Why I love and hate drumming – a survival guide

Why I love and hate drumming – a survival guide

So I have a confession to make….   I REALLY hate love drumming!  I haven’t done as much as I like in recent years because my school has just a few hand drums and even fewer “world” drums.  I use what we have often, but I’d like to do more, and am considering working up to a drum circle particularly in 5th grade.   Just last week Sonic Limeades for Learning funded my world drum project on donorschoose.org so more are on the way. Now that I am about to increase my drum collection, I’ve got drumming on my mind because I’m hoping to be able to do some drumming activities this spring AND it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if I could find ways to do a better job of facilitating lessons using unpitched percussion because based on my love/hate relationship with drums I have room for growth. I’m hoping that writing this blog post will help me remember what strategies I want to use to ensure that I don’t end up hating drumming before I’m finished.   Here are some questions I am asking myself at this point; Not everyone needs a drum or do they? This may seem obvious as more drums mean more sound…. but on the other hand, fewer drums might mean perpetual turns and depending on the class, getting the entire class through the process in fewer turns might work in my favor. What are the students who are not playing a drum supposed to do? I love it when students can play a game that goes with the drumming accompaniment.  However, the type of game and the intended outcome is...
Remarkable Farkle McBride – REMIX

Remarkable Farkle McBride – REMIX

I am dedicating this post to my friend Tami Boltz because she is one AMAZING music teacher and the information I am about to tell you absolutely made her week!!! So there we were, a small group of music teachers from various schools in the district.  We were sharing our TMEA discoveries and finds.  One of the things that Tami showcased was the book “I’ve Got Two Dogs” by John Lithgow. In addition to sharing her love of reading/singing with her students, she was sharing with us about how this book offers an excellent opportunity for vocal exploration.   One thing led to another and before we knew it we were talking about the book “The Remarkable Farkle McBride” Did you know that our favorite book “The Remarkable Farkle McBride” has a CD recording? Well, it does! It is called “Farkle and Friends” and it features a fully orchestrated retelling of the “The Remarkable Farkle McBride” narrated by John Lithgow.   It’s marvelous and we love it! For a complete list of books by John Lithgow that are in my music library, please click HERE! Plus, there is a new-ish book by John Lithgow that you can find here called “Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo”   Please follow and like us:0 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...
Following their lead! – Giving in to a hunch to follow the student

Following their lead! – Giving in to a hunch to follow the student

Have you ever had those moments in teaching when a comment or action from a student will send your lesson into an entirely new direction?  One of those moments when you realize that you almost missed the forest for the trees, but on a whim you followed an impulse and it turned out better than you could have ever expected? Well that happened to me last week! I was right in the middle of introducing new and reviewing known instruments to my 3rd grade class.  I had a blank instrument family chart on my white board and I asked students to come up and write the name of a known instrument on the board in the appropriate family.  The students had written down all that they could remember, flute, clarinet, bassoon, oboe (thanks to Peter and the Wolf which had been fully explored in Kinder and 1st grade.) and I was starting to augment the list to include some instruments that they were not as familiar with…..My plan was to build the chart and then watch short video clips as we moved from one family to the next…… The application and aural identification was to happen in a later lesson….. …..  On this day I was presenting the lesson to a reasonably responsive class, even though some were passive, everyone was at least politely attentive. I wrote down piccolo and realized suddenly that I was having a brain freeze and couldn’t remember if I was spelling it correctly or not.  Since I had asked my students to copy the chart we were creating for themselves, I wanted to make doubly...
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