4 episodes

If you’re interested in teaching musical skills and literacy through singing then this is the place for you. My name is Helen Russell from Doremi Connect and I’m going to help you achieve your goals using the Kodály approach.

Whether you're a class teacher, music teacher, instrumental teacher or run a music club you will love to use these resources in your teaching.

Helen is the founder of Doremi Connect, an online community for music teachers to develop their skills and connect with like-minded Kodály geeks.

To connect with Helen and the Doremi community visit https://doremiconnect.co.uk/

Doremi Teach Helen Russell

    • Education

If you’re interested in teaching musical skills and literacy through singing then this is the place for you. My name is Helen Russell from Doremi Connect and I’m going to help you achieve your goals using the Kodály approach.

Whether you're a class teacher, music teacher, instrumental teacher or run a music club you will love to use these resources in your teaching.

Helen is the founder of Doremi Connect, an online community for music teachers to develop their skills and connect with like-minded Kodály geeks.

To connect with Helen and the Doremi community visit https://doremiconnect.co.uk/

    Chop Chop Choppity Chop

    Chop Chop Choppity Chop

    Welcome to Episode 4 of the Doremi Teach Podcast, with Helen Russell from Doremi Connect. Today we’re going to share a fun and creative rhyme that develops pulse kinaesthetically with the opportunity for improvisation.
    Chop Chop Choppity Chop
    This rhyme has so many uses
    It’s so interactive, our students get to choose which vegetable go in the pot and decide if their imaginary soup is delicious or disgusting
    It uses the speaking voice so perfect for that first term when you’re exploring voice types
    It’s use of the speaking voice also makes it very attractive for teachers who aren’t yet confident using their own singing voices in the classroom
    The actions help our students to feel the pulse or beat kinaesthetically
    Its metre is simple compound or 6/8 so when they’re much older and are preparing this metre it could stage a comeback. You never know, they can surprise you and love a bit of a retro flashback to their younger years. I’ve used it with older students and linked to chopping trees in Minecraft or even Fruit Ninja or Beat Saber.
    The Game
    Use a chopping action with a flat vertical hand, the knife, striking a flat horizontal hand, the chopping board.
    The children can choose ingredients for the pot. You decide if they have to be sensible vegetables or if you can trust them to be a bit more creative with ice-cream and radishes. Watch out though, they will definitely want to include slugs and worms so you decide if you want to tolerate that level of silliness. I do, but you might not.
    For an extra challenge you can change the chopping action to match the size or stability of the vegetable. So instead of a hand you might use your whole arm, or a tiny finger, or maybe those pesky peas are rolling around so you can’t catch them.
    Make sure you let us know what you think of the rhyme, and if you use it in your lessons. You can get in touch with us through our website at https://doremiconnect.co.uk/ (doremiconnect.co.uk)
    Do share us with your colleagues if you’ve found it helpful
    I hope you have a lovely week, filled with music and singing.
    I’ll see you soon here, on https://www.facebook.com/doremiconnect (Facebook), https://twitter.com/Helen_Russell (Twitter) or at https://doremiconnect.co.uk/ (doremiconnect.co.uk) to help you achieve your music teaching goals using the Kodály approach.
    For more resources and free webinars on teaching music through singing make sure you visit https://doremiconnect.co.uk/freetraining (doremiconnect.co.uk/freetraining) for our latest opportunities.

    • 5 min
    Zoom Zoom Zoom

    Zoom Zoom Zoom

    Welcome to Episode 3. Today we’re going to share a popular song that combines the singing voice and the speaking voice and helps to prepare pulse or beat.
    Zoom Zoom Zoom
    This song has so many uses
    Many parents will know this song from baby groups where the babies can be lifted into the air at the blast off. In my classes we do the same with a soft toy and often use a lycra sheet to blast one lucky finger puppet into the atmosphere! It’s one of my students’ favourites. I haven’t asked the puppets!
    The lycra game includes movement so gets the children out of their seats and stretching their legs
    The lycra game also requires co-operation and sharing. The children have their space around the lycra and in order to get the puppet to fly they must work as a team
    It uses the singing voice and the speaking voice so a great one for that first term of lessons where our students are discovering what their voices can do
    The countdown helps our students to experience the beat and when you allow them to take a solo turn it’s a great opportunity to assess their ability to maintain the steady beat and to draw their attention to its importance when they don’t
    The solo section is also a great opportunity for the other children to remember NOT to sing, thus developing their impulse control and their inner hearing
    The toneset is do-re-mi-fa-so-la with a range of a Major 6th so very achievable for young voices and for reluctant teachers
    The melodic motifs could be used with older children but by the time we reach those tonesets they are possibly too old for the game. But you never know, they can surprise you and love a bit of a retro flashback to their younger years
    The Game
    Hold a large lycra sheet around the edges. Mine sheet is a 1.5 x 2m rectangle
    Place the unsuspecting puppet in the centre of the sheet and sing the song while holding the sheet steady or maybe dancing a little on the spot.
    For the countdown pulse the sheet upwards on each count but gently enough so the puppet stays in the middle. Then on blast off lift the sheet up faster and the puppet will fly into the sky. Hopefully landing back on the sheet if everyone has worked together. But often someone will have to let go to retrieve the toy for the next round.
    After a few weeks you will be able to select children to perform a solo countdown. Some will speed up and you’ll need to remind them that a Rocket countdown has to stay steady so everyone knows when to blast off.
    Make sure you let us know what you think of the song, and if you use it in your lessons. You can get in touch with us through our website at https://doremiconnect.co.uk/ (doremiconnect.co.uk)
    Do share us with your colleagues if you’ve found it helpful
    I hope you have a lovely week, filled with music and singing.
    I’ll see you soon here, on https://www.facebook.com/doremiconnect (Facebook), https://twitter.com/Helen_Russell (Twitter) or at https://doremiconnect.co.uk/ (doremiconnect.co.uk) to help you achieve your music teaching goals using the Kodály approach.
    For more resources and free webinars on teaching music through singing make sure you visit https://doremiconnect.co.uk/freetraining (doremiconnect.co.uk/freetraining) for our latest opportunities.

    • 5 min
    Engine Engine Number Nine

    Engine Engine Number Nine

    Welcome to Episode 2. Today we're going to share a rhyme that covers so many bases, including taking turns and development of pulse.
    Engine Engine Number Nine
    This rhyme has so many uses
    It’s great for the relaxation segment of your lesson after your students have focused for a few minutes and need to reset, or to help you transition to a new activity
    The game includes movement so gets the children out of their seats and stretching their legs
    The game involves turn taking as different children get to be the engine driver
    It uses the speaking voice so perfect for that first term when you’re exploring voice types
    It’s use of the speaking voice also makes it very attractive for teachers who aren’t yet confident using their own singing voices in the classroom
    The actions help our students to feel the pulse or beat kinaesthetically and later we will use train icons when we visually represent the beat
    We can also use it later on when we’re exploring rhythm
    The Game
    You’ll definitely want to change the town from Worcester to your own town. Try not to squeeze in too many syllables though – look around your area for something suitable, or use Playground or something neutral.
    Once the students have learnt the rhyme ask them to improvise some train actions. It’s almost inevitable that someone will do a chugging train action where their bent arms represent the side rods that drive the wheels.
    Let’s make a train and chug around the room. I’ll be the engine driver.
    Lead the children round the room while continuing to chug with their arms, and ideally marching with their feet too. When they get to the toot phrase, they can pretend to pull on the whistle cord.
    There’s only so long that this will be interesting though. So once you’ve modelled a good walking speed you can allow a student to be the engine driver. And after each repeat you can peel the front child off, they go to the back and we get a new driver.
    So here’s an additional phrase to make the change
    “Sarah goes to the rear, Matthew is my engineer”
    Clearly with a class of 30 not every child will get a turn each week so you’ll need to manage that to maintain a sense of fairness.
    Remember that children have much shorter legs than adults, so you need to ensure that your walking and rhyme speed is fast enough for them to be able to walk to the beat. Otherwise they will take extra steps and some of the kinaesthetic benefit will be lost.
    You’ll also notice that the driver might go too fast for the class, or one of the carriages isn’t concentrating and you might get a split in the train. So watch out for that too.
    Make sure you let us know what you think of the rhyme and if you use it in your lessons. You can get in touch with us through our website at https://doremiconnect.co.uk/ (doremiconnect.co.uk)
    Do share us with your colleagues if you’ve found it helpful
    I hope you have a lovely week, filled with music and singing.
    I’ll see you soon here, on https://www.facebook.com/doremiconnect (Facebook), https://twitter.com/Helen_Russell (Twitter) or at https://doremiconnect.co.uk/ (doremiconnect.co.uk) to help you achieve your music teaching goals using the Kodály approach.

    • 7 min
    We Are Dancing in the Forest

    We Are Dancing in the Forest

    Welcome to Episode 1. Today we’re going to share a song that’s really popular with all of my students and is perfect for the relaxation segment of your music class.
    We Are Dancing in the Forest
    This song has so many uses
    It’s great for the relaxation segment of your lesson after your students have focused for a few minutes and need to reset
    The game includes freestyle dancing so every child can get moving and express themselves
    The game also includes solo work and improvisation
    It uses the singing voice and the speaking voice so a great one for that first term of lessons where our students are discovering what their voices can do
    The toneset is mi-so-la, with a range of a Perfect 4th so ideal for little voices and for reluctant teachers
    And it contains the slsm motif that we will need when our students are a little older and preparing and practising la. This is why I also use it with my piano students too
    The Game
    At the end of the song, everyone says Wolf are you there? And one volunteer, or the teacher initially, says some reason why not – eg No, I’m brushing my hair
    After a couple of turns the wolf says Yes, I’m coming to get you.
    Now the original game is tag. The child that gets tagged becomes the new wolf. However you may not want to have them running around and it can elicit screaming from some classes. That’s why I sometimes change the game to a Freeze game. The children have to freeze like a tree. Now in musical statues the child that moves would be out. However they all want to be the wolf so they all “accidentally” move. So instead the wolf has to choose the very best tree to be the next wolf, the child who is the most still. This freezing game also works in one to one instrumental lessons. I use it with my piano students. Because there’s no chasing around we just pretend to be a really still tree and then swap roles.
    Interestingly I have had students who really struggle to come up with suggestions for games, even simple things like choosing a colour for an imaginary balloon can be a challenge. But with this game I find they are much better. I think perhaps because they are drawing from their morning routine. The first time you play it, you be the wolf so you can model different answers for them to draw from.
    Make sure you let us know what you think of the song and if you use it in your lessons. You can get in touch with us through our website at https://doremiconnect.co.uk/ (doremiconnect.co.uk)
    Do share us with your colleagues if you’ve found it helpful
    I hope you have a lovely week, filled with music and singing.
    I’ll see you soon here, on https://www.facebook.com/doremiconnect (Facebook), https://twitter.com/Helen_Russell (Twitter) or at https://doremiconnect.co.uk/ (doremiconnect.co.uk) to help you achieve your music teaching goals using the Kodály approach.

    • 6 min

Top Podcasts In Education

You Might Also Like