Tuesday, June 30, 2009

And Finally... Part III

So you saw that I was out in Lubbock taking a two week class, and then you stuck around to read Part II about Orff Schulwerk. Now, the thrilling conclusion... Part III, all about Kodaly!

Before I tell you about Kodaly, let's start with how to pronounce it. It sounds like "co-dye" with emphasis on the first syllable.

Alright, now that you know how to say it, let's get on with the show. The Organization of American Kodaly Educators has a wonderful outline of everything that is Kodaly. In a nutshell, the Kodaly Concept is that singing is the foundation of musical learning. The voice is an instrument we all have, and that we can use throughout our lives. Through singing, children learn how to read and write music, improvise and create. In a Kodaly elementary music classroom, children use folk songs, singing games, and chants to have these experiences.

Zoltan Kodaly was a Hungarian composer who spent much of his life advocating music education in Hungary. He believed that if people are well-educated musically (starting in early childhood), they become more informed and appriciative listeners of professional musicians. Kodaly also saw folk music as being important for continuing a culture's traditions. Along with Bela Bartok, another Hungarian composer, he gathered folk songs from villages all over Hungary. In fact, many of his compositions were inspired by Hungarian folk songs.

In my opinion, music teachers don't have to, and shouldn't, see themselves as solely "Orff" or "Kodaly." Both can and should be used in the elementary music classroom. In my own class, for example, I use singing games, rhymes, and folk songs. But with these songs, I also have my students play on Orff instruments, create, and move. All of these activities together make my students well-rounded musicians. Yes, they enjoy playing singing games to learn musical concepts, but they also love playing instruments. Why should I deprive them of one or the other, just so my teaching falls into someone's strict guidelines of what an ideal music class should be?

"Shady Grove" is one of my favorite folk songs, and is one that often will randomly pop into my head. Here it is as sung by Jean Ritchie, who sang many, many folk songs for children on her mountain dulcimer. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Where Was I? - Part II

Recently I posted about a two-week summer training I was taking. I mentioned the two main philosophies of elementary music education, Orff Schulwerk and Kodaly. Many music educators feel that you're either in the Orff camp or the Kodaly camp, but not both. I disagree. Both can, and should, be used together to create more meaningful experiences for the children in the music class.

The American Orff-Shulwerk Association has a wonderful explanation of what Orff Schulwerk is. Basically Orff Schulwerk is a way to teach music that involves a lot of student creativity using songs, chants, rhymes, instruments, and movement. Students use these materials to experience musical concepts before identifying them. In Orff Schulwerk, students are active learners, participating in both decision making (ex: helping to create movement to accompany a song) and music making.

Thanks to Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman (pronounced Kate-mahn) and their work together, we have such a wonderful methodology. You may have heard of Carl Orff as a composer -- Carmina Burana is probably his most famous work. Orff and Keetman wrote four volumes of music, Music for Children. These volumes are wonderful pieces of music that children absolutely love to play and create with. My favorite piece from the volumes is Street Song. It's very challenging, but so much fun to play.

If you're an elementary music teacher, and interested in taking Orff training, I highly recommend taking it at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. All of the teachers there are absolutely top notch, and they create an environment where you can feel comfortable to learn and grow.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hump Day Humor

funny pictures of dogs with captions
see more dog and puppy pictures

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Now that i'm back home, I'm having a weekend sale to celebrate! In both my Art Fire and Etsy shops you can enjoy free shipping with your purchase. So enjoy your Father's Day weekend, and I'll refund your shipping via PayPal. Happy shopping!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Where Have You Been, Bohemian Rose?

I've been to your Art Fire and Etsy shops, and they're both on vacation! Where did you go???

If you're asking yourself this oh-so-important question, you've come to the right place. Both of my shops are temporarily on vacation for two weeks, until Sunday, June 21. So never fear, they'll be back up and ready for your soapy needs in another week!

Right now I'm in the very flat city of Lubbock, TX, taking a two week elementary music education training. This summer I'm taking Kodaly Level I. There are all together four levels of training to take before I can say I'm Kodaly certified. My roommate is taking Level II this summer... Here's hoping I can stick it out to the bitter end!

If you're asking yourself, what *is* Kodaly anyway? read on.

There are two major schools of thought in music education - Orff Schulwerk and Kodaly. (As a side note, I'm already Orff certified. You'll see how Orff and Kodaly go wonderfully together in the classroom.)

Check back later for my gripping part II to find out exactly what Orff and Kodaly entail!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Friday Feature

Today's Friday Feature is Johnny's Sister. I recently bought a tote bag from her and absolutely love it. Not only is it big enough to hold all of my stuff, it also has pockets. Definitely a plus for me.

The bag I bought is similar to this one, but with different coloring. There are two pockets -- one interior and one exterior. And if you'd like to fasten your bag closed, it features a side button closure. (Dark Chocolate Yoga Bag, $65.00)

Johnny's Sister also makes unique jewelry. My favorite in her shop is the Spare Change Choker/Wrist Wrap. I love the brightness of the silk cord that the vintage Indian coin is strung on. (Spare Change Choker/Wrist Wrap, $18.00)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

School's Out

Our last day of school for the year was today. Even though I have to be at school tomorrow for our workday, I'm going to go ahead and say it... School's out!

Is it bad that I already miss my kiddos a little bit?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hump Day Humor

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures