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E L E M E N TA R Y

MUSIC

E D U C AT I O N

101

(an overview for architects, designers and facility planners)

What happens in the elementary general music room? A lot more than just singing and clapping. In each class period there will be a variety of physical and musical activities. One minute you might find the kids organized in a large circle, and the next minute, in a bunch of small circles. They dance, sing and play instruments. They listen to lessons and work on choreography. They play learning games and rehearse for performances. They sit on the floor, stand on risers and march around the room. In a word, what goes on here is “activity” – and lots of it.

MUSIC TEACHING PHILOSOPHIES AT A GLANCE

Orff, Kodály, Suzuki and Dalcroze are the three most popular teaching philosophies in elementary music education. Some educators are extremely effective at focusing on just one of these philosophies while many teachers prefer an eclectic combination or their own curriculum. But no matter how an educator chooses to teach music, movement is common to every approach.

ORFF

Orff is an instrument-based program that uses a variety of percussion and xylophone-like instruments. Orff education is also characterized by the extensive use of blackboards/whiteboards, easels and visual symbols. Movement, speech and singing also play significant roles in typical Orff curriculum. Integrating Orff into your space means planning for use, storage and protection of expensive instruments. You must have an area that can accommodate visual lessons and quickly change for movement and instrument playing. Your space also needs ample, secure storage for when these instruments are not in use.

KODÀLAY

K o d á l y e m p h a s i z e s m u s i c l i t e r a c y t h r o u g h a s i n g i n g - b a s e d p h i l o s o p h y t h a t i n c o r p o r a t e s m o v e m e n t s a n d h a n d - s i g n a l s t o r e p r e s e n t s t e p s o f t h e m u s i c a l s c a l e . T r a d i t i o n a l K o d á l y - b a s e d c u r r i c u l u m u t i l i z e s f a m i l i a r f o l k s o n g s a s w e l l a s s o m e i n s t r u m e n t a t i o n . I n t e g r a t i n g t h e K o d á l y r o o m m e a n s p r o v i d i n g s p a c e s f o r t h e u s e a n d s t o r a g e o f s o n g b o a r d s , l e s s o n i n c i d e n t a l s , s o m e i n s t r u m e n t s a n d l o t s o f m o v e m e n t .

Elementary Music Education 101

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