Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Tips and Tricks for Engaging Rehearsals #1!

I love the holiday season! Yipeeeee! And as much as our holiday musical songs can drive me crazy (I wake up in the middle of the night with them stuck in my head!) I love preparing for our annual Holiday Musical!

To keep from kids getting bored (as well as myself), I always like to add quick, fun and meaningful activities in my rehearsal plans. For our holiday musical, all of our grade 1 to 3 students learn the songs during their Music class and are the chorus on the stage for the musical. Grade 3 students choose whether or not they would like a speaking part and practice during lunch time.

Here are some activities that I love to do with my kids to keep them engaged, especially during that time where the kids think they are pros at the songs. They don't see the point in singing over and over and over again, but you know better! 

Visuals For Vocal Flexibility

Ribbon Sounds

I use this as a warm up or an "inbetweener" for rehearsal. All you do is draw different shapes with the ribbon wand in the air. As you do so, the students create vocal slides accordingly. They LOVE this! Sometimes, I'll get them to draw the shape in the air with their finger as they vocalize it. Once they get the hang of it, I ask a student to come up and be the leader with my ribbon wand. I got my ribbon wand for $1.00 at Dollarama!

Parachute Voices
This is a similar idea to Ribbon Sounds, but is not my idea. I saw Artie Almeida demonstrate this at the AOSA conference in St. Louis last week. She is AMAZING by the way! And yes, she IS the Mallet Madness woman! Check out her website at artiealmeida.com for excellent ideas. I was so excited when I saw her doing this as it is similar to the ribbon wand activity that I was already doing!

Artie used a slide whistle which was super cool, but you can also use your voice to do the vocal slides. Students hold a parachute and together lift and lower it, according to the changes in pitch that they hear. Eventually, Artie moved to singing solfege and the parachute moved accordingly. This is a great way for students to visualize pitch and where the solfege sounds are in relation to each other . I have also had a student do vocal slides instead of myself, while his/her peers moved the parachute. LOVE it!

I used a small parachute as I don't have much room for movement in my room. You can order 12' parachutes for under $40.00 at Concord Supplies.

Be sure to check back for part II and possibly III of Tips and Tricks for Engaging Rehearsals!
I will also be posting costume ideas very soon!

What tricks do you use to keep kids captivated?
- Steph

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