Friday, January 16, 2015

Silly Voices!

I have a confession: I hate choir rehearsals.  

I have been an instrumentalist my whole life and shocked myself when I decided to apply for an elementary general music job.  I was even more shocked when I got the job!

And then I had to prepare a huge Christmas concert that is traditionally the entire school standing on risers and singing.  

I spent WAY too much of my instructional time teaching the choir music by rote and both the students and I hated it.  I started brainstorming new approaches to the choir concert and came up with two solutions!

1: Transitions.

My 2nd graders are great musicians, but oh so easily distracted.  Transitions in my room were a nightmare.  Even if I was giving directions, or immediately switched to sing a new song, all they saw the split second opportunity where they could start a conversation with their neighbor or poke the person next to them or wiggle away from their seat.  Then I saw the Big Bang Theory one night when Sheldon and Penny were making Penny Blossom hair barrettes and singing their "rhythmic work song to increase productivity."  So I tried it with my little guys and it worked!  As soon as I needed to transition to a new song, I'd start us all off in singing our choir music while they put away instruments or moved to a new spot in the room. Very quickly their ability to move from one activity to the next magically changed and suddenly I didn't need to allot time to work on our choir songs!  Works great with 2nd and 3rd graders who can't handle the standing still of choir rehearsal!

2: Silly Voice Cards!
My little guys in 1st and Kinder needed more rep than transition time could give them.  They knew the tune real well but the words didn't stick enough.  Running lyrics with them would have been impossible for anymore than 2 minutes.  Then I remembered the millions of times I had to redirect silly voices back into singing voices.  Why not give them a chance to USE their silly voices for good!  I printed up a set of Silly Voice Cards on 3x5 cards and practiced my "Pick a card, any card!"  (of course they didn't get the humor, but I chuckled every time I said it!) couldn't believe my eyes when I looked at the clock and realized we spend a half hour saying our choir lyrics over and over and over in pirate voices, teenage voices, angry voices, giggly voices, grandparent voices, underwater voices and cowboy voices!  Not only was each student excited to get to chose a card for the class, they were all excited to see what silly voice they were going to use!

You can get a set of Silly Voice Cards in my TPT store!  Click on the alien link!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! You're obviously a fluid teacher who can adapt as needed! Not an easy thing to do!