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Blog posts : "ecm"

Minnesota Orff Workshop Blog

December 4, 2014

by Sarah Hruska-Olson 

On October 25th, I attended a Minnesota Orff Chapter workshop presented by the internationally known elemental music expert and master Orff Schulwerk teacher, Steve Calantropio.  I looked forward to this event for months, not only because of Mr. Calantropio’s excellence as a…

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Advice from the Sages

October 15, 2014

by Sarah Hruska-Olson

The recent September 27 Minnesota Orff workshop featured a lunch time panel discussion with three Orff Schulwerk master teachers: Judy Bond, Arvida Steen, and Jane Frazee.  They talked about their early experiences with Orff Schulwerk and answered questions from audience members…

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Minnesota Orff Report

October 7, 2014

by Sarah Hruska-Olson 

The September 27 Minnesota Orff Chapter workshop, presented by Dr, Julie Scott, was on a favorite topic of mine: singing!  The title was: “Singing in Orff Schulwerk.”  Dr. Scott is a past president of AOSA, the national Orff Schulwerk association.  She was my recorder pedagogy…

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Steady Beat at Every Age

January 31, 2014

by Sarah Hruska-Olson Olson.Sarah@MacPhail.org

During my early experiences sharing music with young children, I was surprised by the rhythmic way infants responded to my singing and guitar playing.  Babies who could not yet walk or crawl would bounce up and down or move their arms rhythmically. …

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Vocal Exploration to Match Pitch

November 26, 2013

by Shannon McGuire McGuire.Shannon@MacPhail.org

Children signing carolsSinging is extremely personal. It is important for the educator to have an open mind to provide encouragement in a gentle and kind manner, which will encourage the human voice to match pitch. It is definitely OK to be honest when the student does not …

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Developing the Child Voice - Our Joyful Responsibility Part 2

November 19, 2013

by Sarah Hruska-Olson Olson.Sarah@MacPhail.org

8c10174rPart Two: Pitch Matching with Children

In the book, “Music in Childhood: From Preschool through the Early Grades,” Patricia Sheehan Campbell outlines the progress children make from vocal babbling as infants to more structured vocalization and chan…

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Developing the Child Voice - Our Joyful Responsibility: Part 1

November 18, 2013

by Sarah Hruska-Olson Olson.Sarah@MacPhail.org

School children singing, Pie Town, New Mexico  (LOC)

“I’m sorry, Johnny.  Our voices do not sound the same,” announced my music education professor to a hypothetical child singing out of tune.  The professor’s tone of voice was mournful, as if perhaps Johnny’s dog had died.  The professor went on to g…

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The Sick Teacher's Survival Guide Part 2

November 5, 2013

by Sarah Hruska-Olson Olson.Sarah@MacPhail.org

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Jennifer Sylvester writes:

Behavior changes can be hard in a classroom full of kids, but as a music teacher, I have found that having set routines really help, and endorsing the help of students can also be a great strategy.  Older kids who can read…

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The Sick Teacher’s Survival Guide Part 1

November 4, 2013

by Sarah Hruska-Olson Olson.Sarah@MacPhail.org

DSC07522“Enter if you dare,” said the sign on the classroom door to one of my Early Childhood Music teaching sites. Although the sign was actually part of a Halloween display, it can really be a bit scary to enter this toddler room when there are multiple …

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Minnesota Orff Chapter Report

October 14, 2013

by Sarah Hruska-Olson Olson.Sarah@MacPhail.org

Orff w/ parachute 6Our local Twin Cities Orff Schulwerk chapter is an inspiring, economical, and practical source of professional development for K-8 general music teachers.  Participants include music education students, beginning teachers, experienced teachers, and mus…

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“Ages and Stages” & “Yardsticks”: Two insightful and practical guides to children’s developmental stages

September 21, 2013

by Sarah Hruska-Olson Olson.Sarah@MacPhail.org

Most of us in ECM work with children of many different ages and developmental stages.  Our students may range in age from newborns to eight-year-olds.  Those of us who teach in other MacPhail departments like Community Partnerships may work with an eve…

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The First Day

September 12, 2013

by Sarah Hruska-Olson Olson.Sarah@MacPhail.org

As the ECM department at MacPhail prepares for the start of Fall Semester, I remember how excited and nervous I was to teach my very first Early Childhood Music class at MacPhail in the fall of 1997. I was so preoccupied that I left my garage door up w…

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Book Review: Learning Sequences in Music

April 29, 2013

by David Birrow Birrow.David@MacPhail.org

Learning Sequences in Music by Edwin E. Gordon is a great summer reading book.  Not a "sit on the beach and feverishly turn pages" book or the new Grisham, but more like "I finally have time to seriously devote to this huge book."  Gordon is a music ed res…

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Book Review: The Tropical Recorder

April 22, 2013

by David Birrow Birrow.David@MacPhail.org

The Tropical Recorder is a book of recorder tunes with Orff instrument (hand drum, xylophones, shakers et. al) accompaniments by Jim Solomon and Mary Helen Solomon.  This book is available in the Community Partnership Resource Library on the 3rd floor and i…

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Book Review: Jump Right In Grade 4

April 15, 2013

by David Birrow Birrow.David@MacPhail.org

One of the great books in the Community Partnerships Resource Library is Jump Right In: The Music Curriculum Level 4 by Cynthia Taggart, Beth Bolton, Alison Reynolds, Wendy Valerio, and Edwin Gordon. MacPhail owns the Teacher's Guide along with the four CDs…

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Things Technology has Fixed in my Teaching Part 3

April 3, 2013

by Jeremy Hanson Hanson.Jeremy@MacPhail.org

The third in a series showing HOW exactly technology has improved the quality of teaching or music therapy, i.e. Problems and solutions. No how-to's, just what impact is seen with students and clients

I use many kinds of technology in my teaching every d…

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Power of the Pentatonic

April 2, 2013

by Sharon Mazion - Breck School

Note from David Birrow: Sharon sent me this excellent reply to last week's posts about the pentatonic
            scale's use in general music settings. I thought it was convincing and warranted it's own post.

I tend to approach my teaching more from an Orf…

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Pentatonic stuff and Song listing open thread

March 21, 2013

Leonard Bernstein, Carnegie Hall, New York, N.Y., between 1946 and 1948 2by David Birrow Birrow.David@MacPhail.org

Two things today. First some interesting pentatonic stuff:

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Pentatonic Scale: Friend or Foe?

March 13, 2013

by David Birrow Birrow.David@MacPhail.org

8c10174rThe pentatonic scale is certainly common in music from around the world. As a percussionist, I've been in African and Javanese percussion ensembles that have used the scale almost exclusively and of course I think that students should experience music from …

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Ten Super Sunny Joys of the Pentatonic Scale

March 7, 2013

by Sarah Hruska-Olson Olson.Sarah@MacPhail.org

Many years ago, I took my son to an ECFE parent/infant class.  The instructor gave us a sheet entitled, “The 10 Super Sunny Joys of Peek-a-Boo.”  Peek-a-boo is such a natural and universal game to play with babies, but there are so many great underl…

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