Saturday, October 19, 2019

Orff Arranging With An App

I love to use the Acapella app to help create Orff arrangements. You can record videos and hear multiple parts simultaneously. There is a free version and paid version available in the Apple Store and Google Play.

With the free version of the app, you can record up to one minute in length.  Since most of the Orff arrangements use repeated ostinatos, I have never needed a video longer than one minute. The paid upgrade offers longer videos and more options for formatting the video windows. 

I have used the Acapella app to create videos to share Orff arrangements with other teachers. I have also posted videos on my classroom webpage for students to watch and practice at home. A few examples can be found below. 

I have recently explored the social features of the app and would love to collaborate with other music teachers. If you download the app, you can click the “Discover” tab at the bottom of the screen and search for song titles, artists, tags, or people. I have added the tag #orff or #recorder to my videos.. If you would like to follow me, search for “mrsdennis” under people. If you follow me, I will follow you back. I look forward to building a community of music educators sharing Orff arrangements with each other!

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Friday Reflection: Lost and Found

September set records for the hottest and driest month in over 80 years. But, fall has finally arrived and we are experiencing a cool down. With changing temps comes layers, and children love to shed layers while we are moving and dancing in music class. But, they don't always remember to take their jackets and hoodies with them when they leave. Last year, I came up with a solution.

I call this the Stuff Bucket. Anything the students bring to class that they don't need with them during the lesson goes into this plastic bin. Before I had the Stuff Bucket, I would often find random clothing, hair bows, books, and eye glasses that students would place on any nearby surface. They would sneak them on shelves, tables, my desk, or even the marker tray at the board. Often I would not notice these things until the end of the day, or even the following day, and with many classes visiting my room, it was difficult to track down owners of the lost items.

My Stuff Bucket sits right by the door so we can make sure it is empty before each class leaves. I have seen a significant reduction in unclaimed items and I rarely have to take items to the school's Lost and Found. If you have a problem with abandoned jackets and lost items, you should create try creating your own Stuff Bucket. Let me know if it helps or if you have any other suggests to prevent the accumulation of lost items.