This is my newest puppet and my students newest friend! He is on his way to my house right now! The puppet stands about 13″-14″ tall and the rabbit can pop in and out of the hat. He can be found on www.musicrhapsody.com and www.folkmanis.com for $19.99-$24.99. I found him in great used condition on Ebay and bid on him for $7.49.
If you are not familiar with Ebay, Amazon, or Half.com, check these websites out. Just be careful about who you buy from and what the description of the item says. If you know how to shop these sites for the best used bargains, you can find some great deals!!
During the two day workshop with Lynn Kleiner at the University of Arkansas, I was introduced to the awesomeness that is puppets. Using puppets in the music classroom is something that I never tried. I was not sure how to use them musically or even where to get expertly made puppets. Now, thanks to Lynn, I know!
First of all, great puppets can be found on www.musicrhapsody.com or at www.folkmanis.com. Most puppets used by Lynn are crafted by Folkmanis.
I bought my first puppet at Lynn’s workshop- the cow! I fell in love with his movable tongue and big movable mouth. I definitely love the puppets with movable mouths! Easier for the kids to pretend the puppets are talking to me or singing. Puppets can be used with a multitude of songs and books, especially if you have the animal a song is singing about (Farmer’s Brown Cow from Farm Songs and the Sounds of Moo-sic) or the book is centered around (Freddie the Frog series). For example, puppets can be passed between children and when it’s their animals turn to solo sing in the song, they sing pretending it’s the puppet. This is great for your self-conscious singers! Also, puppets are just engaging for the kids, enhance their imagination and are fun for teachers!
I recommend trying a puppet in your music classroom!
Our Favorite Shenanigans CD located on www.musicrhapsody.com, consists of “the best of Shenanigans, with 21 songs from around the world.” If you do not know what Shenanigans is, this explanation comes of the West Music website: “By Gary King & Shenanigans. The Australian group Shenanigans is known for their playing of international instruments and enjoyable way of making folk dance accessible for all ages (preschool and up).”
Music Rhapsody founder, Lynn Kleiner, put together this compilation (with Gary King’s permission) of her favorite 21 Shenanigans dances and activities. There are multiple Shenanigans CDs, and it gets expensive to purchase all of them at once. This CD does not come with an instruction booklet. It includes favorites like:
- Highway No. 1
- Shoemaker’s Dance
- Los Machetes
- The Chimes of Dunkirk
- The King’s March
- Seven Jumps
Having either the Shenanigans Folk Dances and booklets in your toolbox, or this CD is essential! Students will beg for these over and over again!
Farm Songs and Sounds of Moo-sic by Lynn Kleiner, is her newest book, which I will be ordering shortly. At the workshop last week, we were able to participate in several of the lessons and activities included in this book. They are phenomenal! The ones we did, which I love are:
- Shoo Turkey: A traditional folk song with a twist. Students have the opportunity to try many different instruments.
- Farmer Brown’s Cow: Solo opportunities that help extend vocal range.
- All Around the Gardener’s Bench: Students act of a story, solo sing and play pitched/unpitched Orff instruments.
- Bought Me a Cat: Folk song with solo singing, moving and body percussion.
- A Mouse Lives in a Little Hole: CUTE with a mouse puppet! Kids get to be a mouse and move around.
- Ballet of Chicks in Their Shells from Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky: Kids act out this wonderful orchestral composition and have a blast!
- Apple Tree: This song can be used for so much – rhythm, instruments, body percussion, partner percussion. I enjoyed the rhythm counting part of this one. Very engaging!
Songs of the Sea by Lynn Kleiner, is another book I was introduced to at the workshop, and I loved it! It is on my list to be ordered soon as well! The lessons and activities I was introduced to and loved at the workshop are:
- Russian Sailor’s Dance: This piece, by Giliere, helps students determine moods of music and act it out.
- Sandy Sandy Sand: Solo singing and instruments. Students fill (sing!) in the blanks with their own creative answers!
- Overture to “William Tell” (Dinghies in a Storm!) by Rossini: Students act out a wonderful story of dinghies being caught in a storm. Great for story time! I was so engaged!
- Larry the Lobster: I LOVED THIS ONE! Even bought me a mini lobster puppet! This song involves instruments, drama, music vocabulary (tremolo, crescendo, piano, forte) and solo singing.
- Mister Sun: Such a cute song and students can add instruments.
- Jungle Beat: Students play instruments and learn the different families in a fun way (metals, woods…)
P.S. CD’s are included in the Teacher Editions of all three books!
Kids Can Listen, Kids Can Move! by Lynn Kleiner is the first book I owned of hers. This book contains “25 orchestral tracks with creative lessons for moving, listening, playing instruments, and having fun” (front cover). Some of the composers of the musical selections included in this book are: Brahms, Grainger, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Bizet, Saint-Saens, Beethoven, Haydn, Dvorak, Orff and Kodaly.
A couple of my favorites (and my kids favorites) are:
- Run, Run! from Memories of Childhood by Octavio Pinto.
- Creatures of the Garden by Herbert Donaldson
- Viennese Musical Clock from Hary Janos Suite by Zoltan Kodaly
- Selections from Carnival of the Animals (Aquarium, Kangaroos,The Cuckoo in the Depths of the Woods) by Camille Saint-Saens
- Goodbye Songs: Come My Friends, a melody from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6. Papa Haydn’s Goodbye, from “Theme” from Surprise Symphony. Adagio from Symphony No. 1 by Brahms. Making Music, from “Largo” from Symphony No. 9 “New World Symphony” by Dvorak.
I have others that I like, but my list would last forever if I included everything! Please go to www.musicrhapsody.com or www.westmusic.com to purchase this book!
It is a great orchestral music resource for elementary music teachers. Kids do not hear enough classical music. With these activities, they will not only enjoy the orchestral music, but they will beg to listen and participate over and over again!
In All Kinds of Weather, Kids Make Music by Lynn Kleiner, is another book of hers I love and own. This book contains “34 lesson plans, lots of photographs, puppet and felt-board patterns, movement activities and instrument playing [and a] special instrument-making section” with all the songs centered around weather or the seasons.
Lynn’s books are wonderful, because they give you her innovative lesson plan ideas. She never just gives you a song and only the song. She gives you her idea for a movement part, Orff instrument part, her manipulative patterns, homemade instrument patterns and game instructions. However, you never have to follow them exactly! She encourages you to adapt the lesson plans to fit you and your students.
One of my favorites, that Lynn did with us at the workshop this week is Mister Sun.
Kids Make Music, Babies Make Music Too! by Lynn Kleiner, is the final book I own by her. This is a recently owned one because I won it at the workshop, but she refers to it as the “meat and potatoes”. It is full of lesson plans, movement activities, instrument playing, puppets and more for babies through primary age students.
I have not had the chance to choose any favorites, or try anything out yet. However, if it is anything like Lynn’s other books, I will not be disappointed!
At the University of Arkansas, 25 local elementary music teachers spent two fast-paced days with musician, clinician, educator and Music Rhapsody founder, Lynn Kleiner. You may know her from the elementary music book Kids Can Listen, Kids Can Move, along with several other books.
She believes strongly ”instill[ing] the love of music, the fun of movement, and the freedom of self-expression to all the children-and parents, too-that we teach.” After each day, I felt inspired to be a better teacher, more unpredictable, more passionate and more engaging.
Teachers, be visually engaging, be silly, be over-the-top, be enthusiastic, and be fun. But most of all, be passionate and show your kids how much you love music. Look for posts soon about Lynn’s products and more about our experience with her!
Please check out the great resources on the Music Rhapsody website: www.musicrhapsody.com.
Parachute Activities With Folk Dance Music, created by JoAnn Seker & George Jones, is a great resource for to use with a parachute. My children are loving it! During this second to last week of school, we have been working on acheiving the different parachute etiquette, parachute positions, trading places under the parachute and using the parachute with a folk dance. Right now we are using disc 1, #1 and #5 – Pop Goes The Weasel. This parachute activity reinforces steady beat, listening, motor/social skills and working as a team. Of course, they earn popcorn bean bag time for good listening!!
I purchased my 12-handled parachute from West Music: http://www.westmusic.com/ProductDetails.aspx?prodid=255128. It is plenty big from my classes of 24-25. However, the middle mesh part has started to rip a little. Nothing a little needle and thread can’t fix!
The parachute can be a lengthy lesson or a filler. I’ve used it for both. The kids get super excited when they see my yellow parachute bag. It has also been used as an award.