Fall began on a fine note in Saskatoon as over 50 participants gathered at Dr. John G. Egnatoff School, eager to learn from Debra Giebelhaus-Maloney. She did not disappoint with her teacher friendly ideas and her enthusiastic, fun-loving manner.
Debra’s workshop was entitled SING MOVE PLAY – Arts Integration for K-6 Using the Orff Process. She certainly did have have us singing, moving and playing throughout the day. We learned as we participated – exploring how a simple thing like your name can be turned into a wonderful four part canon!
Debra demonstrated how simple nursery rhymes can help students develop language skills and teach such musical concepts as dynamics, pitch, and tempo. She also showed us a very simple way to help students with limericks.
Debra has a very welcoming presence and made all participants feel included. She reminded us that our our bodies and our voices and our prime music makers and the Orff instruments are merely the icing on the cake. Many of her activities were done without Orff instruments and though some did include non-pitched percussion accompaniments they could also have been done without these parts. She has worked extensively with students in Alberta schools and showed us some of her students and their “celebrations.”
Thank you to the Orff Executive who worked hard to make this day possible and also to Debra Geibelhaus-Maloney - a great workshop leader . I will certainly be in Regina when she presents again at the SMEA Conference November 2nd and 3rd.