Sunday, August 29, 2010

What do you get when you cross Orff with Piano?

You get....PianOrff!

For those who might be wondering what in the world is Orff, Carl Orff 1895-1982 believed that children learn best through movement and play.  He is best known for his work for children which combines movement, singing, playing, and improvisation.  Orff instruments  are designed to limit mistakes and increase chance for success. Each of the keys are removable so that wrong keys can be taken off and only the correct ones left on the xylophone-type instrument.  One of Carl Orff's great quotes is "Experience first, intellectualize later".

So let's apply it to can't very well remove some of the keys from a piano, (although we all would like to do that every once in a while!)

What can we remove? We can remove different layers of concepts during practice or introduction of a new unit. For example, if the student is learning a new rhythm, then take away the keys and pat the rhythm on the table or his lap.  If your student is learning a new interval, like a 6th or 7th, then as they learn the hand position, take away the rhythm until mastery of new concept is achieved.  Once achieved, then slowly the layers can be added back on.  The goal is for the student to reach different levels of success at each practice and each lesson. 

Keep playing!!

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