KONY Workshop: Weaving Jazz & Blues Into Your Kodaly Curriculum

KONY PD - Craig Lecturing (2013)On September 21, 2013, I presented my workshop “Weaving Jazz & Blues Into Your Kodaly Curriculum” to KONY, the local NYC chapter of OAKE.  In it, I shared music games and songs that I use from the African-American tradition, connecting the history of slavery up through songs from the Georgia Sea Islands, a la Bessie Jones.

I also showed I make connections for my students between songs they may know (“Oh, Susanna”, “Old MacDonald” and “A KONY PD - Craig Captain Don't SidetrackTisket-a-Tasket”) with jazz renditions of them by great jazz artists.  We played “Bag’s Groove” on the recorder and “Captain Don’t Sidetrack Your Train” with some Orff instrument accompaniment.

KONY PD - Craig Recorder 1I included my recorder sequence, which I begin in 3rd grade.  I also shared some videos of more contemporary jazz artists, notably Esperanza Spalding, and how a jazz musician is crossing genres and stylistic boundaries to create interesting music.

NYC Election Day PD, Tuesday, November 5th 2013 (Teacher-Directed)

When:  Tuesday, November 5, 2013

It’s time to have our Fall teacher-directed professional development, which is an alternative to the PD run by the NYCDOE.  Since the new teacher evaluation system is a big part of our lives this year (For NYC public school teachers), we plan to integrate the Danielson Framework throughout the day and we will most likely carve out specific time slots to solely focus on that.

Both Katie Traxler and I spent time last year, at our respective schools, working with the Danielson Framework and exploring how it applies to music teachers.  My principal, last year, gave me a time slot each week, during the “extended day”, to lead a group with the other arts & specialty teachers to work on this.  So, though I cannot claim to be an expert, I have experience with this and so does Katie.

Personally, I think we will have a better opportunity to explore what it means to us as music teachers by discussing it with a group of like-minded music teachers.  Here are a couple of examples of how I think we can use this: (1)  One of us teaches a song or game. or some other activity.  We discuss whether it would fall within “Effective” or “Highly Effective” in our classroom (we’re aiming for the best here, not the “ineffectives”, though we should discuss what might make it fall under “ineffective”), using the Danielson Rubric as a guide.  (2) We spend some time going through the rubric and getting familiar with it as well through discussion, perhaps in small groups and then we regroup to discuss.

If you want to attend, please look for our Evite, which will go out soon.  If you haven’t received the last few, you may not be on our list (we moved to using Evites about a year ago and you may have inadvertently fallen of the list in the transfer).

OAKE National Conference, Hartford, CT – March 2013

I attended the OAKE (Organization of American Kodaly Educators) conference last week.  What a great time and an amazing “recharge” for my teaching.  First, there area so many great educators with incredible ideas for use in the classroom.  Second, we were treated to multiple chorus performances each day and all were excellent.  Third, getting to hang out with colleagues and see other music teacher friends is invaluable.  Most of us are the only music teachers in our school.  So, we get this all too infrequent opportunity to converse with others that actually understand what we are talking about!

NYC Music Teacher PD – Election Day, Tuesday Nov. 6, 2012

NYC Music Teacher PD

  • HOST:
    Craig McGorry and Katie Traxler
  • WHEN:
    Tuesday, November 6 at 9:00 AM
  • WHERE:
    PS35X Franz Siegel261 East 163rd St., Rm 301 Bronx, NY 10451

    Hello fellow music teachers! It is that time again for our fall PD day. Craig is hosting it at his school in his new music room! In addition to sharing fabulous lesson ideas, we would like to set aside time in the day for discussion/break out groups so you can chat with others about your interests (curriculum planning, recorder karate, using orff instruments in the classroom, management strategies, etc.) If you want to share a lesson idea or have a discussion topic you’d like to explore, please email Craig at musicteachermcgorry@gmail.com with the details.

    Spread the word! If you know someone who would like to be added to our evite list, let Katie know at katietraxler@gmail.com.

    See you all soon!

Election Day Professional Development

NYC Music Teacher PD

  • HOST:
    Craig McGorry and Katie Traxler
  • WHEN:
    Tuesday, November 6 at 9:00 AM
  • WHERE:
    PS35X Franz Siegel261 East 163rd St., Rm 301 Bronx, NY 10451

    Hello fellow music teachers! It is that time again for our fall PD day. Craig is hosting it at his school in his new music room! In addition to sharing fabulous lesson ideas, we would like to set aside time in the day for discussion/break out groups so you can chat with others about your interests (curriculum planning, recorder karate, using orff instruments in the classroom, management strategies, etc.) If you want to share a lesson idea or have a discussion topic you’d like to explore, please email Craig at musicteachermcgorry@gmail.com with the details.

    Spread the word! If you know someone who would like to be added to our evite list, let Katie know at katietraxler@gmail.com.

    See you all soon!

Tri-Chapter Workshop: DOUG GOODKIN Orff Through the Ages

On Saturday, January 28th, I attended an inspiring workshop given by noted Orff educator Doug Goodkin.  Goodkin took the attendees on a musical journey from early childhood, with games such as “One Potato” and “Johnny Whoops”, all the way up to middle school level music-making activities.  He also demonstrated ways the extend an activity and keep it alive.  For example, with “One Potato”, once the students have done the “fist over fist” version, they can try their own versions.  This is great for partner work, keeping the beat and more.  Goodkin tied it up by connecting it to the blues with the workshop attendees singing, “Weeeeeee…..love potatos.  We eat them everyday,” etc.  These past two weeks, I have very successfully used his version of “One Potato…” with 1st through 3rd grade, a 1st grade special education class, and as a warm-up with the school chorus.  Goodkin’s workshop had many other great ideas, which I’ll be sharing in an upcoming issue of KONY News, the newsletter for the Kodaly Organization of New York.

Hello world!