Movement, Orff, Uncategorized

Creative Movement – Shapes

I always begin my music lessons with a movement activity.  This could be a folk dance, body percussion, steady beat listening, or just some good creative movement.  Creative movement is my favorite of all; I love seeing my students personalities come out in their movements.  I work hard to develop a feeling of safe space in my classroom where they know they are able to let loose and be themselves.  

One of my favorite creative movement resources is Creative Dance for All Ages by Anne Green Gilbert.  When I first got this book I was overwhelmed with the content inside.  I thought I would do fine ( I had a background in dance) but I was not prepared for all the content that is inside this book.  It is hard to wrap your head around as you go through, but along the way you can find some gems of ideas that then build upon each other.

My favorite section of this book is the “Shapes” section.  I use some of the various movement ideas to create a whole Shapes sequence of teaching in my classroom.  This section can be found on page 115 if you already own the book! I am going to focus today on the “Moving Shapes” portion.  

The basic concept is to create a shape and move it around the space.  Gilbert gives examples of how this could be accomplished and even ways you could instruct the students with your directions.  When I have done this I use a simple melody that I play on my recorder.  The A section is only 4 measures  and that is how long I give my students to create their shape.  If they create their shape before the A section is up then just freeze their shape.  Then for the B section of the song, 8 measures, they have to move their shape around the room.  

Here is an example of my students doing it:

The first couple times it is hard for them to move their shapes around the space because they have created such intricate shapes.  By the 3rd and 4th times we do this, they are making smarter choices about their shapes and how to move them.

As with any movement I do in my classroom, there are always expectations for safe movement and smart movement.  This would not be the first creative movement I would do with my students.  I have worked them to this point with games and other shape ideas ( Shape Museum, Seasonal Movement Cards).

Here is the book if you’d like to check it out:

Creative Dance for All Ages

The melody I played in the video was based on Rondo #31, Music For Children Vol.1, pg. 111

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