Lisa's teaching resume'
Music and Performance Techniques
As a Teaching Artist in the New York City schools and beyond, I am most interested in introducing the concepts of ensemble and group collaboration to students using theater, performance, song and storytelling techniques, voice and music exercises, homemade instrument building, symbolic and preliminary music notation, listening games, and creative writing and visual art projects. My lesson plans are designed according to the age group and size of each class, and I try to work as closely as possible with the full-time teachers in their various programs. Each class integrates multiple intelligences in the areas of literacy, art, science, math, social studies, geography and global cultures.
During classes I cover a combination of the following materials, as well as adding spontaneous games and exercises that are appropriate for each class.
The goals of our classes:
- To introduce students to concepts of listening, and the ways that we can recognize, process and describe the sounds we hear around us.
- To encourage students to communicate their ideas and feelings through music, performance skills, basic clowning and theater games, storytelling, drawing and writing.
- To guide students in experiencing their class as an ensemble; what it means to be part of a group, or a soloist in a group, or part of a duet or a trio in a group, etc - how to be a supportive member of a group, how to be focused etc.
List of teaching materials:
- "Call-and-Response" Distinguishing vocal dynamics - loud voice, soft voice, happy, angry, silly, sad, etc., teacher conducts the class using "call-and-response" method.
- Students learn a "simple song" utilizing "call-and-response" methods. Teacher facilitates students to divide the simple melody into several parts.
- "Follow the leader" - using sound and movement, first with teacher as leader, then students take turns. Sitting in a circle, teacher and students introduce themselves by name and talk about their favorite hobby or activity.
- Breath and focus work through playing the "to home and back again" exercise, using the students names.
- "Orange exercise" - learning how to listen, experiencing the solo moment, the duet, the chorus; introduction to the idea of the "ensemble" and matching/ supporting classmates ways of making sounds.
- "Building worlds" - each student brings their "homework" picture from a magazine or the newspaper, and tells the class what is happening in the picture. Teacher will encourage discussion. We will then choose several pictures and physically re-create them in class with students replacing the people and objects in the picture. .
- "Families of sound" exercise, eventually creating two or more "families". Combine members of different families to create various sound groupings.
- Teacher will conduct a "singing class", working on pitch recognition, articulation and ear training using words and sounds; discovering "vocal resonance" in the body through pretend, make-believe and simple character work; exploring the idea of opposites: heaviness, weightlessness, easy movement, sluggish movement etc.
- Students will write a short poem or story about a person or thing they have read about or experienced. We will work with these poems/stories in class.
- Students create an orchestra of homemade instruments (using various re-cycleable materials and common items found in the home) to be used in conjunction with music and scene work.
- We will experiment with different ways of writing and drawing visual scores using symbols and simple notation.
- Teacher will divide students into various "story" groups with creative instructions; each group will work on a section of the story (with teacher facilitating) using "building worlds", "families of sound", scores using text and drawing etc. Each group will create their own way of telling their stories, with solos, duets etc., including parts that incorporate the entire class/ensemble.
- Teacher will facilitate as each group gives a short "performance" of their section, engaging the class as an ensemble.
- Various audio and video tapes can be played in class to introduce students to world music/culture. As a result we will touch upon such musical forms as Indonesian Gamelan, African rhythm and song etc. These forms can be incorporated into our creative work in class.
** As the students develop individually and the class ensemble strengthens, larger projects and goals can be undertaken. For example, we can script and record an audio CD or a "live" radio show in class; or present a performance of our creative material. This performance could be presented at a school assembly in as a "classroom concert" for parents and students, or at a special school event.