Creating an Enriched Learning Environment is essential to reach all our students. This requires exploring multi-sensory or multi-modal learning strategies for teaching music. Forte School of Music uses Whole Body Learning teaching strategies which are based on the approaches of Carl Orff, Kodály Zoltán & Émile Jaques-Dalcroze as well as incorporating technology. Here is a short excerpt of a class. If you'd like to watch a whole class of 4-5 year olds, you can watch one here.
These children are 6 & 7 years of age. They have been learning for approximately 2 years at Forte School of Music which incorporates Whole Body Learning teaching strategies for all students. You'll notice in this ensemble, students are confidently playing together both piano and classroom percussion instruments. Students collaborative playing skills are developed from the first lesson through the use of backing tracks which students play along with at home as well.
This piece, Badlands, is a Grade 3 (Early Intermediate). The teaching approach for this piece incorporates a multi-modal process which starts with body percussion and lyrics. The lyrics were developed to both engage students and scan with the rhythmic requirements for the piece. Half way through the video you'll hear the piece played by a class of students. Notice how the students stay together and are rhythmically secure. This is due to the learning approach used.
Waltz Mystique is a Grade 4 (Intermediate) piece. The teaching approach used with these students was to explore the melodic and harmonic lines used by the composer. As students learned their line from the piece, the parts were put together to make an ensemble. Collaborative playing is an essential skill for all musicians and singers. After students were confident in playing the ensemble, they taught each other their part to build up and create the complete piece. In the last third of this video, you'll hear the complete piece which includes all the parts of the ensemble. Notice the students become slightly out of time in the rallentando, and then return to playing together very quickly. This is the magic of commencing ensemble learning from a young age.