Our second graders are starting to use their powers of prediction - seeing around the corners of activities to make connections with their prior knowledge. Based on our process from last year of deriving symbol from internalized sound, we quickly gained hands on experience in creating notation for "4 sounds on a beat" using the song, "No One in the House." We spend weeks singing, playing, preparing, puzzling over, and working with a concept before naming it, but we're about to be introduced to the new rhythmic figure in our rhythm toolbox, sixteenth notes.
In one of our recent moments of improvisation beauty, we took our song, "Sally Go 'round the Sun," and created a graphic score from Sally's three orbits: around the sun, around the moon (should be a smaller orbit, they explained), and around the chimney top. As Sally traces the various orbits, our Orff orchestra follows their own scheme - pitched woods play the orbit around the sun, pitched metals play for the moon, and un - pitched percussion improvise along her path around the chimney. Students collaborate as a group to determine which pitch register should be played at the high or low point of the orbit circles, and the real magic happens when one orbit intersects another - for one staccato moment two sonic worlds collide.