Cultivating Creative Musicians: Improvisation in the

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Cultivating Creative Musicians: Improvisation in the
Cultivating Creative Musicians:
Improvisation in the Elementary Music
Classroom
2015 Wisconsin Music Educators Conference Sponsored by West Music Dr. Leigh Ann Garner, Presenter Christa McAuliffe Elementary School & The University of St. Thomas St. Paul, Minnesota [email protected] lblmusic.com ©All handouts and materials are copyright Dr. Leigh Ann Garner 2015. They are intended for classroom use only and are not to be reproduced in written, electronic, or web format without permission. Introduction: Cultivating a creative learning environment is integral to developing improvisational skills in young musicians. Improvisation is a pathway in which children demonstrate their knowledge of musical concepts. In this session we will explore purposeful improvisatory activities as they are linked to core repertoire. Many of these activities can b e modified to accommodate beginning, intermediate and advanced students. Punchinella, Punchinella Purpose: Movement Improvisation 2. What can you do? Punchinella, Punchinella… 3. Now, we can do it, too. Punchinella, Punchinella… 4. Now, who do you choose, Punchinella, Punchinella… Movement: Verse 1: All stand in circle, tapping beat, as child goes to center to lead. Verse 2: Leader makes a motion. Verse 3: All imitate motion of leader. Verse 4: Leader closes eyes, spins around and chooses a new leader. Shoo, Fly! Purpose: Movement and Text Improvisation Movement: mm. 1-­‐4: Make “swatting” motions down one arm mm. 5-­‐8: Make “swatting” motions down other arm Repeat motions for mm. 1-­‐8 mm. 9-­‐16: Student leader improvises beat movement and others follow. Recording: “Shoo, Fly” from I Got Shoes. Sweet Honey in the Rock, 1994. Small Group Improvisation: Groups of three stand in a small circle. Perform movement as d irected above, with each member of the circle acting as leader during a repetition o f the song. Love Somebody! Purpose: Rhythmic Improvisation Guessing Game: A student stands in the center of the circle. Students hold out their hands and sing song while another student travels around the circle tapping their hands. A jewel heart is dropped in one of their hands. The student in the center must guess who has the heart. Rhythmic Improvisation “My Heart is Empty”: This activity can either be done as a large group or in student dyads. Four-­‐beat rhythm patterns are listed on the board or on individual sheets. Each pattern is written again next the original pattern, but beats are left empty. The students tap each full pattern (black box), followed by a student tapping the second pattern (pink box), improvising the missing beats. Daisy Chain Purpose: Melodic Improvisation Daisy Chain (cont.) Movement: Formation: Standing in Circle Mm 1-­‐4: Dance freely mm. 5-­‐8 Do as text dictates (students will be facing outside of circle w hen done.) mm. 9-­‐11: Children join hands, crossing arms. mm. 12-­‐14: Holding hands, lift hands above heads. mm. 15-­‐16: Step back into place and begin again! Two, four, six, eight, Meet me at the garden gate. If I’m late, don’t wait, Two, four, six, eight! -­‐Traditional Rhyme Chain Singing Improvisation: Students work in groups of four. Each group has a packet of flowers containing core melodic patterns. Some flowers are left empty. The groups construct an etude by clipping the flowers to the flower stem. One of the empty flowers must be a part o f the etude. Groups practice singing the etude together with one student solo singing an improvised pattern for the empty flower. As a culminating improvisation activity each group member is responsible for singing one of the flowers in the etude, essentially creating a “singing chain.” One member is responsible for improvising a pattern. Shoheen Sho Purpose: Melodic/Instrumental Improvisation 2. Shoheen Sho, do not w eep, Shoheen sho, go to sleep. Shoheen Sho (cont.) New moon, new moon, Star in the stream. Tell me my fortune In my dream Traditional (North America) Improvisation A ctivity: Students sing song in unison and then in two parts with vocal ostinato accompaniment. Using New Moon, New Moon text, the teacher and students take turn singing a vocal impov for each line of the rhyme. Students then use the rhythm of the rhyme as a structure for improvising on barred instruments. A final form is created alternating between singing the song (A), students playing the instrumental improvisation (B) and improvising vocally (C). Jump Shamador Purpose: Text & Rhythmic Improvisation Jump Shamador (cont.) Movement: Students stand in circle, w ith o ne child standing in the center mm. 1-­‐12: Group and soloist sing back and forth. mm. 13-­‐20: Circle walks toward the center four steps, then back four steps. Repeat mm. 21-­‐28: Student in center covers eyes, jumps in a circle and points to circle, choosing the next soloist mm. 29-­‐32: All jump and chant. Jumping motion is “out, cross feet, out, cross feet” Rhythmic Improvisation: In mm. 29-­‐32 the student in the center takes the hand and guides the new chosen student to the center. Before leaving the circle, the original student must improvise a 4 -­‐beat rhythm pattern before returning to the large circle. The new student immediately improvises another 4-­‐beat pattern. In subsequent lessons, the improvisation should expand to eight beats in length with only the first student performing the improv. Toembai Purpose: Movement Improvisation, Rhythmic Improvisation Movement Improvisation: Students step a steady beat in random formation while singing song. Students determine phrasic form of piece (ABC) and demonstrate the form by changing direction on each new phrase. In subsequent lessons, small groups create movement. Rhythmic Improvisation: In small groups, students take turns rolling rhythm d ice and improvising four-­‐beat rhythm patterns. The roller must include one or both of the rhythms rolled in his/her pattern. As a culminating activity, improvised patterns can be used to construct an etude fitting the above form of ABC. Half the group sings the song while the other half taps the rhythm etude. University of St. Thomas
Kodály Institute and Orff Schulwerk
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Master of Arts in Music Education, Kodály
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Master of Arts in Music Education, Orff
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Faculty
Jay Broeker, Michael Chandler, Cindy Hall,
Mona Mann, Beth Melin Nelson, Jacque
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The Middle Level Learner (2 cr.)
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