Archive | October, 2012

Workshops for UNRWA teachers

22 Oct

This Saturday’s workshop with the UNRWA school teachers was a great success.  It was the second workshop in a series of three taking place throughout the fall for the training of teachers in music appreciation classes.  The aim of the training is to provide them with both theoretical and practical  music skills in order to help them further promote music education in the classroom.  By the end of the training, teachers should be able to teach basic music appreciation classes to their students on their own and without the aid of Al Kamandjati teachers.

Teachers from Jalazon girls school singing "Ah ya Zain", a popular Palestinian folk song

The teachers were divided into two groups.  The first group worked with Ibrahim Froukh and Khaled Arameen on rhythm exercise such as body percussion and movement.  The second group worked with Donia Jarrar  and Robin Burlton on singing and notation.  After the first group was done with the rhythm portion of the workshop they switched with the singing and notation group.   Teachers were given a lesson on note naming in the same way that a beginner children’s class would.

Robin teaching Brother John

Donia assigned different pictures to the notes to help the teachers memorize them and explained the difference between stepwise motion and leaps on the musical staff.   Robin worked with the teachers on singing and pitch memory through the use of the lullaby Brother John.   By the end of the session, teachers were able to read a popular Palestinian folk song in solfege.

The next workshop, “How to Plan & Deliver a Lesson” is scheduled for November 10th.  Until then, stay tuned for more pictures and video from lessons and classes this week.


A great start to the Fall!

16 Oct

The year’s music appreciation classes in the UNRWA schools in Qalandia, Jalazon and Al Amari began this week, and Ibrahim and Freya have been teaching the children basic body percussion techniques in order to explore co-ordination and rhythm. In addition they have been introducing the flute recorder as an instrument in class and been exploring group pitch and rhythm games, such as having half the class clap beats 1 and 2 of a bar, and the other half play beats 3 and 4 as notes on recorder. They also looked at dynamics; a miscellany of animals including cats, dogs, lions, tortoises, mice, gazelles and cows have been imitated over the past few days to demonstrate differences in speed, pitch and volume!

Iyad Staiti playing oud for the students

 In Iyad’s Sunday session the use of the oud had a significant effect on the group listening skills; the children loved listening to him play so much that they remained completely still – transfixed by the music – for a good few minutes, which is close to a miracle when it comes to 6 year olds! They also enjoyed imitating pitches on the oud by singing and copying rhythms by clapping. 

A child sits transfixed by the music