martedì 4 febbraio 2014

Christmas Concert in primary school

The project which I was required includes the performance of a concert performed by 94 boys and girls in classes first, second, third, fourth and fifth in a primary school in a suburb of Verona. The school, which has only one section, is located in a beautiful building, in a hilly area very green and quiet.
The project involves the use of Orff instruments and a keyboard. I decided to avoid the use of pre-recorded backing tracks, which seem to me not very effective from the didactic point of view.
The instruments are supplied to the school are claves, snare drums, tambourines with bells, triangles, castanets, maracas, little bells. Each song provides therefore an instrumental accompaniment based on the melody and harmonic support entrusted to a keyboard and a rhythmic structure entrusted to the small instruments.
Orff instruments In the preparation of the scores I choose the rhythm instruments based on the timbre (in relation to the text and music) and then realized a polyphonic rhythmic structure (in two or three parts), I choose to keep constant throughout the song: we are in a situation of initial approach to music education.
In November there were four meetings in each of the five classes. The first meeting was dedicated to a mutual presentation: the children had to learn this music teacher, I had to know the kids and quickly understand their potential. For this reason I have set up an intervention plan that includes easy rhythm games (to be implemented with the voice, hands and feet, possibly with other movements of the body) and games of intonation, based on the scheme "question and answer". Finally, I proposed the most famous of Christmas songs ("Silent Night"), even if it is not the easiest for both the rhythm and for the extension of the vocal part.
Subsequent meetings will follow a similar pattern (rhythmic, intonation, learning of the text), applied to a series of songs, chosen among the most famous. The time is short, we have to optimize it.
In December we had three ensemble rehearsals in the school gym. On this occasion most of the 94 children have made ​one great chorus, while some of them have even tried the rhythmic structure I expected the score. The keyboard instead was entrusted to a young student of music bigger and more experienced.
We then had dress rehearsals in the environment where the concert took place: the parish church of the district.
The concert was therefore the result of a learning path.