Friday, April 29, 2011

Humpty Dumpty Drama (part 2)

Last post (part 1 of the Dumpty Drama) we worked with the group to chant and sing Humpty Dumpty, then created 2 ostinati that can be used as part of an Orff arrangement inspired directly by the children.

Part 2
Transferring the vocal/movement ostinati to instruments.
1.  Set up the Orff orchestra in F pentatonic.
F Pentatonic - take out the Eggs & Bacon  (E's and B's)

2.  In our classroom we all try all the parts all the time.
So, we all chose an instrument and experiment.  We rotate from one to the other playing each ostinato.

Ostinato #1
Help me! Ahhhh!
Play "help me" on the bars...any bars.  (2 beats)
Rest on "ahhh!"  (2 beats)
As the Orff instruments are set up in a pentatonic scale all the sounds will harmonize nicely together.

For our purposes last week I sang the Humpty tune while the children concentrated and played the ostinato.  We perform this several times (hidden practise!) as the children rotate around to different instruments.
Humpty tune

Ostinato #2
We can't help.  We wish we could!
Chant this clearly and then play the rhythm of the song on 2 notes of their own choice.
Perform ostinato #2 while teacher sings the Humpty tune.
Rotate around to different instruments (hidden practise again) and repeat.

3.  Now assign parts.
Ostinato #1 - Assign to the metallophones and glockenspiels. (Help me!  Ahhh!)

Ostinato #2 - Assign to the xylophones.  (We can't help. We wish we could)
Humpty Tune - Sing this.  In our recent performance I played strong beats on the contrabass "F" bar while singing the tune.  The class chose their ostinato parts and we played together.

So the final product is orchestral!
Some children are playing ostinato #1, some #2 and I am singing the tune.  We are all concentrating and trying not to let the others mix us up!  It's energizing.

4.  If you do not have Orff instruments I would transfer the ostinati to small percussion.
Ostinato #1 - shakers, scrapers and woods
Ostinato #2 - drums 

If you have any tone bars, the person or group singing can have this as their home tone.  You are certainly not obligated to sing in F pentatonic.  Try G or A pentatonic with a tone bar to set the home tone.

If you are using the melody I wrote (above) I wouldn't recommend singing below F pentatonic because the melody I wrote falls to middle C at the lowest point.  The optimal singing range for young children would not be below middle C.


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