Movement Reflection – Day Six

Hello All,

What a day! I was sure sweating! From folk dancing to stopping words to movement ostinati, what stood out to you? What might translate well in your classroom? Please share your reflection either in an email to me or below. Thank you to all!

Musically Yours, Matthew

35 Comments

  1. krismosch

    I was amazed at how many stopping words we came up with! I could not think of a single other one at first. And all the fine nuances they implied. I was inspired to try this out with my students, also a great way to learn vocabulary! Having all the locomotor and non-locomotor words on the board while practicing my sequences helped a lot!
    Another exercise I enjoyed was the movement ostinato. A great way for students to understand that musical concept kinesthetically.

    • matthewstensrud

      Kristina, stopping words are so valuable but used too rarely with students – I’m glad to hear you will try them this year! – Matthew

  2. Paul Swardstrom

    Any time we are working through these basic concepts, I really appreciate the breakdown of the concept. It puts the concept in a frame that I can use with my students. The stopping words were a great addition to what we already had.

    Alunelul was at times overwhelming. However, I think that once learned, the kids would have a blast with it. I’m imagining that would be over the course of several weeks and I would start at a slower tempo.

    D’Hammerschmiedsg’selln presented a great challenge and I think students would love the exploration that we were getting into towards the end. I was gassed and could tell my creativity was affected, but if this is a lesson taught over several weeks I think the kids would be doing much better than I was in this short lesson.

    • matthewstensrud

      Thank you, Paul! We’ll continue to dive into those locomotor, non-locomotor, and stopping words more this week as well! – Matthew

  3. nathale_ho

    I am too amazed on how we come up with stopping vocabularies. Although, it looks the same at first, but when I tried it out each one of them, it has a different variety and make it interesting to the movement pieces.

    I truly enjoy how Matthew is traching the grapevine dance. When I taught it to the kids, they didn’t get it for a long time because I started it in a circle. This school year, I will definitely start with shadowing.

    Also, I got inspired on how Matthew taught 3/4 in a movement. Children have a hard time moving duple to triple meter. With teaching movement first then move to the music was a brilliant idea!!

    • matthewstensrud

      So glad to hear! And yes, grapevine and similar steps are much easier in a mirror/shadow before moving to a circle! – Matthew

  4. stalsberg87

    I enjoyed exploring different stopping words today. I agree that freeze or stop is more harsh than pause or wait. I found it was really easy to follow the grapevine dance while Mathew was shadowing! The D’Hammerschmiedsg’selln was fun once my group fell into the pattern.

    • matthewstensrud

      Shadowing works wonderfully for a step like that, doesn’t it?! Glad you had a great day! – Matthew

  5. Tracy Cripe

    “Grapevine Dance” – Holla!! I was totally impressed with our group. We did good! Then came the D’Hammerschmid……….and well, we really gave it our best! LOL…It was great to continue to add new components and see where you can continue to challenge and stretch a group as you want or need. Just when I think our creative reserves are used up we learn something new like the “stopping words” and everyone comes up with a plethora of new ideas and moves. You can also see the teamwork that has developed in the class.

    • matthewstensrud

      Really pleased to hear you feel the bonding of our group – it truly does lead to a better product too! Also, the nice thing about slowly adding components of the folk dance is, you could also stop at an earlier point and leave the dance like that…the students will still love it! – Matthew

  6. ggoodson

    What I noticed (see that RC language?!) the most was the way that the stepping was taught in such a wonderful scaffolded way. First we stepped to the side, then added the foot behind, then the toe tap, and eventually the transfer of toe to heel. I have never thought to teach movement in that way before! I always teach it in its final form but in small chunks–which works ok, but I feel pretty confident this highly scaffolded and more sequential way will help my students (and me!) be much more successful.

  7. Barb English

    I love to move but for some reason I really had trouble with putting my movements into an ostinato. I could not get creative with this. Matthew said we had to use our heads so that may have been the problem. 🙂
    It did help to have the vocabulary on the board to refer to. I found I was able to try different movements than the same ones that always pop in my mind.
    I loved the dances we learned and appreciated once again the process that was used to present them. Can I assume that you would only teach one set of movements for the grapvine per class so it would take three classes before the entire dance was complete? I look forward to sharing these dances with my students this year.

  8. rehmkecj

    I LOVED all the stopping words we came up with. I often tell my students to freeze and thats the only word I ever use. Pause and collapse are words I will for sure use in my classroom! I also really enjoyed creating our own movement ostinatos. I think that could use this in my own classroom to get students that don’t normally move to start getting used to moving.

  9. jcompto2

    My district has been creating some valuable professional development within the responsive classroom work. I look forward to learning more about it and applying it in the ORFF setting.

    I was impressed with all of the different stopping words. What a great way to get children to think of all the creative ways to stop. My students will probably only be able to think of the word “freeze” and I can’t wait to see their reactions when we generate an extensive list.

    The folk dancing continues to be my favorite part of the day. I am always amazed at how the movement can be simplified or made more challenging. The 5th graders in my new school have a lot of experience with folk dancing. I look forward to encouraging them to challenge themselves by saying (as Matthew says) “What if…?

    James Compton

  10. Kedra Davis

    I loved the German folk dance we learned. It was also great that the dance can be modified for many different levels. I am sure my students will love it. I also really like the ostinato activity. It is a challenging and fun way for students to practice multitasking while reviewing such an important musical concept. The vocal exploration activities with the scarf, champagne cork, and crayons were also so fun and engaging! I cannot wait to do more of that with my students. As always I love your playful way of teaching and scaffolding.

  11. andreaswartz

    The dance we learned was amazing. What I liked most about it is how well I can break it down to fit a lot of different class abilities! The body ostinato game was challenging, especially with a bunch of music teachers who could not focus. I think an aspect about it that was so challenging was the fact that you couldn’t prepare yourself ahead of time since one part of the movement would be changing with each person. I found the list of stopping words interesting. At first, I was thinking “these are all the same,” but when I had to utilize the stopping words I realized that I truly reacted differently with each word.

  12. hillary miller

    I had never thought about stopping words, and like others have said, I tend to just use freeze. It will be nice to have other words to use. I really liked the scarf, cork activity. Great vocal exploration activity. The crayon activity is also a great vocal exploration too. I plan to use those with my classes. I appreciate and want to include in my own teaching, the nonverbal instructions you give us. Less speaking more doing. I need to do that more.

  13. svanhoecke

    What a difference starting from the most BASIC movement makes. I would have approached the half grapevine move by demonstrating the whole thing all at once and then think “Why aren’t they getting it?”. I would have never thought to break it down to those simple steps. It seems so obvious now that I see it in action during movement class. It felt great to be successful at each step before adding on. I continue to enjoy Matthew’s sound effect cues that keep us engaged, focused, and give us a semi-nonverbal cue.

    Movement ostinatos!! What an “ah-ha” moment! Such a cool concept that I had never considered. This would look really cool for a program and is doable by almost any age level.

    I continue to struggle when presented with more open ended “How could you make it your own” questions like during the four person hand clapping game. I am working on thinking outside the box!

    Stacy Figuracion

  14. Lisa Marxer

    The review of locomotor and non-locomotor words really help me see the need for more of this in my own lessons this fall. I’m not sure how it will be received by the students, but I can see it would be good for them.
    I really enjoy the dances the way that Matt is teaching them. He uses very few words, focusing only on the body part that will move. He starts without a beat until all students are following, then a small move, adding more to the sequence until all students have it. It worked with both a locomotor dance and a hand-clapping dance in groups of four. I also appreciated how Matt explained the necessity for leading the movements in shadow before trying it in a circle. And then he always finds a way for us to add some creativity!
    I am really getting a lot out of the movement portion of this course!

  15. Kathleen

    Aaaah! The STOP synonyms gave me so much to think about! In my classes, my students have come up with synonyms and antonyms for similar demo, but I had never thought to think of Stop! My students will be thrilled to explore this!

    When you were teaching Alunelul, I just kept thinking how much easier teaching Greek, Romanian and Bulgarian Dances will be with sound rather than counting and stumbling over feet! This is a new perspective, like I’m looking at someone I know well, but with a much better glasses rx!

    Obviously, movement ostinato is strengthening my relationship with movement and sound as partners. I was able to tune in more to what a gallop might sound like, as suggested in the book. I also felt a little embarrassed that i could not think of something to offer in order to lead the group. I do it daily at work. Maybe my guard will be down tomorrow.

  16. Adrienne Brashear-Burgess

    The approach of breaking down the dance sections into small pieces again really drove home how successful that can be for our students. I wasn’t so concerned about learning all the different parts with this approach. Having the movement words on the whiteboard was a huge help for me. It allowed me to try new moves quickly as well as providing ideas for different ways then the ones I would normally have stayed with for safety. My favorite activities were the obstinato dance and the color crayon vocal exploration. I’m planning on putting up a movement word wall and getting some different props. The technique of using the questioning words “What if” seems to be a great way to keep our students excited and refocused on the next piece of learning.

  17. Allison

    I am a VERY verbal person, so the use of non-verbal cues was an eye-opener for me! I remember losing my voice once when teaching and having to rely on a lot of gesturing and prior knowledge. I tend to rely on my voice for so much, that I often forget to utilize my body as a way to communicate.
    I am excited to continue learning to use movement as a tool and a language as opposed to a separate entity that I need to remember to include.
    Writing all of the words down for the loco-motor vs. non loco motor were very helpful and I feel that my kids would have many ‘a’ha’ moments upon seeing which columns they fit in.

  18. mattcarlson

    I really enjoyed the folk dances from today. The 3/4 clapping and circle one was really a challenge, and one that I can see my students really getting into. I too enjoyed along with many of you the stopping words. I’ve usually used “and freeze” in my classroom, but can definitely use a broader vocabulary after today.

  19. Brandon Michael Day

    After a weekend off it was nice to come back recharged and learn new concepts. I was particularly pleased that I could remember (most) of all we learned last week. I enjoyed the activity of moving between locomotor, nonlocomotor and pausing. I’m planning on incorporate some version of this into my lessons once the school year begins.

    The 3/4 beat tapping game was great! I got too excited with my partner, Lisa, and our spins were a bit too much though. 🙂 This game was awesome and I’m definitely going to use this one with my 2nd through 4th graders. As an energizer activity, to take a break from out instruments and rehearsal of repertoire, I’d like to incorporate this activity with my 6th grade band students at several of my schools. This will help my beginning bands play in 3/4 time better as they’ll feel the better better, as playing three-quarter time can be a challenge for young musicians.

  20. Brandon Day

    After a weekend off it was nice to come back recharged and learn new concepts. I was particularly pleased that I could remember (most) of all we learned last week. I enjoyed the activity of moving between locomotor, nonlocomotor and pausing. I’m planning on incorporate some version of this into my lessons once the school year begins.

    The 3/4 beat tapping game was great! I got too excited with my partner, Lisa, and our spins were a bit too much though 🙂 This game was awesome and I’m definitely going to use a modified version with my 2nd through 4th grader music classes starting later this month. As an energizer activity, to take a break from out instruments and rehearsal of repertoire, I’d like to incorporate this activity with my 6th grade band students at several of my schools. This will help my beginning bands play in 3/4 time better as they’ll feel the better better, as playing three-quarter time can be a challenge for young musicians.

  21. apeterkort

    The Romanian Dance was challenging at first but once the handholds reached the shoulders the steps were smaller and the dance was much easier to accomplish at a faster tempo.

    I wish I could take credit for coming up with alternating the sound gestures in the German folk song. I saw it on the internet about six months ago. Folk dancing is my favorite part of the day. So much so that I am looking into participating in a folk dancing group in the future.

    Tracy and I had to really think about where and when to connect during the movement ostinato partner exercise. We decided that we each needed to do our ostinato simultaneously first. Since hers was locomotion she moved past me. I had to make a small adjustment to my ostinato to keep up with her.

  22. Emily Loftgren

    Stopping Actions and Stillness: I never thought of these in movement. They are like rests in music. They bring a great variety to movement and dance. I like the way I had to think of other words that meant “Stop” or “Stillness”. It stretched my imagination.
    I enjoyed our warm-up today. I was free to stretch my whole body. I have become aware of how my body feels and what tight muscles need stretching. It all goes back to mindfulness.
    The “movement sentences” made me think. It was difficult for me, but with practice I think it will become easier. I would like to try this with my 4th and 5th grade students. It will get them to think of movement and space opportunities.
    I loved Alunelul.It was challenging and I stayed focused because I wanted to learn this dance. I think my students will react in the same way.

  23. Brianna

    The folk dances today were so much fun! I also had my mind blown with all the stopping words. I can’t believe I’ve been using ‘freeze’ exclusively for the last two years. What I loved about the the different stopping words was that they made me really aware of how they each affected my body.
    The more I watch Matthew teach the more I want to implement less speaking into my classroom routine. He accomplishes so much without speaking and I think it makes me pay attention more because I’m afraid of missing a cue. I don’t know if not talking will fit my teaching personality though…I struggle with implementing things if they don’t feel organic to me, but its something I definitely want to try.

  24. Kris Curtis

    Today I had some great success with movement ostanti and exploring locomotor, non-locomotor, and stopping actions. I could tell our vocabulary is certainly expanding with terms and imagery for all the possibilities in the class. I keep coming back to the “What if…” statement. Every-time it’s used I reflect and ponder about how I can change, expand, make my movement clearer in intention with what I am communicating. I would like to add the “What if…” statement to my teaching strategies for this upcoming year. The “Alunelul” folk dance we did today certainly pushed my dance expanded my skill set. While I struggled mightily at first with the coordination of the steps, I made it a goal with each repetition to get one thing better each time. I had to hone in my growth mindset that I was going to get better with each time we practiced it. It really started to click with when I started tip-toeing rather than planting my feet. Also feeling the different weights of the T formation and the hands over the shoulder, was great to experience. It gave a unique feel to the dance of it’s own with such a subtle variation. I had a great time with the movement ostanti. With the last few days, studying the various levels of body percussion, I was able to translate that to our activity today. Creating a connection point with the two movement ostanti didn’t seem as daunting of a task with having studied, experienced, and creating ostanti in all the forms of elemental music. I would like to add doing movement ostanti with just movement and communication of it with instruments in my classroom this year as well.

  25. Eric Griebenow

    Like most other people, the “stopping words” were excellent. I can’t believe I had never thought of “freezing” or “pausing” as a dance/movement concept! And I loved the connections between music and dance (notes with locomotor & non-locomotor movements; rests with stopping movements).

    I was also (again) shocked at how fast and easily we learned a complicated dance with so few words. There is a vocabulary of sounds that can draw attention to different moves/shapes of the body, and it is so fun! Even when being “told” you are doing something wrong (using non-linguistic sounds), is funny and non threatening. I wonder if anyone disagrees and finds that type of feedback aggressive? It seems better than “nope, that was wrong”, to me!

  26. Patrick Hensler

    This is so fun and playful. There is so much to use in my practice. Drawing from what students already know has importance for building community and building knowledge. What a superb way of answering the claim “s/he’s copying me” by replying, “I’m so happy you’re learning from your friends.”

    I need to pick up a bunch of props. A champagne cork is easy! PCV pipe, too. And so, so, so many finger puppets! And one really big parrot!

    And fewer words! That will be the greatest challenge; not talking. I remember seeing a primer for ENVoY and how the voice should not be used for behavior/classroom management. What we hope to achieve has so much to do with behavior, it makes sense to treat it as such.

  27. Diana

    Today in class I really appreciated the process of shadowing the Romanian dance and learning all parts before hearing the music. It would have been overwhelming to hear the music first. Having the moves already in our bodies and having time to practice on our own made the connection with music all the more accessible. It was a great way to break it down and make the quick footwork doable. I also liked the flexibility shown when someone had the suggestion to change the arm movement as well.

  28. Diana

    Yesterday in class I really appreciated the process of shadowing the Romanian dance and learning all parts before hearing the music. It would have been overwhelming to hear the music first. Having the moves already in our bodies and having time to practice on our own made the connection with music all the more accessible. It was a great way to break it down and make the quick footwork doable. I also liked the flexibility shown when someone had the suggestion to change the arm movement as well.

  29. patrickh

    Pieces, pieces pieces. It’s so wonderful to have things broken down to pieces.
    The words we use may be too much for students, but drawing from the words they know has so much value for building on their knowledge and building community. The egg shakers and xylophone discoveries we so valuable to let students explore and, in the case of the shakers, forget they were holding a musical instrument and move on to different things (egg shakers into machines).
    I’m so looking forward to using this for instrument discover.

  30. BrianEJanssen

    It helped a bit to have those terms listed on the whiteboard! I for sure had trouble making my “stopping” choices look different.

    I love all the folk dancing, as I’ve mentioned before, so Alunelul was fun. It was a real workout–my heart was really beating after that last time through, and it was a workout for my calf muscles, too! A couple years ago I tried to teach a basic Hora dance, and a majority of students struggled, so I wonder how many could do Alunelul. I’d definitely like to try it this year, though.
    And the German dance had so much going, it seems like I could stretch that one out for days with my older classes.

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