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Record: 1 Title: Author(s): Source: Peer Reviewed: ISSN: Descriptors: Jump Ahead and Take the Risk. Rudaitis, Cheryl, Comp. Teaching Music, v2 n5 p34-35 Apr 1995. N/A 1069-7446 Classroom Techniques, Discovery Learning, Educational Theories, Elementary Education, Harmony (Music), Improvisation, Learning Activities, Music Education, Music Techniques, National Programs, Orff Method, Rhythm (Music), Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Behavior, Teaching Methods, Tempo (Music), Elementary Education Arts Education National Standards, Orff (Carl) Maintains that nothing requires more meticulous preparation than guiding and supervising lessons in discovery and improvisation. Discusses the discovery learning techniques of the Orff-Schulwerk method of music instruction. Includes a teaching example based on the National Standards for Arts Education. (CFR) Theme issue topic: "Focus on Improvisation." Journal availability: Music Educators Natl. Conference, 1806 Robert Fulton Dr., Reston, VA 220914348. English Teachers; Practitioners Reports - Descriptive; Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Journal Articles Not available from ERIC CIJFEB1996 1996 EJ512725 ERIC

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Full Text Database: Section: Focus on IMPROVISATION GENERAL MUSIC

"Nothing requires more meticulous preparation than guiding and supervising lessons in discovery and improvisation." American Orff teachers agree with this statement by Wilhelm Keller. They will tell you that the seeds for creating music extemporaneously should be sown in preschool and kindergarten, when instructors begin familiarizing students with the elements of music. But student preparedness, though important, is not enough; it is the teacher who holds the trump card in student improvisation success.…


and then forget the material he or she has learned. As Goodkin describes the process: "I might begin my first class asking each child's name and then expressing it in a variety of ways--clapping or patting the rhythm. When a student improvises." he said. the students will not want to take the plunge. The bottom line is that lessons in improvisation should not be improvised. However. Experimenting with the voice or their instrument of choice and taking Orff teacher training courses are two suggestions. "The teacher must show confidence and warmth. California. all the lights are on--thinking.17-01-2011 EBSCOhost Steve Calantropio. according to Carol Erion. an Orff-Schulwerk specialist at Upper Nyack Elementary School in Nyack.ebscohost. it directly involves the student in the music-making process. After sufficient imitation. general music teacher at the Cherry Hill School in River Edge. "The kids will also have trouble focusing. In Orff training. they may feel uncomfortable improvising with their students. the benefits to students are many. do well." Judith Thomas. or speaking it expressively--with the group imitating. songs. gesturing. which could lead to behavioral problems. I ask. Goodkin says. the class will pick up on those right away. "If the teacher projects any vibes of… 2/4 ." ORFF Teachers Have Their Students improvise movements. melodies. and doing. exposing the extent of the student's understanding of the musical ideas and skills introduced by the teacher. Language and poetry are often the center from which the improvisations develop. She says that because the training and experience of many teachers did not include improvisation. teachers build improvisation skills by starting with single elements and narrow parameters and gradually expanding the possibilities. it is easy for teachers to design sequential lessons in improvisation for their students. If this is the case." she stressed." Another important function of improvisation is assessment. With these kinds of experiences. Improvisation can provide the student with a sense of ownership and pride in his or her work. hearing. 'Does anyone else have an idea of how to play this web. "If a teacher lacks confidence in the lesson. American Orff-Schulwerk Association president. says it's especially important to prepare an improvisation lesson well. New Jersey. improvisation also means jumping ahead and taking a risk in front of one's peers. New York. take it the next day. the teacher must be willing to take risks and be open to a broad range of possibilities. Improvisation is an honest assessment tool. Because they're so completely engaged. "It's possible for a student to cram for a test. most students love to improvise. Erion advises teachers to seek out opportunities to work on this skill. feeling. and different harmonic accompaniments. "Since improvisation is the jumping-off place from imitation to creation." For improvisation to work in the classroom. says a teacher should begin teaching improvisation by modeling the desired technique and then inviting the class to try it. a music teacher at The San Francisco School in San Francisco. asserts Doug Goodkin. rhythms. While the thought of teaching improvisation may be a little intimidating. Some students--shy children and middle school students--prefer the safety and comfort of the right answer.

and poems. when I want students to improvise melodically. "Improvisation is not a separate unit in my curriculum. It helps students develop the ability to 'think with the ears of a composer. During a review of body percussion echoes. "It's scary for students to have too wide a choice. "Improvisation overlays the whole aesthetic of Orff-Schulwerk.ebscohost. MUSIC TEACHING EXAMPLE Grades K--4. small groups of children can take a poem away to a corner of the room and come back with their own composition that might include an original melody and accompaniment. Using a third web. and accompaniments: Students improvise "answers" in the same style to given rhythmic and melodic phrases. If I ask a student to go to the middle of the room and improvise a dance." According to Calantropio.17-01-2011 EBSCOhost name?' From names." Erion concludes.' a goal of Orff-Schulwerk described by Carl Orff himself. says Erion. ~~~~~~~~ Compiled by Cheryl Rudaitis. At the end of the process. I begin with a small range of time and pitch." he said. a rondo form usually works well. students are invited to improvise their own rhythm patterns in response to the teacher rather than imitating exactly what they hear. as in creating an eight-beat melodic pattern with three given notes. Thomas adds." While Improvisation May Sometimes be taught as an isolated skill. "A knowledge of improvisation contributes to a student's overall musicality.… 3/4 . Since improvisation is just a step away from a fixed piece. we move into chants. variations. Two classroom timpani (or hand drums) are placed opposite one another a few feet apart." Goodkin agrees. but is woven into the fabric of every class. Standard 3a Improvising melodies. nursery rhymes. Similarly. MENC staff. structuring improvisation is critical for student success. it's a little like feeling the fabric before you cut out the dress." ILLUSTRATION: Children often create music based on the rhythm patterns of names and other words." Goodkin said. But if I establish a form and invite a variation--as in teaching a set folk dance and then having the students substitute their own motions within the given form--the task is more manageable. and drama. and the students line up behind them. After practice. "It's important to limit how much students have to do. he or she will naturally be hesitant. the class is divided into two groups. "Too many musical elements to pick from is worse than too few. Orff teachers usually integrate improvisation into the context of the music or the musical concepts the class is working on.

" As each student comes to the head of the line. playing in small groups. one drum is designated as the "question" and the other as the "answer.17-01-2011 EBSCOhost drum. the drummers "answer" by improvising a rhythm pattern that is the same length (eight beats) as the teachers "question. Students." As students become more comfortable with their improvised rhythms. using a limited range of pitches (three to five. However. and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. the teacher encourages them to improvise their own answers rather than imitate the pattern he or she… 4/4 . the students continue their question-and-answer improvisations in small groups. depending on the students' skill level). users may print. assigning two timbres of their choice to the question-and-answer players. or email articles for individual use. respond with "answer" patterns or phrases to build confidence before playing individually. and antecedent and consequent phrases or patterns in their improvisations Teaching example excerpted from MENC's Teaching Examples: Ideas for Music Educators (1994) Copyright of Teaching Music is the property of Sage Publications Inc. download. The teacher next helps the students transfer question-and-answer improvisations to the recorder. steady beat. one at a time. he or she takes a turn improvising the part assigned to the drum and then immediately hands the mallet to the next person in line. the teacher plays a "question" rhythm and. When the students are secure. Students echo the teacher in short melodic patterns. web. On another day. The instructional activity is successful when: • The students improvise a new pattern rather than imitating what they hear • The students exhibit understanding of phrase or pattern length.