On September 29, our chapter hosted its first workshop of the year featuring the incomparable Diane Shieron. With her extensive experience as a music specialist, Orff levels instructor and notable clinician, Diane gave us a workshop with a bit of everything: ostinatos, body percussion, movement activities and a variety of orchestrations.
The first part of the day was focused on Division 1 activities. Participants started with a welcome song called "Great Day! It's A Great Day!" which included a movement activity with partners in concentric circles. It was an excellent way for us to meet some new faces! Diane continued with a classic nursery rhyme "Hickory Dickory Dock" and engaged our participants with a word substitution game, ostinato activity and orchestration. She continued with an American folk song called "Step Uncle Jesse" that would be perfect for teaching binary (AB) form.
The second part of our day was filled with Division 2 activities. We began with a song about fast food that allowed participants to hear vocal harmony. This catchy tune could be used as a round or a focus on melody with vocal ostinati. Our last portion of Division 2 activities finished with a song called Trinidad (suitable for Grade 5 and 6). Diane showed participants how a I-IV-V-I arrangement could really bring a song to the next level. What a great piece to add non pitched percussion and even steel drums (if you had them!) to.
After lunch, our focus was on Special Days and Holidays. Participants learned a fun new way to sing Happy Birthday with a partner beat game. Just in time for the season, Diane finished with a beautiful piece for Remembrance Day, perfect for a choir to sing and a group of Division 2 students providing the orchestration.
Our workshop also marked a momentous occasion for Diane personally. She was honoured with a Lifetime Membership to the Alberta Orff Chapter for her teaching, support and mentoring of so many teachers in our community. Congratulations, Diane, on your incredible achievement!
A special thanks to Long and McQuade and St John's Music who both provided a generous donation for our workshop.
Once again we were fortunate to have Bob de Frece share his wealth of knowledge with music teachers, both new to and experienced with the Orff process.
Jennifer Hoag Maynes was the recipient of the Chapter President's Award this summer. Read below for her thoughts on the entire Level One experience.
I was very excited for Level 1 Orff. Until I went to class. And then I was scared and felt completely out of my league and wanted to drop the course. I was really that scared. I went to school and came home and did homework. Eventually Week 1 was finished and I was starting to feel more myself again. Week 2 was much better. I decided to stop being scared and feeling inadequate all the time. I asked for help when I needed it and started to enjoy myself. It was a good decision I made. I enjoyed the second week much more than the first. From this class, I will take with me greater confidence! I have a great list of reference books (pedagogy, practise, picture books) and have great people who make me feel like I am on a team, since being a music teacher is a bit lonely sometimes. I bring a desire to incorporate more creative movement into my classroom and a goal to create my own ‘Orff piece’ and have my students try it out! Thank you for supporting me in furthering my music education.
Here are some photos of the amazing work our Orff Level participants showcased. What an inspiring few weeks of music making!
On May 5th, the Alberta Orff Chapter presented a very special sharing day workshop and event. For the first time ever, a house band was formed and performed for a wonderful audience of teachers, their friends and their families.
It was a crisp Saturday morning with lots of snow on the ground. Steph and Sean felt right at home with our wonderful prairie winter weather. The many instruments and manipulatives looked enticing and interesting giving rise to anticipation for the workshop ahead.
January 23rd, 2018 saw chapter members gather at Belmead School to once again benefit from the talents of fellow music teachers.
This September turned out to be a very busy month for the Alberta Orff Chapter after having workshops with both Bob de Frece and Chris Judah-Lauder. Chris presented on Saturday September 30th to a number of very appreciative music teachers at Elizabeth Finch School.
On Tuesday September 19th at Belmead School new and experienced music teachers alike were treated to a wonderful overview of the Orff process.
This summer the University of Alberta again offered Orff levels 1 and 2 and our chapter was on hand with selections from our library and the post sharing session reception.
Alberta Orff Blog
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