Tuesday, November 19, 2013

AOSA 2013 Conference Highlights - Part 1

My first national AOSA conference is one for the record books! The sessions I attended were inspiring, and I was continually impressed by the knowledge, intellect, and musicality of the presenters, as well as the wonderful organization and high quality of their presentations. AOSA president Chris Judah-Lauder told me I would be blown away, and I certainly was! Here are the highlights of the convention, based on the sessions I attended:

iSchulwerk: Timely Instruments in a Timeless Approach presented by David Thaxton
Creative use of GarageBand and MadPad apps within Orff activities. Rather than replacing an existing Orff instrumentarium with virtual instruments, Thaxton led activities that incorporated unique sounds created within the GarageBand and MadPad apps. For me, the most memorable activity of this session involved the use of the MadPad app. After layering ostinati based on the rhythm of phrases related to cars and performing first with body percussion and then on barred instruments, participants transferred the rhythm patterns of Keetman’s Rhythmische Űbung, Stampfen und Klatschen, #51 to the recorded sounds present in one of MadPad’s preloaded pads: the 1991 Honda Accord. The combination of movement with the barred instruments and digital MadPad sounds resulted in a very exciting and entirely new musical experience.

Other high spots, in a nutshell, include:

Risk—Creating Music in the Moment with Ensembles presented by Anne Fennell

Singing to Learn—Learning Basic Choral Techniques Using the Orff Process presented by Brent Holl
Choral techniques: great examples of process!

Folk Tales from Long Ago presented by Jacque Schrader
Terrific creative storytelling of three Turkish folk tales!

Music and Movement Activities for the Classroom Teacher presented by Doug Goodkin
Thought-provoking, brilliant, inspirational!

Rhythmic Creations presented by Rodrigo Fernandez
Wonderful rhythmic activities and a terrific Japanese clapping game!

Variations on the DandiyaRaas Indian Stick Dance presented by Sanna Longden
Authentic folk dancing of India, and with sticks: wow!!!

New Heights in Musicianship Through Active Music Listening presented by Brent Gault
Great ideas for active music listening!

Phyllis Thomas has taught elementary music for twenty-two years, the last thirteen of which have been at Bridlewood Elementary in Flower Mound, TX. She received her BA from Adams State College in Alamosa, CO and MM from what is now the University of North Texas (UNT). She completed three levels of Kodály training and one level of Orff training at UNT. Phyllis is a past Teacher of the Year, a past Model Technology Classroom teacher, and a recipient of the Lewisville Foundation Award. She is the co-author and editor of the Music Memory Passport, published by UIL. She was named a SMART Exemplary Educator in the spring of 2010. Phyllis has presented a variety of music, technology, and interactive whiteboard workshops throughout Texas.

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