Monday, October 16, 2017

In the Hall of the Mountain King.. Part 2!

When I published this post last week about the piece of music, "In the Hall of the Mountain King", I had so much great response on facebook and pinterest - many other music teachers chiming in on how they use this piece of music, particularly at this time of year. I had to look back at some other ways I have used this music also - and quickly decided I needed a "Part 2"!  First, this piece has such a wonderful rhythm that is repeated 18 times - yup - 18, and then of course it is great for talking about tempo, dynamics, and rhythm!
First, a few videos to get you in the mood...

 If you haven't seen this yet, it is AMAZING!!!

Hair Up from Trolls- rap set over In the Hall of the Mountain King

In the Hall of the Mountain King -Dubstep Remix

Hall of the Mountain King cartoon by Mel O Toons

Not really appropriate for the kiddos (one is labeled "hungover" but funny! Voice Orchestra

Boomwhacker Play Along

1.  This is Quite An Eerie Place (original post lyrics and 2nd part):

From J. N. Moore on facebook, written by Lois Fiftal, used with gracious permission:
This is the second part that goes with the previous post:  "Should I quickly turn around, sneak away without a sound? Or should I be courageous and move on to victory?" 
Coda: "Oh no! Oh no! Something's coming after me and quickly gaining ground. Repeat
 I yi, yi, yi,.......I'm........Caught!!" 

2. Apple Tree

From Sally Utley: 
Turn Apple Tree phrases around:  Will your apples fall on me, Apple Tree, Apple Tree, Will your apples fall on me and will they knock me out?

3.  King of the Trolls Hand Jive

Patsch - 4 beats
Clap - 4 beats
Scissor hands (fingers spread apart, both hands to left, one hand crosses on top of the other for 2 beats, switch to right side for 2 beats) - 4 beats
Hitch Hiker - R thumb to R shoulder 2 beats, L thumb to L shoulder 2 beats - 4 beats
You can get an idea for how to perform movements by watching the Hand Jive Dance from Grease:
As the speed increases, see who keeps up, those who perform it correctly all the way through are dubbed, "King of the Trolls".

4.  Bucket Drumming

After analyzing rhythm, students (or teacher) creates a percussion pattern (could be the Hand Jive one transferred to floor, sides of drum, rim, then top) to be played on parts of the drum.

5. Student Created Body Percussion, thanks to Emily for this one!

a.  After analyzing rhythm, small groups create body percussion for quarter and eighth notes; quarter notes could be clap or patsch or ___, eighth notes become snaps or claps or _____.  Practice and perform.
b. After analyzing rhythm, small groups create body percussion patterns using the rhythm - endless possibilities!

c.  Transfer to UPP or add scarves and ribbon wands - create a dance!

6.  Head and Shoulders

Speak or sing to the rhythm/melody, "Head and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes, knees and toes. Head and shoulders, knees and toes and eyes, ears, mouth and nose."

7. Mary Had a Little Lamb by J. Chambless

Hope you enjoy using some of these in your classroom and drop a comment for how you use "In the Hall of the Mountain King">

Friday, October 13, 2017

In the Hall of the Mountain King - Manipulates and More!

I love social media - especially facebook. I will be starting a facebook page for ofortunaorff in the very near future and will let you know when that is "up and running". I would like to post facebook live videos there that are easily accessible as well as other goodies!

I was recently on one of the music teachers facebook groups and ran across this fabulous lesson idea from M. Allred. (used with permission).
This is a great follow up to a lesson or activity to "In the Hall of the Mountain King" and a great lesson on tempo. Also, the recurring rhythm of the piece is titi titi titi ta, titi ta, titi ta, titit titi titi titi titi titi ta rest.  Great to display or have students create using those fun erasers available at Target Dollar Spots - and they are perfect for quarter note composing - bat, cat, skull, etc. and for eighth notes - pumpkin, candy, etc. or for your older students - sixteenths and eighths combinations- candy corn, skeleton, creepy cat, Frankenstein, purple bat, jack o'-lantern, etc. 

Or you can use these awesome monster rhythm magnets - I made these a while ago and love them. Apparently I needed stronger glue though as my eyeballs pop off- funny to find little eyeballs all over the floor after a few classes use them! :) A fabulous idea from my friend Elizabeth at Organized Chaos.
I also love to use a book - the one I love must be out of print - it is on amazon now for $50.00!! There is another, though - look here on amazon. 
These lyrics to accompany the music were written by Lois Fiftal and are used here with her gracious permission.  See this post for "In the Hall of the Mountain King "part 2 with a second lyric part and even more activities. :)
 I have created them here with one page without rhythm and another with in case you want your students to write the rhythm of each line and then check their answer on the following page. You can either save the images and import into a ppt or email me at for a pdf. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Pumpkin, Pumpkin

I have always loved "Pumpkin, Pumpkin" and the many ways music teachers play the song/dance/game.  Some teachers teach is as eighths and quarters and others hear it as sixteenths.  Whatever you choose, have fun with this one! And if you play it a different way, please leave a comment.


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Nightsong Book, Song, and Movement

Nightsong by Ari Berk is a beautiful book about a bat flying off on his first solo adventure. Mama Bat tells him to, "Sing, and the world will answer". 
Several times in the book Chiro, the little bat, sings his song.  When I first read the book I loved it and the sense of quiet determination little Chiro has.  Of course, I loved that he "sang" although you will need to explain to your students that bats do not truly sing, but what a great opportunity to talk bat facts and echolocation! 
The paperback version is available from amazon for about $6.00.  This is perfect for Halloween if your students cannot celebrate Halloween or if you are looking for a song in minor or a song for recorder to introduce E.
The orchestration is simple; feel free to add whistling tubes, thunder tubes and other sound effects to create a sense of mystery. Ask the children for suggestions of instruments to use instead of the shakers and chimes. Perhaps you have a gong - would the sound be as effective?  Help them make musical choices about timbres.
As an extension activity, small groups of students could create a movement piece using black scarves.  Consider turning the lights off and use battery operated tea lights inside hand drums as moons.  The effect is very exciting! 


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Around the World We Go

If you have spent any time here you know how much I love songs from around the world.  I have two clapping song books from around the world, available from and am working on another book of singing games from around the world.  SO much wonderful material and so many pathways to take with each song. Will it be a focus on beat, a specific rhythm pattern, melodic direction, form, expressive elements.... the list goes on and on!

Today I have a song to go with the book, "Around the World We Go" by Margaret Wise Brown, author of "Goodnight, Moon".

Though I can't include the lyrics, here is the song with a very accessible arrangement for Orff instruments. Create a B Section with word chains using country names and you have a very playable piece to accompany the book!  Enjoy!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Giraffe's Can't Dance - Or Can They?

I love the facebook AOSA page! I also belong to the Kodaly Teachers, and Elementary Music Teachers and several other music teacher groups.  Such a wealth of information and people sharing lessons and ideas!  Just this month I found a wonderful idea using the book,"Giraffes Can't Dance"  by Melissa Burroughs and she so very kindly gave me permission to share it with you. 
Hope you enjoy it as much as my students did!
Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae available here from Amazon.

Day 1

Explore movements on index cards (whole class first), divide into 5 groups for our "Jungle Party"--each group has 4 cards to create a unique jungle dance for their animals. 
Melissa purchased these cards at Dollar Tree recently.

All groups practices together, then time for the party! 

Each group performs by themselves (consider using "Bossa Nova" from 'Rhythmically Moving 7).

With 5 groups and 8 beats between each group (play on drum or tambourine as signal to change groups), this works perfectly.

Students share what they liked about each groups special dances.

Day 2

Explore animal names with one and two sounds (first grade) and animal names that fit into rhythmic building blocks (second).

Compose 4 beat patterns (first) and 8 beat phrases (second).

Teach song add bordun.

Perform in rondo form.


Create story where they tell about one of their animal's adventure; where did it go?  What did it do when it got there? 
Consider use of arioso - sing the story.  

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Beat Stays Steady Beat Stays Same, Beat Does Not Ever Change

Well.. it's a nice saying but not entirely true-- the beat sometimes gets faster and rarely gets slower, but it does sometimes change. But let's not confuse the little ones - beat or pulse in a song stays the same. 
There has been a lot of conversation on several facebook groups I subscribe to about using beat buddies AKA beanie babies or stuffed animals filled with weighted beads.  These lovely critters make an appearance in my classroom quite frequently with my littles - I have Junior Kindergarten - 4 and 5 year olds and Kindergarten kiddos who really love them.

1.  Oh the Horse Stood Around

2.  Knees a Knees a Pizza Pie
Here is a previous post of another steady beat activity I use with my youngest students at the beginning of each music class.

3.  Can You Bounce Me?