Here are some of the activities I do during MIOSM:
- Mystery Voice - I tape a well-known teacher, using an easy Orff ostinato, saying a chant about guessing who they are. The kids then get to guess. I don't know why, but they absolutely LOVE to do this. I sometimes have them write down who they think it is, or if time is limited, I just have them whisper the name in my ear.
- Musical Symbols Mobils - I wrote that one out last year - basically, it is two sheets of musical symbols. We talk about them first, then color, then laminate, then cut out. After that, we put yarn on them, bend a hanger into a diamond shape, and detach the curved hanger top. The curved hanger top then becomes a hanger to which attaches all of the four corners of the diamond shaped (bent) hanger - with yarn on each of the four corners. The four yarn pieces from the sides attach to the curved hanger top. The curved hanger top then gets hung in the hallway. Very, very colorful (third grade does this - 90 students). When March is over, I send them home, each in a plastic bag.
- I sent out a note last year for the teachers to sign up if they wanted their door decorated in some sort of musical fashion. Out of 42 letters, 40 signed up! I ended up finishing about 25 of them. I can recycle them this year and will try to add the rest. I kind of tried to gear it to that specific teacher's likes. For instance, for the fifth grade science teacher, I did a picture of the "musician's brain." There is one teacher who loves jazz, so I drew a picture of a group of jazz musicians playing their instruments and put a quote about jazz around it, etc.
- Musical Lunch Club - (thanks Andrea Cope!) This was a HUGE hit last year. Over spring break, any 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade student that wanted to would watch a musical with their parents, fill out a question sheet, and return it to me. In return, they would be invited to the Musical Lunch Club. That is, they got a "ticket" to attend lunch in my room with me providing dessert. I dressed up in a different costume each time, and they were to try and guess what musical it was from. I wasn't counting on such great participation... There were about 125 kids that ended up being involved. I took 10 at a time for lunch. I bought those little ice cream cups from the cafeteria (chocolate, vanilla, and rainbow sherbert). That was an inexpensive and easy way to provide the promised "dessert."
- WLC At The Capitol - My Orff group participates with 500 other Arkansas kids and with the Governor in attendance. This year, we are doing the pre-sing entertainment (that is, 12 minutes of it). The pressure is on! We will do Bonner's Masterworks for Orff Ensembles, Variations on a Theme by Beethoven. Also, Amazing Grace and The Orchestra.
- Wear A Musical Piece Of Clothing - On a Friday, I ask all of the students to wear a piece of clothing that has musical motives on it. That is a hoot! If they wear something, they come to my room (this year I have my digital camera and plan to use it to photograph the kids) and receive a piece of candy!
- Musical Bulletin Board In The Cafeteria - I use the theme "Music Adds Color to _______ School" and put up pictures of the kids during music, or performing throughout the year, or throughout past years. This was very, very popular. I cut the individual students out and use just their figures, scattered around the huge bulletin board in the Cafeteria. I spray painted the background in various tie-dye colors. It was really nice.
- Parent Guest Artists - I have any parents that volunteer come and share their talents with their child's class. This year, I have a vocalist (folk), an orchestra director (also, percussionist), an opera director, a bluegrass player, and a jazz musician. All of these are parents of the kids at our school.
- Colors Of Music - An Informance is on March 1 to open MIOSM. First, second, and third grades perform. It will also be televised locally (and they just LOVE to see themselves!).
Just a few ideas after an incredible week.