Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Favorite Quote

We have a former parent who is putting quotes above our classroom doors using vinyl lettering. Here is a picture of my finished quote:


Treble Clef Candy Canes

Last year, I made treble clef candy canes for my Orff and Choir students. I posted about this in July.


But, I didn't take a picture of the candy canes attached to the card. Here is this year's version of the gift for my Orff and Choir students. I used red and white candy canes this year because I had an abundance of white pipe cleaners on hand and didn't want to have to buy more.


 
UPDATE: I have added a new post with a video tutorial. Click this link.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giveaway Ends Tonight!

This is your last chance to enter to win the Monkey Drum Deluxe app! You have until midnight to comment on the original giveaway post or like my Facebook page.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Monkey Drum Deluxe GIVEWAY

One of the developers of "Monkey Drum" read my recent review of the app. (If you missed the post, follow this link http://musicwithmrsdennis.blogspot.com/2012/10/monkey-drum-app.html) As a thank you, he provided me with 2 free codes to access the deluxe version of the app with all instruments unlocked and no in app purchases.

I will be using one of the codes as a giveaway to my readers. You may enter the giveaway 2 ways:

1) Comment below on your favorite post by "Music With Mrs. Dennis.
2) Like "Music With Mrs. Dennis" on Facebook.


The giveaway will end at midnight on Thanksgiving day. I will randomly select a winner and notify them on Friday, November 23rd.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Halloween Music Door

We always have a trick or treat night where the students get to parade through the hallways in the costumes and trick or treat. Each teacher sits outside their door giving away treats. This year, out PTO decided to give prizes (gift cards to a store of out choice) for the teacher with he best decorated door and the best costume. Well, thanks to Pinterest, everyone had really cute doors. So, I knew I had to up my game plan. My door was going to be more than a decoration. I designed a door that enhanced my instruction.


I always use Halloween as a chance to discuss minor harmony. I used the door during instruction to also discuss several other musical elements. 

Recipe for Spooky Music 


Minor Harmony (dissonant chords make your skin crawl)

Unusual Sound Effects (usually from the percussion family)

Subito Fortissimo (suddenly loud)
Musical example: "Skin and Bones"

Accellerando (gradually get faster)
Musical example: "Hall of the Mountain King"

Melody Goes Higher (raising the pitch level increases suspense) 
Musical example: Jaws theme






Students in grades 2-5 completed an exit slip before they left class. They completed a sentence "Our music sounded spooky because . . ." I picked a few papers from each class to frame my door. Here are a few student responses



The winners of the door decorating contest have not yet been announced. I'll let you know if my time and effort is rewarded.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Energizer Bunny

Our school trick-or-treat night was tonight. This is a costume idea that I have has for 5 years. It is impossible to find pink bunny ears at Halloween. I finally found these pink ears at Easter time for $1 at Target! The last item that was very hard to find was pink pants. I could not find adult sized pink sweat pants anywhere. I finally found some pink scrub pants that worked nicely. If it wasn't for the baby bump the drum would be strapped on and I would be sporting this down our street on Halloween!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Monkey Drum App


Monkey Drum-Free App

This is another FREE app that I think will be very useful in the music classroom. The main menu allows you to pick 2 ways to play. This is how the menu looks on an iPhone or iPod. When you click on the center image, you enter the most basic type of play. Here, you can play rhythms and melodies on instruments and when you pause or finish your phrase, the monkey will be a copy cat and repeat exactly what you just played. (Get it? Monkey see, monkey do!) The more you play, the more the monkey starts showing he likes your music by clapping or even dancing. 




After playing a little while, you and the monkey are rewarded with a banana to feed the monkey. After eating 3 bananas, you get 10 free hearts to use to purchase more instruments, more animal characters, or even accessories to dress up your monkey. You also get 15 free hearts each day you play. Just check the mailbox on the main menu to get your daily free hearts.

The game comes with 3 instruments unlocked for free (djembe drum, thumb piano, and xylophone). Other instruments available to unlock with heart coins are congas, an acoustic guitar, and a microphone. 


Another way to play is the Song Maker. For the youngest children, they can just have fun exploring sounds by drawing shapes on the boxes. For older children, they can carefully compose intricate rhythms, melodies, and harmonies. the bottom right corner features a page turner. Each page features 8 beats. (If you choose a faster tempo, you may treat each page like a 4 beat measure allowing you to compose with eighth notes and syncopation.) I believe you can have an unlimited number of pages/measures in your composition. (I scrolled down to 207 and it was still going!) When you hit play, you get to view the animals in video mode playing your composition.


There are also a few preloaded songs you select and then edit to create your own variation. Sometimes its a little overwhelming composing from scratch. Some students may like to start with a framework first. 

For more on the Monkey Drum app, visit http://flippfly.com/monkeydrum/

Classroom Application

So far, I have only used this app with one kindergarten class. We finished our lesson very quickly; they were being great listeners and following directions! We had completed all the activities in my lesson plan and still had about 10 minutes left. So, I opened the Monkey Drum app and had them echo some simple rhythms with quarter notes and eighth note pairs. First, I played some rhythms and let the students watch the monkey be the echo. Then, I asked the kids to help the monkey when it was his turn to echo. After a few examples, I had individual students come up to play a rhythm on the monkey drum. I would tell them a rhythm and they would try to play it on the drum. When the monkey would echo it back, it was a great way for the class and the student to hear what they did and evaluate their performance. Most of them could hear right away if the rhythm was not exactly what I had originally performed. On this particular day, I was just using the app as a time filler, but I immediately made a mental note to use it as an assessment tool in the future. I can watch the students performing rhythms (either by echoing me or by reading notation).

With the older students, I think the Song Maker feature would be great for composition. First, the students could compose rhythms (or even a short melody) on paper. After I graded their work, they could try to notate it on the Song Maker. Obviously, not every student would have time to try it on the app if I only have one iPad. However, as I was introducing the Blob Chorus app to the students I started polling the students asking them who had an iPod touch at home. More than half in each class would raise their hands. I bet the students would love a chance to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). If I attempt this, I will let you know how it goes.

Coda

My 2-year old daughter also loves this app! She loves to take turns playing with the monkey and she loves to feed the monkey the bananas. But, I think her favorite thing to do is to check the mail! She loves to open the mail and try to read the letter. This app can entertain a wide range of ages!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hall Passes

What do you do with the blank CDs that have errors and cannot be used to write music or data? I make mine into hall passes!


I have used CDs as hall passes for several years. This is the second set I made. For the first set, I used an entire rainbow set of Sharpies and drew bubble letters with shadowed lettering and everything. I spent a lot of time coloring on both sides of the CDs and getting a Sharpie headache. By the end of last spring, all the CDs had cracked or broken because kids had started bending them. But, the first set lasted at least 4 years. (I did change out the string just for hygienic reasons.)

This year, I decided that the time spent making an artistic masterpiece that was destined to go into public restrooms around the neck of children who may or may not wash their hands was not the best use of  my time. I just wrote the words quickly and drew some eighth notes. Do the kids care? Probably not. Did anyone even notice my detailed artistic work on the original set? Probably not. Do the kids still think they are awesome because they are shiny CDs? Absolutely.

I also found a cute treble clef coat hanger a few years ago at the Dollar Store for $5. This hangs right by my door under the light switches.


Occasionally, while standing in line waiting for their homeroom teacher to come, a kid will notice that the musical notes are not accurate and that the treble clefs only go at the beginning of the staff. I just use it as a teachable moment and have them explain what is wrong and how it should be changed in order to be accurate.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Rhythm Cat App


Another app I have downloaded for the iPad is Rhythm Cat Free. With the free version, you get 15 levels of rhythms. There is background music that plays and one measure of clicks to count off and tell you when to start playing the rhythms. You hold down the green button to play the rhythms. Here is a screenshot of Level 4.


As you play the rhythms, the notes and rests that you perform correctly turn green. When you are finished, you get a score of 1, 2, or 3 stars (similar to Angry Birds). 

This is a screenshot of Level 5.


You must hold the notes for their full duration or the note will not be counted correctly. The music accompanying the rhythms comes in various styles and tempi. Level 6 first introduces dotted-half notes. Level 10 introduces 3/4 time signature.

Beginning with level 13, there are two buttons to play the rhythms. The green button plays the black notes as normal. A blue button appears on the left side of the screen and should be used to play the blue notes. The screenshot below is Level 15. 


The eighth notes are really supposed to be blue. At this time, I do not plan on paying $2.99 to upgrade to Rhythm Cat Pro. It features 60 levels, but I think it would be too advanced for elementary students. The screenshots on iTunes show 2 and even 3 different color buttons and many complex, syncopated rhythms including ties over the barline. Unless you have students who are taking private lessons on an instrument, the free version will challenge them enough.

Classroom Application

We have only had our iPads for a couple weeks and I have not yet been brave enough for individual students to try games individually. I have demonstrated this app to a few classes if they had a few spare minutes at the end of class. The kids were immediately intrigued and seemed excited about this app. I think I will definitely try this individually in December. Level 11 features the "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" from the Nutcracker Suite. The rhythm is simple using quarter notes, eighth note pairs, and quarter rests. I think most students in grades 2-5 could perform this rhythm correctly. I will certainly take a screenshot of the rhythm and show it on my Activboard so we all can practice it as a class before the students are asked to perform it individually. I have not yet decided whether this could be counted for a grade or not. There is no real score in the end, only a rating of 1, 2, or 3 stars. But, it may get the kids excited about performing rhythms. If I give them a chance to play the app in class, perhaps some kids will download it on their iPods or other devices when they get home and get more practice reading rhythms.

I wish . . . 

After you play a note or rest, they turn blue. However, every note (regardless of the duration) turns into a blue quarter note after you play it. This is a glitch that will hopefully be fixed in an update.

I also wish that you got a number score to accompany the star rating (as you do in Angry Birds).

Several reviews on iTunes mention a request for the ability to practice some exercises at a slower tempo. A few of the levels are very, very quick. I agree that it would be very helpful for younger students to be able to practice the rhythms at a slower tempo.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Blob Chorus: Free Ear Training Game

In a previous post, I announced that we would be getting iPads. I have only had the iPad for 2 weeks now and have already found some amazing and FREE apps to enhance my elementary music curriculum. If you love technology, stay tuned and become a follower of my blog; I'm sure I will have many posts about integrating the iPad into music classroom.

If you don't have an iPad, iPhone, iPod, or other device to use in the classroom, don't stop reading! The first app I will be sharing is also available in a web version and can be used on any computer connected to the internet! This would be great if you have a projector or interactive white board.


"Blob Chorus"

My favorite app so far is "Blob Chorus." This app is a free download but is also available in a web version at http://www.echalk.co.uk/tasters/taster1/taster.html.
It is an ear training game. The green blobs each sing a different pitch. Then, the King Blob sings a pitch. You have to select which blob is singing the same pitch as the King. On the bottom of the screen, there is a "hear blobs again" button so you can listen to the blobs as many times as you need before selecting an answer.



If you select the wrong blob, it explodes but allows you to continue guessing until you get the correct answer. You may also click "hear blobs again" to hear the remaining blobs sing.


The other button on the bottom of the screen is "Options" and allows you to change the difficulty of the game. You can have as few as 2 blobs to choose from or as many as 8 blobs to choose from. The default setting opens 3 blobs every time.

After 10 questions, the app gives you a score and percentage.


Classroom Application

So far, I have shown the app to a few classes if I had 5 extra minutes left at the end of the lesson. I explained the game and had students listen to the blobs sing. I did not allow them to shout out answers. I asked them to show me the number of the blob on their fingers. This allowed me to quickly scan the room and estimate how many people were hearing the pitches correctly. This will be a great tool to use when students are in line waiting for their classroom teacher to pick them up. Instead of expecting them to wait in silence, they will want to be quiet so they all can hear the blobs!

In a few weeks, I plan on using this as a type of exit slip for 2nd grade and up. During my regular lesson, students will take turns going back to the iPad, completing a game of 10 questions, and recording their score. If I don't think the students will be honest, I may have to leave one student at the iPad the entire time to ensure honesty and help out if they have a question. I will let you know how this goes when I attempt this assessment.

Several of my students went home and immediately downloaded the app on their iPods! I'm sure your students will enjoy this game as much as mine do!

On a side note: 

My 2 year-old even enjoys this app. But, she wants to get the answers wrong. She loves to see the blobs explode. She says, "I made a messy, messy, mess!" She gets upset if she guesses the correct answer! LOL

Leap Back Home to Me


I love using children's literature in the classroom. Last spring, when browsing the book fair, this book immediately caught my attention. The title, "Leap Back Home to Me," made me think of how we call the pitch "do" home base. A few weeks ago, this book was used in a second grade lesson to introduce melodic improvisation, phrasing, and ending a phrase on "do."

Even though I had been looking forward to using this book in a lesson all summer long, my student teacher was actually the one who got to teach this lesson. The book is very rhythmic and is set up in stanzas of 4 lines. In each stanza, the first 3 lines are different places that the baby frog leaps when playing and exploring away from the momma frog. The 4th line always repeats the phrase "leap back home to me."

When my student teacher first read the book she used a speaking voice until she got to the phrase "leap back home to me." On this phrase, we used a simple melody "mi, mi, re, re, do." The students naturally began patting a steady beat and soon caught on to the form of the stanzas and began singing along with the recurring phrase "leap back home to me". 

After finishing the book, the student teacher directed the students' attention to the magnetic hand signs and had the students echo the pattern "mi, mi, re, re, do." She brought the students' attention back to the form of the poem asking how many places the frog leaps away from the momma before leaping back home. She asked them to pat a steady beat and count how many beats are in each sentence. (Answer: 4). Then, she asks them to calculate how many beats we pat before we sing "leap back home to me" (Answer: 12). They practice this pattern of patting 12 beats and then using hand signs to sing "mi, mi, re, re, do" before moving to the barred instruments.


Once at the instruments, she instructs them how to properly remove the F and B bars for C pentatonic. Using the "fake instrument," she has them echo some short melodies with mi, re, and do. Some melodies end on do and some do not. She asks them which phrases sound like they are finished (Answer: the ones that end in do). Then, she has the students echo the pattern "mi, mi, re, re, do" from the phrase "leap back home to me."

When the students can successfully play the melodic pattern, she asks the students to click their mallets for 12 beats and then play the melodic phrase. When students can successfully perform the pattern of 12 clicks and then the melody, she allows them to improvise on the 12 beats picking 12 bars to play before playing the   phrase "mi, mi, re, re, do."

Lastly, the students are asked to play along while the teacher reads the book again. At first, the students were playing way too loud. Even though the teacher was using the pendant microphone, it was still impossible to hear the book with 24 kids playing very loudly on their instruments. After asking the students to pretend like they were tiptoeing instead of leaping, they were playing quiet enough to hear the story. The students seemed to enjoy the book and were not afraid to explore the instruments and improvise. By the end of the year, I will introduce rhythmic building blocks and begin to get students comfortable improvising with rhythms using ta and titi.

Where Can I Find This Book?


Sunday, September 23, 2012

A New Twist On Posting Student Work


Currently, there is a statewide push to emphasize performing and creating in the arts. The statewide Arts & Humanities assessment (which consisted of 13 multiple-choice questions and 1 open response question) was eliminated a few years ago. It has been replaced by the Arts & Humanities Program Review which is a way for each school to assess their arts programs throughout the enitre year. We are encouraged to collect evidence of student learning throughout the year through pictures and video. Although there are still many kinks to work out with this process, I am a big fan of the switch to the Program Reviews. It is much more improtant for a student to be engaged in making music instead of reciting textbook definitions of music vocabulary words. (Most of you are probably not music teachers in Kentucky, but if you are interested in our new Program Reviews, you may visit the Kentucky Departement of Education website.)

With the new emphasis on the artistic process, we now have to adjust our outlook on other things as well, such as posting student work.  Since we are encouraged to document evidence for the new Program Reviews, I found myself taking more pictures in the classroom. A fellow teacher started posting pictures in the hallway to show what the students were DOING in the music classroom. During a visit to her school last spring, I saw her pictures and thought is was a fabulous idea!

At the end of August, I posted several pictures in the hallway highlighting a variety of activities and grade levels. (You can see on the right that I also saved some hallway space for the traditional paper exit slip.) 

 
I wish I had money to afford printing the pictures in color, but they still look good in black and white.  (I posted the pictures in color on my classroom webpage.) I printed the pictures on regular copy paper and placed each picture in a plastic page protector before hanging them in the hallway. I plan on replacing the pictures with new ones at the end of each month. 
According to district policy, all student work posted in the hallway must be accompanied by core content numbers. I have included both the state and national standards as well as the learning target of the lesson. Below you can see a few of the pictures. I have blurred the student faces to protect their privacy.







FOLLOW UP: Magnetic Hand Signs

"Magnetic Hand Signs" has quickly become one of my most popular posts, currently sitting at #2 in my most popular posts. If you missed the link, be sure to click the link and check it out.


Several people have blogged about how they are using the magnetic hand signs in their classroom. I would like to share some more ideas on how to use the hand signs that I saw on Make Music Rock. I have provided 2 versions of the hand signs (one with the names and one without). Laura printed one version in blue and one in green. To help kids understand which pitches would be lines and spaces, she mixed the 2 sets alternating blue and green.


I think this is an awesome idea! I, myself, am a visual learner and this would definitely help kids with visual learning styles. Next on my to-do-list: Print hand signs in another color!


Friday, September 21, 2012

Update on Core Arts Standards


In May, I first posted about the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards. If you missed this post or are unfamiliar with the task force creating our Core Arts Standards, you may want to check out my post "Where's Our Common Core?"
The original timeline has been revised and has been posted on the NCCAS wikispace. I have copied this timeline below:

NATIONAL COALTION FOR CORE ARTS STANDARDS
REVISED STANDARDS WRITING PROJECT TIMELINE

September 2011Hiring of Project Director
November 2011NCCAS establishes discipline writing team chairs 
December 2011NCCAS establishes discipline writing teams
January 2012NCCAS issues first draft of guiding framework
January 2012 - June 2012Initiate writing process with virtual meetings of writing teams
June 2012Face to face writing team meetings 
September 2012Writing team chairs meet face to face for inter-team sharing of work
November- December 2012First tier review of drafts with NCCAS Leadership and National Advisory Team Members 
January 2013Face to face writing team meetings.
Example Cornerstone Assessment Tasks ready to pilot. 
March 2013Rough drafts of standards ready for next tier review.
April 2013Reviewers’ comments compiled and shared with writing teams.
May 2013Writing teams refine work and continue developing cornerstone assessments for second pilot. 
June – August 2013Writing teams meet face to face to review results of cornerstone assessment task pilots. Standards are transferred to web based relational database.
September 2013Initiate phase 2 pilot, continue collecting student work, refining assessment and setting benchmarks. Continue website development as needed.

There is also a video of a live webcast from June addressing some questions from teachers. Here are a few highlights that caught my attention:

Grade-Specific Standards

The standards will be definitely be broken down by each grade level for Pre-K through 8th grade. Currently, our national standards are grouped by K-4, 5-8, etc. For high school, they will not be assigning certain standards for each grade level because of the nature of high school electives and scheduling. More information about this can be found on the NCCAS wikispace. 

Bloom's New Taxonomy

Bloom's New Taxonomy is being used by the writing teams when designing the standards. If you are not familiar with the changes to Bloom's, take a look at the diagram below:
http://www4.uwsp.edu/education/lwilson/curric/newtaxonomy.htm
Creating now appears at the very top of the pyramid. This is great news for arts educators! This means that students participating in music and creating art should be valued more than students answering multiple choice questions about art vocabulary terms. 

Cornerstone Assessments

The video of the webcast discusses cornerstone assessments in more detail. Essentially, these assessments will be performance based and reflect processes in the arts rather than recalling information. The website will feature a database of sample assessments that teachers may search. Much of the database may be audio or visual examples One example discussed was an audio recordings of what a 4th grade singing voice should sound like. This sounds like a wonderful resource, but current timeline ends at September 2013 with no estimated deadline to finish this project. It may be awhile before we can even see the first drafts of the standards. There were a few still-shot pictures disclosed to the public of what the website database may look like. I posted these in my previous post "Where's Our Common Core?" If you missed that post, feel free to check it out.

I will continue to check the NCCAS wikispace periodically and update you all with any important updates that are released.

Update

I just want to apologize to everyone for posting very little now that school has started. Although the pressures of the school year are in full swing, there are other reasons I have not had much time to blog. I have been a little under-the-weather lately. But, I am happy to announce that we are expecting our second child in March. The first trimester queasiness is starting to subside and I'm getting more energy back. I hope to post more regularly now. That is, until the second baby arrives :) But, I am currently experiencing some insomnia, which is why I'm blogging at 4 am.

On another note, this year I have been blessed with my very first student teacher. Although Ms. Morrison's passion is to become an orchestra director, she is slowly becoming more comfortable working at the elementary level. I am confident that if she finds herself in an elementary position, she will serve her students well. She has one more week with us before she must move on to her secondary placement. I will be sad to see her go; I have enjoyed her companionship.

Lastly, (drumroll, please . . . )
Next Thursday at our faculty meeting we will be trained on our new iPads! I am so excited! For anyone who has read my blog, you probably know how much I love new technology. We are VERY fortunate to have interactive white boards, document cameras, among many other things. We received most of this technology through our construction renovation. The special ed department received iPads last year with special ed funds. Our principal somehow found money to supply the rest of the faculty with iPads as well. I will certainly  be blogging about this technology in the near future. So, stay tuned!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

"Old Betty Larkin": A Kentucky Folk Dance


Greetings, from Kentucky! We just finished a lesson introducing the mountain dulcimer, Jean Ritchie, and a Kentucky folk dance, "Old Betty Larkin." The dulcimer is Kentucky's state instrument, so I always make sure to expose my students to our Kentucky heritage at least a couple times throughout the school year. "Old Betty Larkin" is a game song that any age will enjoy. I teach this lesson to 2nd-5th grade every year and it is a favorite the kids remember from year to year.


The song and dance can be found in "120 Singing Games and Dance For Elementary School" by Lois Choksy and David Brummit. This is a great resource and I use it often. If you don't currently own a copy, I promise it will be worth your investment! On westmusic.com, this retails for $162.00. I know I paid more than $100 for my copy several years ago when I purchased on amazon.com.  I did a quick search and found it at walmart.com for only $68! What a deal!


The song is in D dorian, but the kids usually pick up on the melody very quickly. (It's actually refreshing to get out of the world of C Major pentatonic!) I usually accompany the song on my dulcimer just playing a drone throughout the song without worrying about the melody string because I have zero skills or training in actually playing the dulcimer. There are chord changes you could choose to play if you were accompanying the song on piano, guitar, or even Orff instruments. (I've always wanted to make an Orff arrangement for this song but haven't gotten around to it yet!)

We repeat the song several times. Usually we try to give everyone a turn, but sometimes we just run out of time. If you have an even number of students, we have 2 people in the middle to be Betty/Billy. I just remind them to go to opposite sides of the circle to start the weaving so that they don't end up stealing 2 people from the same couple. This is a time saver to allow more kids to have a turn. The older kids could handle 3 in the middle if you are adventurous!

Dance Connections

Here are a few questions I usually ask the kids to include dance vocabulary in the lesson: 
In verse 1, who was locomotor? Everyone except Betty/Billy
In verse 2, who was locomotor? Only Betty/Billy
In verse 3, who was locomotor? Only the new Betty/Billy
In verse 1, what kind of pathway did you travel? Curved
In verse 2, what kind of pathway did Betty/Billy travel? Zigzag
In verse 3, what kind of pathway did the new Betty/Billy travel? Straight (to go to the center)
Which verse(s) had a double circle formation? Verse 1
Which verse(s) had a single circle formation? Verse 2 & 3
In verse 1, did our circle move clockwise or counter-clockwise? (counter-clockwise)

I always encourage students to use the dance posters for help answering these questions. If you missed my post talking about these fabulous dance posters, click this link.

Historical Connections


This year, I saved the last 10 minutes of class to talk about Jean Ritchie and show a video of her playing "Old Betty Larkin" on the dulcimer. The video comes from a radio show that is televised on our local PBS station, "Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour." Their website woodsongs.com has video and audio archives of all their shows. The episode I use is #450. A direct link to the video can be found by clicking the picture below. The video opens in Windows Media Player.


You can cue the video to 18:10 to show only the song "Old Betty Larkin" but before she plays she talks about being a young child sneaking to play her father's dulcimer when he was out working in the fields. She also talks about going to New York straight out of college. When people saw her carrying the dulcimer on the subway, they would beg her to play it because they had never seen an instrument like that before. She began playing in clubs and is credited with bringing the sound of the dulcimer to the world-wide audience. Jean also talks briefly about the tuning of the instrument. It is a wonderful interview, very insightful and informative. The interview begins at cue mark 11:40.

After the video, I usually ask the kids to compare and contrast her version of the song to our version. Jean skips the verse that says "Needle in a haystack" but also includes another verse that says "You take mine, I'll take another." Jean's version can also be found in her book "Folk Songs of the Southern Appalachians." "Old Betty Larkin" is on page 15 and can be viewed in the preview on amazon.com. The book is $15.91 on Amazon.

I'm sure your students will enjoy this game song. If you have any other activities or suggestions to accompany this lesson, please share your ideas!