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mkb266 07-22-2012 06:27 PM

new elementary music teacher
This will be my first year teaching elementary music (I've been a middle school band director for three years) and I have many, many questions. First of all, I have behavior incentive charts designed for my classes (a fun Monopoly game and I treble clef chart) and my expectations are going to be based off of the school's PBS behavior system. I've been doing PBS for three years, so I'm very familiar with it. However, I want to have some small incentives for the kids to get while they are in the process of finishing the charts. I figure it will be pretty hard for them to wait an entire semester for a reward so I want to have some built it. Does anyone have any really good incentives that don't take up a lot of time? I only see the kids once a week for thirty minutes so every second is valuable. I was thinking music games (which I have to do some research on), listening or singing one of their favorite songs, watching Animusic for five minutes, etc. I really want the incentives to be music-based and worthwhile to the students.

Secondly, I'm going to be running an after-school choir one day a week and have very little experience with elementary choir. Any thoughts on literature? Do you teach students how to read music? In elementary band it was expected but a specific fingering produced a certain note so I feel that teaching notes is a little more difficult in choir. Any thoughts, methods to do this?

Finally, I also want to do some sort of instrumental ensemble, maybe even with trash cans and other household objects. I did this at the middle school level and they LOVED IT. Is there anything out there for elementary ensembles? These students (unless they're taking lessons) will not have experience playing instruments except for some basic recorder playing and Orff instruments.

I lied, one more thing... I also want to incorporate Orff instruments in my curriculum, but, once again, have no experience. I'm sure there are resources out there but am not sure what the best ones are. I'm going to try to get Orff certified this year but in the meantime, I have to fake my way through. I definitely have experience playing mallet instruments, but don't know the lingo or processes for teaching these instruments. I heard Mallet Madness was a pretty good resource.

Thanks for all your help.

1956BD 08-10-2012 06:24 PM

New Music Teacher
Oh boy, the students are going to seem like babies to you at first. <!--eyebrow--> I used to teach HS and MS. Then I changed to elementary and love it. It is a big change though.

I like the idea of musical rewards. Maybe you could have them earn the right to play, "Guess That Song". You could play a small song bite and then have them guess the title of the song, what movie it is from or who sang the song. Just an idea. Elementary kids like guessing, especially when they are correct.

You might also Google music riddles. The students could earn the right to answer a riddle at the end of the period. I do a riddle a day in my third grade class and they love guessing the answer.

Sorry, I can't help with your other questions as I am not a musical person.

How about incorporating some movement and dance? They will behave better if they can get some wiggles out. This is especially true of the little guys. It will also teach them about rhythm.

You might also check into musical field trips. Our fifth graders go to a short version of the city's symphony each year. Our third graders attend a shortened version of The Nutcracker. Both are sponsored by large businesses like Target. Our students just pay about $3 to cover bus/transportation costs. Just an idea.

Our music teach also has each class perform a grade level concert for the school and then that same night again for parents. It is really good experience for them to get on a stage and perform. The parents love this!

Good luck! Best wishes for a wonderful 2012-2013 school year.

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