No Instruments, No Problem!

I can’t begin to tell you how many people think that you can’t use the Orff Process if you don’t have the “instruments.”  You DO have the instruments.  This body percussion Cannon, written by Keetman (one of Carl Orff’s colleagues) is found in the supplemental volumes to the Schulwerk.  I’ve used this exact lesson and cannon with a combination class of 4th and 5th grades, in their classroom, with over 45 of them, and no “instruments” except for what you’re born with, your body.


Body Percussion: Play the Music!

Resource Used: Rhythmische Ubung, Kanon, page 6, number 17, Gunild Keetman, Schott. (ISMN: M-001-0676-8)

A Section:

Play the music here*, play the music there. You can play it anywhere! (yes) Play the music here, play the music there. You can play it anywhere!

Teach the class Body Percussion All of the bold words are played with the right hand on the right leg. The other words are played with alternating hands on the left leg. Practice together.

B Section:

Display this rhythm on the board: (ta, ta, ti-ti, ti-ti) You can ___________,

Allow the students to generate a list of things they can do to make music anywhere. Help them refine the text to match the rhythm on the visual. •

Select three responses, chain them together, and add a “so much fun!” (you can pat a little, you can clap a little, you can snap a little, so much fun!)

Remember to experiment with dynamics. Often times, people perform all body percussion pieces at the same dynamic level. Vary it, it makes it so much more musical!

Perform ABA.

NGSSS MU.4.S.1.1 Improvise phrases, using familiar songs.

MU.4.S.1.3 Arrange a familiar song for voices or instruments by manipulating form.

MU.4.S.2.1 Apply knowledge of musical structure to aid in sequencing and memorization and to internalize details of rehearsal and performance.

MU.4.O.3.2 Apply expressive elements to a vocal or instrumental piece and, using correct music vocabulary, explain one’s choices.

MU.4.F.1.1 Create new interpretations of melodic or rhythmic pieces by varying or adding dynamics, timbre, tempo, lyrics, and/or movement.


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