MUED3603 – Task 1

Sibelius File & PDF File:

MUED3603 Task 1 Files (Sib & Pdf)

Reflection

The arrangement I have made is one that is suitable for both a pedagogical hybrid situation or to suit individual pedagogically specific classroom situations. I have firstly modelled the arrangement around the Orff approach by applying some of the core principles of the Orff approach. Orff has a personal belief that “any child has the capability to learn and express music creatively” (2012, p.21). This creative expression of music which is approached through improvisation, is “at the heart of the schulwerk” (Gault, 2016). The Orff approach allows for improvisational development through the use of musical elements such as rhythm, melody, texture and harmony (2012, p.22). The Orff approach also makes use of “improvisatory techniques” such as “imitation”, echoing, ostinati and canonic features. Gault emphasises the importance emphasis of improvisation in a pedagogy as it “often naturally leads to the analysis, revision and memorisation or notation of musical ideas, thus producing a composition” (Gault, 2016). Brigitte Warner similarly reiterates the importance of improvisation in a pedagogy as she explains how improvisation is the ability to “speak the musical language” and how this displays a persons “musical competency” (Gault, 2016). The Orff approach is often critiqued as it caters only for younger students however Power suggests differently. Power describes the Orff approach as one that is a “gradual cumulative learning experience” which is suitable for all stages of learners as it “utilises what the learners bring at their stage of development” (Power).

According to Gault the “play of imagination” is achieved by the “building up of simple rhythms, melodies, drums and ostinato” (Gault, 2016).  Therefore I have incorporated Orff like layering of instrumentation (melody, ostinato, percussion, bass) by building up simple rhythms, melodies and ostinati. Additionally to the layering of instrumentation I have also given the score an Orff like layout. “Giorgio by Moroder” a Daft Punk and Giorgio Moroder collaboration song was chosen for my arrangement as I have incorporated Lucy Green’s Musical Futures approach on “Modelling Aural Learning” by considering her two key principles on “Modelling Aural Learning” (Green, 2009). The two principles are; “Learning by listening and copying” and “Learning with friends” (Green, 2009). In order for aural learning “listening and copying” to take the teacher must first question the song chosen to check if it is ideal. Because we are modelling aural learning informally one of the most important questions that must be asked is whether the students like the song? “Giorgio by Moroder” being only released in 2012 is still quite well known and popular and is a suitable song choice. Choosing repertoire that is popular to the students is vital as the students playing and copying songs from their world with their friends is part of the experience of informal aural learning. Here are some other questions that must be considered in selecting repertoire:

  • Is the original key of the song a good key for instruments being played on?
  • Are the chord changes and sequences within the piece easy to follow? Do the chords change at syncopated points?
  • Is the tempo and rhythmic features of the songs appropriate for the students in the class?
  • Is the songs suitable instrumentation wise?
  • Does the song have distinctive layers which can be delegated to different instruments?

Some other ways which I have incorporated the Orff approach is by adding Orff characteristics into the arrangement such as a Bordun, Ostinati, improvisation and most importantly parts which can be easily be sung then transferred into body percussion and then finally transferred onto instruments. Some aspects of the Orff approach are similar to Green’s “Modelling Aural Learning” as both emphasise copying in the learning process. However, two aspects unique to the Orff approach and unseen in the other two pedagogies (Modelling Aural Learning and Mix bag arrangement) is the incorporation of improvisation and the process of singing, playing instruments and moving/dancing to music.

In classroom music situations, teachers can end up with many different instrumentation combinations. To combat this I have incorporated a mixed bag arrangement element to the arrangement by ensuring to have a “considerable variety of instrumental choices” for “virtually any combination of instruments” (Brown, 1985). I have included not just common transposing parts but all. The parts in my arrangement are:

  • C – Orff Instruments, All string instruments, All Keyboard instruments, Oboe, Bassoon, Flute, Piccolo,
  • Bb – Trumpet, Bass Clarinet, Soprano & Tenor Saxophone, Euphonium
  • Eb – Alto & Baritone Saxophone
  • F – French Horn, Cor Anglais

To cater for uniquely notated instruments I have also included parts for those instruments as well. These include Viola (alto clef), Guitar (chords & tabs) and Bass Guitar (chords & tabs). Mix bag arrangements similarly to orff have melodic parts, harmony parts, easy parts and percussion parts.

By having the benefit of working in two schools I researched the range of three “Orff” instruments to help me pick a key for my arrangement as well as choosing the range for ostinati and melody. I looked at a bass xylophone, soprano xylophone and alto xylophone all made by Sonor a company well known for their “Orff” instruments. After comparison of both schools that I currently work in, both had Sonor xylophones so I assumed that most other schools “Orff” instruments would be similar if not identical. With this knowledge in mind I have arranged my piece to suit these Orff insturments.

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Reference List:   

Gault, B. M. (Ed.). (2016). Teaching General Music: Approaches, Issues, and Viewpoints. Oxford University Press.

Green, L. (2009). Informal Learning. In D’Amore, A. (Ed.), Musical Futures: An approach to teaching and learning (pp. 149-153). London, UK: Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Power, A. The Orff Approach: Methodologies and Approaches. Retrieved from Music Australia website: https://musicaustralia.org.au/discover/music-education/music-education-methodologies-approaches/the-orff-approach/

Sondheim, S. & Brown, J. R. (Ed.). (1985). Send in the clowns: Sounds like Fun for school orchestra. Essex, England: International Music Publications

Southcott, J., & Cosaitis, W. (2012). ” It all begins with the beat of a drum”: Early Australian encounters with Orff Schulwerk. Australian Journal of Music Education, (2), 20.

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