Teacher Talk Tuesday: Zoltan and Carl are Friends

As a Kodaly-trained and naturally-inclined teacher in Cobb County, I sometimes feel like a fish out of water.  I love the depth of learning my students have achieved in the last six years using Kodaly methods.  They can sight-sing and notate musical patterns, and even aurally derive them from my performance.  They improvise vocally from internalized patterns!  In short, they are awesome!!!

And it’s not because of me – but because of my Kodaly levels training and the guidance of the “Kodaly in the Classroom” series by Michael Houlahan and Philip Tacka.  So, why would I look to any other method of instruction?

I guess that’s just what teachers-at-heart do.  We love  to learn and explore new things!  I certainly am not going to pitch all my Kodaly goodness into the trash, but I am diligently seeking to add more Orff-based experiences for my students this year.

This summer, I outlined and studied two books on Orff methodology:  Discovering Orff by Jane Frazee and Experiencing Orff by Arvida Steen.  I also made a concept index for Cobb County’s current music curriculum, Game Plan by Jeff Kriske and Randy DeLelles.  Specifically, I looked for activities that would augment the Preparation, the Presentation, or the Practice sections of my Kodaly lessons.  In “Teacher Talk Tuesday” I will be sharing some of these activities and my thoughts about them.

Already, after just one rotation, I can tell that this is going to be a way to truly differentiate engagement if nothing else.  One of my first resolutions and changes to my lesson plan template  was to end each lesson with a sing-along song.  This isn’t really a far cry from my Kodaly training, as many Kodaly teachers end their lesson with a teacher performance or listening activity.

I decided to pull some fun sing-along songs – some of which are not “Kodaly-Kosher” iykwim – that are commonly found in textbooks such as Silver-Burdett’s Making Music, which I have in my classroom, and from Experiencing Orff.  Some students who normally don’t enjoy singing will gladly sing these “silly songs” – but others who normally participate just sit and stare at me.  “Different strokes for different folks” has never been more true!






Musical Moment Monday

Every Monday, I will be sharing highlights from last week’s music classes.  This Monday, however, I forgot to bring the chord to connect my phone to my computer.

However, this gives you a chance to go directly to my Twitter account – @Pitnermusic – where you will find several videos of our Patriots from last week.  I am AMAZED at how much they retain over the summer, and I am super-excited about some new teaching strategies I’ll be adding in this year.

It’s going to be a great year!


Pitner’s Little BIG SHOTS!

Audition forms for this year’s Talent Show are due NEXT Friday, May 4th.

Binge-watch some Steve Harvey’s Little Big Shots this weekend and you’ll see all kinds of talents.  Not just singing and dancing but math tricks, bubble blowing, sports demos, and science experiments.

Be creative and take a chance!!!

Fine Arts Night

Please come and enjoy Pitner’s Fine Arts Night tomorrow, Wednesday, March 28th from 5:00-7:30pm!

Not only can you purchase your child’s framed art, you can come support out PTA at 6:00.  The Pitner Chorus will perform to conclude their meeting.  Also, there are come-and-go STEM Activities in the STEM Lab for your child to enjoy throughout the evening.



Shout Out to Ms. Poulos’ 4th Grade!

I wish, wish, wish my phone and my computer would stop being mad at each other so I could share your wonderful work from class today.  Kids broke into small groups and played the rhythms of their names in a Rondo Form.  They were all VERY creative and worked VERY hard.  So proud of you!!

Maybe the video will follow soon????