Nicole Hammer taught music in Junior High and High school in Belgium and Preschool in the United States for 47 years. She studied at the Royal Music Conservatory in Ghent, Belgium earning a dual Masters in Music Theory and History. She has a diploma for Teaching Music from the Central Examination Commission in Brussels and is a certified Orff-Schulwerk teacher through the American Orff Schulwerk Association as well as a certified Montessori teacher. Nicole has presented numerous workshops for Preschool and Kindergarten teachers and written articles featured in periodicals such as the “Orff Echo” and various Montessori publications.
Orff Schulwerk is an educational approach to music developed in Germany in the 1920s and 30s by composer Carl Orff and his colleague Gunild Keetman. The literal translation of schulwerk—school work—doesn’t properly convey the open, creative spirit of this approach. Here are some of the most important principles, all of which you will find employed in this book. • Children are naturally inclined to sing, dance, chant rhymes, clap and play a beat on anything they can find. As teachers, we must use these natural impulses to learn music by first making it, then later learning how to read it. • To link the music class to the natural tendencies of young students, the Orff teacher uses speech, movement, dance, singing, stories, drama, improvisation and instrumental playing as the framework of the program. • Simple echo games and the use of short rhythmic patterns are basic techniques used to create a step by step approach to the development of musical skills. A key factor in this endeavor is improvisation. The choice of material must always be easy to understand but challenging enough to make the activity interesting. • Music is a communal effort where children discover the joy of music-making with others. It is important for a child to know that working with other children who have different strengths results in creations that no individual could have imagined. • The process is more important than the end result. A finished product need not be the goal because there are always endless possibilities. • Stories and drama are key elements in the Orff music class. The power of drama invigorates the imagination of children, teaches them how to collaborate and strengthens their self-esteem. • Orff Schulwerk also attaches much importance to music and dance from cultures around the world and these traditions are used as a means of bringing the children’s attention to the importance of individual expression and creativity. Finally, what distinguishes the Orff approach from traditional pedagogy is its emphasis on creativity. Creativity is about forming ideas, considering them and then refining them. This is what children do when they are asked to change the words of a rhyme or a song, change a story or look for different dance moves, postures or body percussion sounds. Singing, dancing, movement games, body percussion and instrumental playing involve physical processes that demand coordination of body and mind, feeling and intuition as nothing else can. Those activities stimulate the creative process. And, as everyone knows, children are happiest when they’re singing and dancing, that is, creating, with each other.
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Nicole Hammer presents a delightful collection of 65 fun and exciting activities for Preschool, Kindergarten and First Grade classroom and music teachers as well as homeschooling parents. At the age where fundamental material should be continually presented in new and different forms, these lessons contain a huge variety of rhymes, songs, games, and dances. There are suggestions for props and costumes, art activities, plays with puppets and picture cards. Every effort has been made to stay true to the Orff Schulwerk principle of inviting children to make their own contributions.
English Language Arts, Grammar, Vocabulary, Specialty, Math, Geometry, Numbers, World Language, Spanish, Italian, Arts & Music, Art History, Visual Arts, Graphic Arts, Other (Arts), Music, Music Composition, Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, Other (Music), Special Education, Drama, Problem Solving, en Français, Oral Communication, Holidays/Seasonal, Back to School, Poetry, Dance