Elemental music is near the earth, natural, physical, within the range of everyone to learn it and experience it....It is never music alone, but forms a unity within movement, dance and speech. Carl Orff
by Eva Esparza, Music Teacher
Our students have been working on new ways to integrate creative movement into their music classes. Creative movement has always been a part of the music program at Aidan because it is a fun, kinesthetic way to help reinforce the music into the body- as well as the mind. As Mr. Orff stated above, we are always trying to form a unity within movement, dance and speech within our time together in music. Movement also creates a natural bridge between music and drama lessons. Music lessons often begin with drama/ movement games and interpretive movement to poetry. Here is a picture of students moving to this poem that we refer to as a "dance poem."
"Here is the ostrich straight and tall,
Nodding his head above us all.
Here is the long snake on the ground,
Wriggling upon the stones he found.
Here are the birds that fly so high,
Spreading their wings across the sky.
Here is the hedgehog, prickly, small,
Rolling himself into a ball.
Here is the spider scuttling around,
Treading so lightly on the ground.
Here are the children fast asleep,
And here at night the owls do peep."
Our students have worked on dramatic, movement exercises that develop collaboration and cooperation among their peers. We have introduced "Mirror Pairs" as an acting exercise in which two actors stand face-to-face. One actor is the person who leads, and the other is the mirror image (reflection) of the person. their movement with each other- standing face to face- taking turns being the leader. Students enjoy this creative collaboration with their peers.
The Upper Elementary students are working on a bigger music project using song stories and the "Orff instruments." Some of the Orff instruments include special wooden xylophones and metal glockenspiels. These instruments have removable notes and students are able to easily play melodies in a variety of scales and modes. They also offer a good sound immediately which allow students to create music effortlessly.
The Upper Elementary students are working on a dramatic-creative interpretation of the Indian folktale "The Six Blind Men and the Elephant." They analyzed the story and then 8 students volunteered to act out the characters of the story while the rest of the class divided into six groups to play the "traveling music" throughout the story- as well as creating six distinctive improvisational parts to represent the six different parts of the story. This story has a greater moral lesson about different perspectives in our vision which we discussed as a class. We are hoping to share this with the younger students at Aidan in December.
As another dramatic/movement exercise, students have been following prompts to stretch their bodies and create a variety of poses. Here is a picture of students creating the shapes of triangles with their bodies.
Students in Lower Elementary have created a Thanksgiving tableau that tells the history of Thanksgiving. This Thanksgiving tableau has become a tradition in music class.