Exploring: The Next Step

If you caught yesterday’s post you read about our power as music teachers.  If you missed it, CLICK HERE. We, as teachers, sometimes feel the need to “Save the World.” In that feeling we sometimes begin to feel overwhelmed and feel like that there isn’t enough time to get everything done, every objective covered, every grade entered, etc….  Consider this quote from Pema Chodron:

“We don’t set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people’s hearts.”
Pema Chödrön
In the business fo teaching we affect children’s hearts every day in magical ways!  One way is by letting the students personal voices come out.  Allowing students to play (like yesterday’s game), and explore (like today’s game) lets them feel heard, have fun, and learn music.  It’s wonderful!  Today we are looking at the next step of the Orff Process, exploration.
 After you allow the children to play with the hand drums in a guided discovery session you can start to give them more freedom in their own exploration session.  This time, adding rhythm.
  • Have the students imitate the teacher speaking the words from yesterday’s lesson “This is not a drum, it’s a ______.” (just pick something that they liked from yesterday).  You can make it longer by repeating the “this is not a drum, no – it’s not a drum, no way -it’s not a drum it’s a ______.” 
  • Once they all can speak in unison allow them to transfer the text to body percussion.
  • One the rhythm is internalized the students can break into small groups.  Allow each group to have one or more hand drums.
  • The students are to pick ONE thing that their drum will be.  They can practice showing their idea. (Three students chant and present the drum as a pizza).  That becomes one section of the drum piece.
  • After students all have their patterns and can play them on their drum they can perform for the class.
  • The class can set a form for a “final performance”

It might sound like this:

Group A: (students play the drum and then make the drum look like a hat)

“this is not a drum, no – it’s not a drum, no way -it’s not a drum it’s a hat!”

Group B: (the students play the rhythm on the drums and then present the drum as a pizza).

“this is not a drum, no – it’s not a drum, no way -it’s not a drum it’s a _pizza.”


I did this earlier this week and it was a HIT! I can’t wait to do it with my crazy class this afternoon – it will be a hoot.

Happy Orffing!

If you try this, let me know! Also, send an email or post a comment if it doesn’t make sense and I’ll try to clarify it for you.


One response to “Exploring: The Next Step

  1. Due to the long weekend, regular posting will resume on Tuesday, 2.22.11.

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