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KMEK Workshop Highlights

This Saturday, Kodaly Music Educators of Kansas hosted Amy Abbott from Music a la Abbott in Wichita for our Spring KMEK workshop.

Over 60 teachers from Kansas and neighboring states attended Amy's session, "Say, Say, Oh Playmate,"  which was packed full of fun singing games for upper elementary. Those are the kids that I am always finding I am needing additional resources and games for, or maybe I just get bored of some of the ones I have... I don't know. Either way, this session was just what we needed to motivate us to keep the joy going in the music class as the end of the year draws near.

Amy has so graciously said I can share some videos that fellow KMEK members shared and I will try to cite where the songs come from.

I definitely recommend looking into these sources for more information as well as having your local Kodaly chapter invite Amy out. I can say that she was definitely among my favorite presenters! :)

Little Swallow - stick passing game
Source: 150 American Folk Songs

Epo I Tai Tai - performed in 4 part canon.
Source: Amy learned this song from Susan Brumfield. If you have a primary source, please let me know.

One, Two, Three O'Leary

Crosstown (When Billy Was One)
Source: Amy learned this from Kathy Hickey. If you have more source information, please let me know!

Cobbler,Cobbler (Pass the Shoe)
Source: Jill Trinka

Have you played any of these before? I hope you enjoyed a peek into our workshop. We definitely have some amazing things going on in Kansas. We hope you can join us in Wichita for MKMEA 2015 this October!

Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo

I wanted to share something that worked for my sub while I had to be out of the classroom yesterday. I was introduced to the book, "Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo" when a family member bought it for my daughter (Find it here on Amazon). She is two and LOVES listening to us read it. Since my husband is a band teacher, she is quite familiar with instruments and can name all of them and has been to many, many concerts between his 5-12 bands and my K-5 programs. 

When I look for things to leave for a sub, I try to find things that a non-music sub can do. Books with recordings have worked really well for my subs and the students seem to really enjoy them while I am away.

I left this book and some extension activities for my K-2 classes yesterday and both the sub and the students really seemed to enjoy the book. It has a CD that narrates the story along with an accompaniment. 

After they finished the book, students talked about concert etiquette. In the story, the boy falls asleep and the animals break out of their cages and take the stage as the musicians. So they talked about staying awake and paying attention when they go to concerts. They also recalled some of the instruments that were played in the book. 2nd graders were able to say what instrument families those belonged to.

Then, each student got a response sheet that asked them to draw (and write for the older ones) their favorite instrument from the concert outside of the zoo.

Click picture to download the file for free.

Here are a few of the finished response sheets:

If you would like to use this mini lesson with your students or leave it for a sub, I have uploaded it for FREE on TpT. If you have my sub survival tub, you already have it!

If you have already used this book with your students before, please let me know if you do anything different with it. If you use this with your class, I would love to hear how it goes!

Make sure to hop over to Aileen's blog and see what other tried and true ideas music teachers are sharing!

A Trip to the Islands

Hi! I’m Chelsea McKinnon and Lindsay has asked me to share about my experiences with Polynesian music and how I've been sharing it with my own students.

Over the past 10 years I've had a few spontaneous introductions to Polynesian music and cultures. Whether it is the catchy melodies or rarity of this culture's music where I've lived, the experiences have stuck with me and always brought a smile to my face. I've had a chance to experience first-hand some moments of Polynesia thanks to a Samoan acquaintance and a music tour in Hawaii. However, last year I got curious how I could share these moments with my own students. 

While visiting Oahu last year, a trip to Polynesian Culture Center was an absolute must. They are a tremendous resource of authentic exposures to cultures such as Maori (New Zealand), Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, and Hawaii. The Maori culture was probably my favorite just for how involved their activities are and the ability to try things out for myself. I got to try twirling poi for myself (despite constant tangles) and sit down with others to attempt a traditional stick game called Tititorea.

It's always important to toss the stick vertically and catch with open palm toward your partner. It helps avoid getting accidentally hit in the face. 

Poi Twirling! Originally used to train wrist and finger dexterity, now just a really fun hobby. :)

A quick jaunt across the Pacific (or just the pathways) took me to Tonga. There are so many different instruments part of the Tonga culture, I honestly lost track of what was what. However, I do have some pictures of the shells and slit drums they used to begin their demonstration. For a full Tonga musical experience, there is a link to a Ma'ulu'ulu in my resource on TpT. 

Large drums with a slit in the top played with oversized drumsticks. I'm pretty sure it is called a Nafi, but the generally accepted word for wooden idiophones is Lali. 

After experiencing the previously mentioned performance and more that I unfortunately didn't get pictures of, I wanted to find a way to share these Polynesian cultures with my students. Polynesian music has so much fun energy to it and isn't readily heard unless you're around the culture itself. I got to looking around on the internet and wasn't finding much Polynesian music for kids. That's when I decided to highlight 4 of the primary cultures in Polynesia; Hawaii, Tonga, Samoa, and Maori. Each of these cultures are highlighted with 3 fun facts and some form of music. Included in the bundle are 3 songs (Maori: Epo i Tai Tai e, Samoa: Savalivali. Hawaii: Mele Kahuli), 2 choreographed songs, hyperlinked recordings of all songs, performance videos of these cultural ceremonies and more!

Click HERE to be taken to my TPT store and check it out!

My first graders spent this last week learning the Maori song "Epo I Tai Tai E". While I'd usually use this for syncopation with older students, the opportunity to keep a steady beat in different places on the body and expose younger students to a totally new language was well worth the challenge. We echoed the lyrics through rhythmic chant before echo singing the melody just to get a clear pronunciation. All choreography is included in the lyrics pages of the bundle. 

Check out my 1st graders learning the choreography while rhythmic chanting!

Once we learned the actual song, we had to take a break to try out Poi Twirling! I happened to buy 3 sets while out in Oahu and watching the kids' excitement learning basic moves like jump rope, backwards jump rope, and helicopter was too much fun. :)

Polynesia has so much to share and its energy is infectious. Hopefully your curiosity has been sparked to learn more about the islands and possibly try your own hand at their dances!

Oh, and a BIG THANKS to Lindsay Jervis for having me as a guest blogger and helping promote Polynesian Music on her page as well.