Central Carolina Orff Chapter Workshop

 

Central Carolina Orff Chapter

Creating a Dynamic Learning Community with Traditional Dance, Song & Storytelling

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Many thanks for Meaghan and Shannon for all the work they did to set this up, including driving us hither and yon and taking us out to dinner.  Thanks to Kathy Pause to hosting the workshop in such a beautiful space and helping out with sound.  And thanks to everyone else for your help and your enthusiastic participation in the workshop; we had a wonderful time!

Below is a list of everything we did in the workshop with a few extra notes.

But first, a Shameless Advertisment and then Meet the Family.

     *          *           *

SHAMELESS ADVERTISING

   * Friday - Sunday, September 13 - 15

        Star Island Harmony

   Led by Peter & Mary Alice Amidon, and Mary Cay Brass

a choral harmony singing fest on one of the most beautiful islands on the planet.

 

     * *

For September/October release:

Fifty-Five Anthems for the Small Church Choir

arranged and composed by Peter & Mary Alice Amidon

book and companion CD sold separately.

 

*          *           *

MEET THE FAMILY

 

Sam, Mary Alice, Zara, Peter, Stefan

Sam

Sam's wife Beth

Stefan

Stefan's girlfriend Zara

*          *           *

NOTES ON THE WORKSHOP
Blaydon Races - p. 10 in handout
in NEDM’s Chimes of Dunkirk collection
We used ‘Blaydon Races’ from NEDM’s  2010 Revision of the ‘Chimes of Dunkirk’  CD for this. You can also use any jig or  reel medley for this dance. We did this is a mixer, but you can also do it with younger children without changing partners. We often call this at weddings.  We always start  teaching this, as we do with any circle mixer, by having the dancers promenade and defining the gents/moons/peanut butter/inside partners and the ladies/stars/jelly/outside partners.  

My Heart is Ready - not in handout
By Cindy Kallet.  In Amidons forthcoming
"Twenty-five Anthems for Small Church & Community Choirs"
and also available for purchase on Amidons
Choral Sheet Music Download page; go 
to the below link and scroll down to the song.
http://amidonmusic.com/online-choral-store/satb-secular

The Sun is In My Heart p. 13 in handout
In New England Dancing Masters' (NEDM's) "I'm Growing Up" book/CD/DVD
This is a great first activity for young children; we find that it is calming both for them and for the teacher.

Five Little Bunnies p. 13 in handout
In NEDM's "I'm Growing Up" book/CD/DVD

Form the Corn - p. 11 in handout
In NEDM's "I'm Growing Up" book/CD/DVD
Good for all ages!

Galopede - p. 11 in handout
In NEDM's "Chimes of Dunkirk" collection
We always do this to the specific tune ‘Galopede’ which is on the Chimes of Dunkirk companion CD. We often end a community dance with this dance. The 2nd version of ‘Galopede’ on the 2010 revision of the ‘Chimes of Dunkirk’ CD has an extra C music at the end for the ‘eggbeater’ figure where, after the top couple sashays to the bottom the last time through the dance, each successive couple sashays down the middle, while the outside couples continue moving up towards the top of the set.  Sometimes we practice this final figure ahead of time, sometimes we don’t.

Sashay the Donut - p. 11 in handout
In NEDM's "Sashay the Donut" collection
I like calling this with groups of 4th-6th graders, 6-8 couples  in a set, to “The Flying Tent” on NEDM’s “Other Side  of the Tracks” CD.  You have to call pretty strongly in  the beginning to help define the phrase, but later on the  phrase gets much more clear and the dance goes great  with the music.  You can also do this dance with larger groups, in which case the dance will go across the phrasing of the music (once through the dance is more than once through the tune). You just pick up the beginning of the nearest 8 or 16 bar phrase when starting each sequence over again.

PICTURE BOOKS p. 15, 16, 17 in handout

I Live in Music

In the Fiddle is a Song

We All Went on a Safari

Waking Up is Hard to Do

Larry's Mixer - p. 11 in handout
In NEDM's "Listen to the Mockingbird" collection
We used the cut “Cheris” from NEDM’s “Other Side of the Tracks” CD, which is the band “Assembly”, a quartet that includes our two sons Sam (fiddle) and Stefan (percussion). Also try doing this to “The Coming Dawn” from the same CD, or try “Golden Keyboard” from NEDM’s “Any Jig or Reel” CD.  All of these are flowing music, and I find that this dance can have a sublime “Historic English County Dance” feel (think Jane Austen) when done to those cuts of elegant music.   

 * * MORNING BREAK * *

Country Life - p. 8 in handout
on Amidons "Song in My Heart" book & CD
This was a staple of the All-School-Sing Mary Alice and I led at Academy School

Brotherhood & Sisterhood - p. 5 in handout
on Amidons' "Song in My Heart" book & CD
I read both Martin Luther's "I have a dream" speech and Barack Obama's April 2008 speech on race relations in the United States to prepare for writing this song.

Seed in the Ground - p. 4 in handout
on Amidons' "Song in My Heart" book & CD
There is a children's choir version of this (piano SSAA) available on the Amidon's choral music sheet music download.

A Little Seed - p. 2 in handout
on Amidons' "I'm Growing Up"  book and companion CD

I'm Growing Up - p. 3 in handout
on NEDM's "I'm Growing Up" book/CD/DVD
and Amidon's "Song in My Heart" book & companion CD
Try making this into a dance, as Mary Alice did.

 Sleeping Bunnies - p. 2 in handout
on NEDM's "I'm Growing Up" book/CD/DVD
This is a runaway hit with pre-school and kindergarten children.

Here We Go Riding Our Ponies - p. 7 in handout
on NEDM's "I'm Growing Up" book/CD/DVD
A beautiful dance for teaching young children how to politley greet someone else.

 Kindergarten Reel - p. 10 in handout
in NEDM's "Listen to the Mockingbird" book
but just in the book, not on the CD, because the  idea is that you lead this with whatever instrument you play: piano, French horn, recorder, electric guitar, whatever!  However, that being said, here is a recording NEDM did which never made it onto any of our CDs.

Heel & Toe Polka - p. 13 in handout
in NEDM's "Chimes of Dunkirk" book & companion CD
With younger children and at community dances we usually skip the right hand or right elbow turn that follows the clapping, and we go directly to ‘everyone pass right shoulders with partner, walk straight ahead, and take two hands with new partner.’ We have done this dance with children as young as Kindergarten.   Like other circle mixers, you can start out teaching it with the children staying with the same partner, and later one teach the changing partners version.  

 Lucky Seven - p. 10 in handout
In NEDM's "Chimes of Dunkirk" book & companion CD
The grand right & left exercises: First all promenade to determine inside/outside gent/lady or moon/star roles.  Then all face partner.  Ladies crouch while men weave around circle, starting on the inside. Then Men crouch and assist ladies as they weave around: right hand for outside, left hand assist for inside.  Then all stand and face center and do a stationary grand right and left just with the arms, counting up to seven.  Repeat that, but this time stepping in place (two steps per arm reach).  Then face partner and ‘repeat after me’ some of the rules: ‘I will not turn around, I will not go back…’ etc.  Tell them that it always takes seven times to get it right,  and make sure, when it doesn’t go right, that they all go back to where they started from (rather than trying to fix it in the middle of the grand right and left figure). Level one: Wait 8 beats on 2nd half of A2 music.   Level two: dosido partner on 2nd half of A2 music.  

 Choosing Partners
We think it is a real gift to children to teach them  how to choose their own partners.  I like to frame this in ‘Kings’ and ‘Queens’ language to help the children get over their self consciousness over  choosing partners.   I start with a story about how Kings and Queens realized that it might be more fun to dance with more than just their own spouses, and so they needed to devise a polite and efficient way to choose other partners.  “And the method they came up with was so good we still do it today.”   I have them all practice the words: ‘May I please  have this dance?’ ‘Yes thank you.’ and then practice answering me, and then practice  asking me.  Then I demonstrate what it looks like to ask a partner to dance, by asking one of the ‘Queens’.  Then, I have that Queen sit down, and I ask her again, showing the 10 steps: The approach. Eye contact. The question. The answer. King puts out his hand. Queen stands and takes King’s hand. They hang on to each other’s hand and walk to the top of the hall.  If there are  two Queens then there is a Queen on one side and a Queen on the other side.  If there are two Kings (you know the rest). If it is a King and a Queen, the King stands on the King’s side, the Queen on the Queen’s side and they face each other, nose, toes and bellybutton, taking two hands. Then they drop their hands, and, voila, there they are.  

 Kings & Queens - p. 12 in handout
We used ‘On the Danforth’ from NEDM’s ‘Other Side of the Tracks’ CD for this dance.  You might also use our other version of ‘On the Danforth’ which is on our ‘Sashay the Donut’ CD.

LUNCH

Vote for Me - not in handout
in Amidons' "Song in My Heart" book and companion CD.
A great song by Rose Sanders, the first African American female judge in Alabama.  She lives in Selma Alabama and works on educational projects there including writing songs with children.

TELL YOUR STUDENTS STORIES

Owl & Pussycat p. 6 in handout
in Amidons' "Song in My Heart" book & companion CD
I introduced this with a story.

Peddler's Dream
a traditional American folktale.

Thorn Rosa - p. 9 in handout
in NEDM's "Jump Jim Joe" collection
Version one: Thorn Rosa is in the middle of one circle.  Version two: Thorn Rosa is in the middle of the “castle” circle.  Around that is the “thorny hedge” circle.

Highland Gates - p. 9 in handout
in NEDM's "Down in the Valley" collection
This is a great dance for opening a community dance.  Folks can join in the dancing as they straggle in.

 Old Brass Wagon - p. 10 in handout
in NEDM's "Down in the Valley" collection
This can be an a cappella singing game, or, with the CD (or live music) a great early dance to instrumental music.  When Peter teaches it he walks through the figures first, and then says “Now just do whatever Mary Alice says,” and puts on the CD.  

Galopede - p. 11 in handout
in NEDM's "Chimes of Dunkirk" collection
We always do this to the specific tune ‘Galopede’ which is on the Chimes of Dunkirk companion CD. We often end a community dance with this dance. The 2nd version of ‘Galopede’ on the 2010 revision of the ‘Chimes of Dunkirk’ CD has an extra C music at the end for the ‘eggbeater’ figure where, after the top couple sashays to the bottom the last time through the dance, each successive couple sashays down the middle, while the outside couples continue moving up towards the top of the set.  Sometimes we practice this final figure ahead of time, sometimes we don’t.  

Bridge of Athlone - p. 13 in handout
in NEDM's "Listen to the Mockingbird" collection
This requires a 3-part tune.  ‘Listen to the Mockingbird’ has a three part jig: ‘Blarney Pilgrim’ that works great for this dance.  We really like dancing it to the three-part  ‘Reel de Rimouski’ on NEDM’s ‘Any Jig or Reel’ CD, which is what we did in Woodbridge.  We find this to be an engaging dance for 2nd - 6th and great for  a community dance.     

CREATING AN ORIGINAL DANCE
I start with the question: “What is a dance?” A dance starts with a formation (or a shape): longways (line of partners facing each other), circle (partners in circle) or  square (four couples facing in).   There is also the Sicilian Circle formation (couple facing couple around a circle)    And also the concentric circle formation where couples are in a circle with, say, the gents facing out and  the ladies facing in.   Then there are the figures, which is, simply what the dancers do in the dance.  Some obvious figures include some you do with the whole group (let’s say we’re doing a circle mixer)         Forward and back       Circle left, Circle right,        Grand Right and Left          etc.   and figures you do just with your partner (or neighbor)        Right hand turn      Dosido   and some that are a bit of both like       Promenade.   It is OK to have an original figure or two in our original dance, but not too many.  Mostly you should have familiar, common figures that dances can learn quickly.   Once we (or I) decide on a formation, I simply say, “What first.” and do whatever the first person suggests, in our case, “Promenade”.   As the suggestions come in I might invite discussion about which suggestion to choose (if there are more than one).  I try to use as many of the children’s  ideas as possible, and I almost always have the children try out dancing a suggested figure before discussin g it.   Your job is also to facilitate the children creating a dance that is fun to do.  You might make a small suggestion here and there, especially one that might help make a student’s suggestion more successful and flowing.   The children can help figure out how to make the dance fit the AABB of the music.  It is also an option to ignore the AABB and make up a dance that goes across the AABB pattern of the music.   Once you and your students have made up a dance, it is important to name the dance.  This is the same process as making up the dance.  I take in suggestions and facilitate the decision making.  Sometimes we combine the words in two or three different suggestion.  Sometimes we vote on two or three different name candidates.  Sometimes, as  happened with us, someone comes up with a suggestion so inspired that I declare it the official name by acclamation.   When students create their own dance, they really take ownership of it.

 Durham Shuffle

Written by participants in August 2013 Central Carolina Orff Chapter workshop with the Amidons
Formation: Circle Mixer
Music: any jig or reel
A1: Promenade (8)
"Progress": All let go of partners & keep walking: gents walk a little faster, progressing forward past one lady to the 2nd lady in front. (8)
A2: With this new partner: right elbow turn, left elbow turn (16)
B1: Forward and back (8)
Two hand turn partner
B2: Sashay with partner in 4 & out 4 (8)
Grand R & L: three changes: 4th person becomes new partner for the opening promenade.

 BREAK

Picture Books II p. 15, 16, 17 in handout
  Whales
  Mother Earth
  I Miss You Every Day
  Owl Moon
  Day Is Done

Sicilian Vowel Dance - p. 12 in handout
In NEDM's "Sashay the Donut" collection
We used ‘Golden Keyboard’ (actually, the piano only comes in at the end of the cut) from NEDM’s ‘Any Jig or Reel’ for this. Do this with 5th or 6th graders who have a fair amount of dance experience, and who have already learned the grand right and left (‘Lucky Seven’ from our Chimes of Dunkirk collection is a good teaching dance for the Grand Right and Left figure). You should have at least 20 dancers (five groups of four) to do this dance; 24 or more is even better.  It can work at a community dance if you have all the younger children dance with an adult or older experienced child partner. The main teaching point is, once folks are in the formation of couple facing couple (Sicilian circle formation), having everyone point to the left.  Those pointing to the inside of the circle say “I go inside first.” Those pointing to the outside say, “I go outside first.” That is the direction they start going  when they do the big, no hands, stay-with-partner grand right and left.  

 

Circle Waltz Mixer - p. 12 in handout
In NEDM's "Sashay the Donut" collection
We used ‘In Continental’ Waltz from the ‘Sashay’ CD  for the music. This is a wonderful dance for a wedding  where you can do it the original way we learned it, doing  a short waltz instead of the two hand turn.  In the original  dance gents are the “posts” and women are the “twirlers”, but it works perfectly fine in a non-gender community  dance with a two hand turn.