In last week’s blog post, I tried to make the case for the use of movement in children’s choir rehearsals. In this blog post, I have included a variety of resources to help even the most unsure of movers to get started. This list is by no means exhaustive; it is merely a jumping-off point to the great wide world of musical movement.
For those would like some more information about moving in the musical setting, check out any local Orff-Schulwerk, Kodály, or Dalcroze chapter for workshops and more information. These music education philosophies all incorporate movement as an important piece of music-making.
You can find much more information on the national organizations’ websites:
- In the past, my choirs have found joy and success in rotating between creative movement activities and simple folk dances.
- Some folk dances take a little more time to teach. Do not attempt to teach the entire folk dance in one rehearsal. (You do need to get singing!) Simply walk in a circle/clap/jump during steps the children do not know yet.
- Do not be afraid to repeat folk dances or creative movement activities.
New England Dancing Masters, The. Alabama Gal: Nine Never-Fail Dances and Singing Games for Children. Chicago: GIA Publications, 1996.
Everyone should own this book. But, if this is your first foray into folk dance, this is THE place to start. In addition to sheet music and written instructions, it includes a DVD of the New England Dancing Masters teaching the dances to children, and a CD of the music.
Weikart, Phyllis. Rhythmically Moving. CDs 1-9.
These CDs are meant to be paired with the folk dances described in Teaching Movement and Dance (see below). Also available on Amazon.com
Weikart, Phyllis. Teaching Movement & Dance: A Sequential Approach to Rhythmic Movement. Ypsilanti, MI: HighScope Press, 2006.
This book not only gives you step-by-step tips on how to introduce rhythmic movement to students, but it also holds a huge collection of folk dances, complete with teaching tips. Use the Rhythmically Moving CDs (mentioned above) to accompany the folk dances. This is a must-have!
Chapelle, Eric. Music for Creative Dance. Seattle: Ravenna Ventures, 1993.
These CDs come in four volumes. They include creative movement ideas by choreographer Anne Green Gilbert that can be done individually or with partners.
A link to Volume I (a favorite!).
Feierabend, John. The Book of Movement Exploration. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2003.
This book is perfect for beginners to creative movement (including the conductor) and is appropriate to use with preschoolers.
Feierabend, John. Move It!. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2003.
Feierabend, John. Move It! 2. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2008.
Each volume includes a DVD & CD combo set includes choreography by Peggy Lyman set to classical masterpieces. A great resource for those wishing to have more structure to their creative movement activities.
Movement to Enhance Vocal Technique:
Leck, Henry. Creating Artistry through Movement. Milwaukee: Hal Leonard, 2005.
Henry Leck is a master at incorporating the principles of Dalcroze Eurhythmics into the choral rehearsal. This DVD can be found here:
However you decide to incorporate movement into your rehearsals, I wish you happy moving!