teachers. We want to have the children proficient with performing the steady beat. Research tells us that in the learning sequence we must follow the child's inner beat first. Secondly, we then have them follow the teachers model. Using a wall chart with different formation shapes (scattered, circle, line, square, double circle, etc.) helps visually define what the dance or game should look like.
Our last activity was the song “At a Time Like This”. The title phrase is sung three times, and then the words, “Oh won't you help me”. (s, s, d s, d d d m d m m s l s f m d r d)
At A Tlme LikeThis
At a time like this
At a time like this
'Oh, won't you help me.
In succession, add the elements clap, stomp, “nair” (spoken in a “funny voice”), boom, whoo, foo, humma, funky chicken (strut like a chicken). The first time through the song add the clap at the end, the second time add both the clap and stomp, continuing in this fashion until all the elements have been added.
Jo finishes our workshop with the quote, “Quit when they're begging for more.” That way the energy remains for the next time the activity is done. We were given many activities intermingled with nuggets of relevant instruction relating each activity to specific developmental music learning in young children. As you can see from the above, Jo had a wealth of experience and information for us to benefit from as we teach young children and their families music and movement.
Linda Marie Codier
Music Development Specialist
ECMMA Executive Secretary
ECMMA III, Orff III, Kodaly III