The Art of Child’s Play: Bringing Playground Culture into Elementary General Music

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The Art of Child’s Play: Bringing Playground Culture into Elementary General Music

$6.99

by Martina Vasil

(19 pages)
From Fred Rogers to Carl Orff, the art of child’s play has been recognized as the “work” of children. This e-book contains handclapping games from school playgrounds in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. All have been adapted for classroom use.

As you work through this e-book, consider the following questions as you try out the materials with your students:

  • How sensitive am I to children’s musical knowledge?
  • Have I ever made an effort to discover what children are already doing musically?
  • What do I know about how children play today?
  • What do I know about the content of children’s play today?
  • How can we take children’s play and adapt it for the classroom to reach musical, social, and emotional goals?

Description

During my doctoral studies at West Virginia University (2011–2014), I completed a study where I examined children’s musical behaviors on a playground (grades K–5). I discovered that handclapping games were the most prevalent form of music making that children shared, specifically in grades 2–3. This e-book includes some of the games I learned from those children as well as a handclapping game I remember from my own childhood. I hope you enjoy the way these materials have been developed for the music classroom through the Orff approach.

There are many considerations when integrating children’s play into general music classrooms. First, use culture bearers—the children! Allow them to demonstrate what they know. Second, access recordings and videos of the original game or song. There are many videos that children upload to YouTube showing handclapping games and songs. Children love seeing other children demonstrate knowledge. Third, shift to oral traditions for teaching. There is no need to hand out sheet music. Playground games and music are learned by ear. Last, when adapting materials for the classroom, preserve the spirit of the music. It is not likely that a piano would accompany a playground song. Why not keep it acapella?

As you work through this e-book, consider the following questions as you try out the materials with your students:

  • How sensitive am I to children’s musical knowledge?
  • Have I ever made an effort to discover what children are already doing musically?
  • What do I know about how children play today?
  • What do I know about the content of children’s play today?
  • How can we take children’s play and adapt it for the classroom to reach musical, social, and emotional goals?

About the Author

Meghan Cabral is currently the District Director of Music for the Carmel Central School district. Previous, Meghan spent 15 years teaching elementary and middle school band. Meghan stays active as an author for Music Education Publications including NAfME’s Teaching Music, Instrumentalist Magazine, Music Educator’s Journal, The Instrumentalist, School Band and Orchestra Magazine (SBO), as well as on many blogs such as NAfME’s online blog, Band Director’s Talk Shop, as well as Smart Music’s online blog. In addition to her article contributions Meghan was a 2017 Grammy Music Educator Semifinalist.

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