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Topic: Old McDonald's Orchestra -- for teaching ( and just for fun)

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  1. #1

    Old McDonald's Orchestra -- for teaching ( and just for fun)

    OK folks, this is strictly for fun, written some time ago. I wrote this thinking about how I might introduce kids to the idea of composition, using a tune everyone knows: Old McDonald Had a Farm. Not my best work LOL!

    Things I might ask kids:
    • How would you choose instruments to show different animals?
    • How would you vary the instrumentation for interest?
    • How would you play with the melody by changing meter, embellishing, modulating, etc.
    • How would you tell a story (at one point, Old McDonald gets tired of his wife nagging him and goes off to the tavern and comes home tipsy...)
    • How would you keep a common thread through all the variations?

    these were the sorts of questions I was writing to demonstrate some possible approaches.


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  2. #2

    Re: Old McDonald's Orchestra -- for teaching ( and just for fun)

    Old McDonald, but most certainly with the distinctive
    K. E. Peace stamp on it!

    Enjoyed this, Karen... got a charge out of the slides,
    great fun! This would be great for kids... I think they'd
    really get a kick out of it.

    My best,



    David
    -----
    David Sosnowski
    www.DavidSosnowski.com

  3. #3

    Re: Old McDonald's Orchestra -- for teaching ( and just for fun)

    Quote Originally Posted by etLux View Post
    Old McDonald, but most certainly with the distinctive
    K. E. Peace stamp on it!

    Enjoyed this, Karen... got a charge out of the slides,
    great fun! This would be great for kids... I think they'd
    really get a kick out of it.

    My best,

    David
    -----
    David Sosnowski
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    Thanks, Dave,
    This was actually something I sent to Tom Wilson, along with notes about what I was imagining saying to and asking kids as I wrote this on the fly. "Interactive composer workshop" style. I think that was part of why he referred me to the CS conservatory believe it or not. I mean, it's no masterwork LOL!

    Thanks for listening Dave.
    K
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  4. #4
    Senior Member sosmus's Avatar
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    Re: Old McDonald's Orchestra -- for teaching ( and just for fun)

    Karen:

    Things I might ask kids:
    • How would you choose instruments to show different animals?
    • How would you vary the instrumentation for interest?
    • How would you play with the melody by changing meter, embellishing, modulating, etc.
    • How would you tell a story (at one point, Old McDonald gets tired of his wife nagging him and goes off to the tavern and comes home tipsy...)
    • How would you keep a common thread through all the variations?
    I don't know whether to laugh or cry. This is a very clever arrangement, so clever in fact, that I am quite jealous. This arrangement stands very well on it's own and your idea of the lecture/demonstration is a good one, BUT; what age group are you aiming toward, elementary school or Doctoral candidates? I tried answering these questions and found myself searching for the definitions of the definitions. I recommend that the questions need less words like "instrumentation, changing meter, embellishing, modulation, etc." and more like "what is the name of that funny looking brass horn(instrument, if you insist) that has tubes that keep sliding back and forth? Did you know that it can sound like a cow mooing?" (That question is for the Doctoral students!)

    You never cease to amaze me with your imagination and ear.

    Steve

  5. #5

    Re: Old McDonald's Orchestra -- for teaching ( and just for fun)

    Hi Steve,

    Well, I wouldn't necessarily use any of those terms without defining them first and showing examples. Or, I wouldn't use them at all-- as you point out, it would depend on the audience.

    The Col. Springs Conservatory kids, for example, can take composition classes. The kids at the CSC range from age 2 through end of high school. I was thinking junior high or high school kids for this sort of thing, depending on their level of knowledge. I would play through the different instruments and show them pictures, but I suspect most of them at that age know most of the instruments already.

    Many of the CSC kids are already composing their own music, sitting at electronic keyboards donated by Yamaha. They can record many layers with different instruments on those keyboards and save them for future use (I learned this when I was given a tour.) So in addition to taking classes, they can also just explore on their own.

    You never know what level of knowledge you'll find with kids -- I used to write and conduct (when needed) little pieces for my church at 16, when the choir was on vacation in the summer. When I was in a chorus, there was a kid in it who had written his first opera at age 12. So you never know. And the CSC is pricey, although they have scholarships too, but I would wager most of the music kids there have already become quite proficient at various intruments. They often play around town at various events in an outreach capacity.

    I bring up the CSC because I heard back from their director, who wants me to come see their new facility. They will be providing the arts and music for a magnet school here, part of the public schools in the springs, which provided them with a bigger space rent-free for 10 years. Though I have decided that I do not want to teach in general, doing some kind of creativity workshops now and then might be right up my alley. I have no idea what she wants -- whether to just give me a tour and say hi, or if this, like the last meeting, will seem to be a veiled job interview.... I suspect they keep it that way, friendly and casual, to draw people out more naturally -- and it works. They also never advertise their job openings; they get word-of-mouth referrals for staff instead.

    ps everyone loves the Maxine cartoons!!

    Karen
    _____________________
    Listen at: www.soundclick.com/kepeaceusa
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  6. #6

    Re: Old McDonald's Orchestra -- for teaching ( and just for fun)

    ps I also have had, for some time, another rather silly idea -- of writing choral pieces based on kids songs, except they would be rated R (at least)! But I don't know who would dare perform them LOL!

    Do you know the muffin man, the muffin man, the muffin man,
    Who lives on Drury Lane?
    Yes I know the muffin man, the muffin man, the muffin man,
    Who lives on Drury Lane.

    He lured my teenage daughter
    With his tasty muffins
    And now my teenage daughter has
    A muffin of her own! HEY!

    [chorus]

    [bridge, lounge jazz singer style]
    Oh no one knows my muffin man like I do
    {in the Biblical sense}
    He's so musunderstood.
    But every morning, I delight in the scents
    Of blueberry, cinnamon, and apples,
    All by virtue of his masterful hands.
    Do you know my little muffin man like me?

    Oh yes we know your muffin man,
    the scoundrel and a lecher,
    He'd muffinize each girl round here,
    If only he could catch her! HEY!

    ...etc...

    Then there's the "Kinck-knack-paddy-whack" song

    This old man, he played one,
    he played knick-knack with his ______
    With a knick-knack paddy-whack,
    Give a dog a bone(r)
    Then we had to roll him home.

    This old man, he played two,
    he played knick-knack on my ______
    With a knick-knack paddy-whack,
    Give a dog a bone(r)
    Then we had to roll him home.

    This old man, he played three,
    he played knick-knack on my ______

    This old man, he played four,
    We played knick-knack on the floor...

    This old man, he played five,
    he knick-knacked up my beehive (hairdo)


    This old man, he played six,
    he knick-knacked and kissed and ______



    This old man, he played seven,
    My daddy's gun sent him to heaven..


    This old man, he played eight,
    he knick-knacked at Heaven's gate...


    This old man, he played nine,
    Now, knick-knack in hell he whines

    This old man, he played ten,
    Instead he should have mastered Zen...

    etc....
    _____________________
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  7. #7
    Senior Member sosmus's Avatar
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    Red face Re: Old McDonald's Orchestra -- for teaching ( and just for fun)

    Karen:
    I've learned to love the taste of crow. When you are ready, your teacher will appear.
    I should have known that you would have prepared the proper material to suit your audience. Have you ever felt so small that you could draw chalk line then jump up on it, sit down and swing your feet off of the edge? To avoid such embarrassment in the future, I'll stick to only commenting on the music.
    Good luck with this project. You're name is soon going to be a household word.

    Steve

  8. #8

    Re: Old McDonald's Orchestra -- for teaching ( and just for fun)

    Quote Originally Posted by sosmus View Post
    Karen:
    I've learned to love the taste of crow. When you are ready, your teacher will appear.
    I should have known that you would have prepared the proper material to suit your audience. Have you ever felt so small that you could draw chalk line then jump up on it, sit down and swing your feet off of the edge? To avoid such embarrassment in the future, I'll stick to only commenting on the music.
    Good luck with this project. You're name is soon going to be a household word.

    Steve
    Oh Steve,

    you ware WAY WAY too hard on yourself -- even harder on yourself than I am on myself!!!!!
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  9. #9
    Senior Member valhalx's Avatar
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    Re: Old McDonald's Orchestra -- for teaching ( and just for fun)

    Karen,

    The bawdy nature of the lyrics you plan to use borders on Carmina Burana, lol. Careful now. You just might receive a visit from the Spanish Inquisition and as you know, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpbM_dFHKWQ

    Bill
    Never look at the trombones. It only encourages them. Richard Strauss

    My Website
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  10. #10

    Re: Old McDonald's Orchestra -- for teaching ( and just for fun)

    Hi Karen,

    This would make a great challenge for students. Great thinking and well done.

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