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Thoughts on a Workshop: KMEA Part 1

This Thursday-Saturday Kansas music educators braved the weather to develop their skills and fill up their teacher tool box with great ideas to bring back to their classrooms and students.

I want to share with you some of the highlights from the sessions I went to. Maybe you will learn something new (like I did) or maybe it will make you want to reach out to these people and have them come present in your area!

I'm going to work backwards through the conference since today is still fresh in my mind!

The last session I went to was presented by David Row, someone who I have chatted and collaborated with quite a bit over the last year and we hope to do more this year. David has gone through several levels of Orff certification. His session today was on how to get things for your classroom through Donors Choose, grants, and more.

Here are some of my takeaways -
1) Don't shoot the moon - you need to ask for reasonable things. Try starting with smaller requests and build up your resources over time
2) You need to put your donors choose projects out there for the world to see. Let parents, friends, the WORLD, know what you are doing and how it would benefit the KIDS.
3) Use wording that non-music people or even non-educators will get

David is going to have a version of his presentation up on his blog in the near future. Be on the look out for it!

Besides all of the wonderful things that I took away, he was genuinely fun to listen to. If you can ever have him do a session, you should!


The elementary music reading session was this morning with Wichita native, Holly Taylor, and I found a few things that I would love to do with my kids at some point. I don't have a dedicated choir since most of our kids are bused and there is not much wiggle room in my day, but I do like to expose my fifth graders to 2 part octavos before they leave my school, and we usually do a few on our 5th grade program.

My favorites from the reading session today were:

This Native American song is so pretty. It is two part with descant and has parts for a recorder (or flue) and percussion.

This two part piece also has a bass xylophone part.

Bright and early at 8:00 this morning Jill Trinka led a folk dance/singing games session. I was so happy to have her in Wichita and see her session.

The session moved so fast, I wasn't even sure of the names of half of the songs/dances we were doing, so I had to pull out my handout . Her materials are all copyrighted, so I cannot share any images etc, but here are the songs we did with her:
- Mazoo, Mazoo - I was delayed in the snow and missed this one
- Push the Business On - loved it!
- A First Contra - this would be a lot of fun for Kindergarten/ First grade or even grandparents if you had a community folk dance.
- Noble Duke of York - great fa prep
- Paw Paw Patch - great tiri-tiri prep!
- Comberland Long Eight - a LOT to think about but would be a lot of fun for 3rd-5th 
- Bingo (with a grand right and left) - SO FUN!
- Ralph's Sweet Circle Dance - fairly easy and fun!

Hopefully I can share more with you from the Thursday and Friday sessions later!

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