Free Resource: Engage and create on Day 1!

Free Resource: "Band and Orchestra Loops"... an exercise for instrumental ensembles to collaboratively arrange simple songs during rehearsal

Welcome to Free Resource Friday... the first Friday of every month, we'll give you something to help make your life a little easier while teaching young instrumental ensembles!

What happened to July?! I hope you all have been having a restful summer. If you're like me, you couldn't help but get into the classroom to start thinking about your curriculum and programming. Enjoy your last few weeks of summer before the hard, rewarding work begins again!

I've been thinking about what conversations, activities and ideas I felt were lacking in my ensemble rehearsals. Personally, I think that the creation standard of the Core Arts Standard is the hardest for me to achieve in a large-group setting. This makes me want to talk about things like composing and arranging more.

Free Resource: Band and Orchestra Loops (Arranging Activity)

This month, we are providing an activity that will allow your students to arrange some simple tunes during rehearsal. I've included PDF parts for each instrument for four songs (Row Row Row Your Boat, Hey Ho Nobody Home, London Bridge and Lightly Row). Each instrument is provided with the same four lines: Bass Line, Melody, Harmony and Descant. I've also included a percussion line. Pass out each instrumental part to your students in rehearsal.

Work with your students to arrange a tune by looping these lines in various combinations. Have your students choose which instruments will play each line (trumpets and clarinets have melody, altos and flutes have harmony, etc.), and create a "piece" by having them play a sequence of lines together. With some creativity, you can turn each of these pieces into a 1-2 minute arrangement. For example...

Time Through Students Play
1st Percussion, bass line
2nd Percussion, bass line, melody
3rd Percussion, bass line, melody, harmony
4th Bass line, ostinato
5th All five parts together
6th Melody and harmony, add a fermata on last note

Have your students experiment with instrumentation and form to create a piece that they feel is the most interesting.

This is a great opportunity to hit the ground running at the beginning of the year with a creative activity that will get your students working together and playing from Day 1. Enjoy the rest of your summer, see you in the fall!

Here's the band parts as a PDF. Here's an XML file so you can adapt this in any software. Unless you use Sibelius, in which case you might need this file.

For our string friends, here's the orchestra parts as a PDF. And the XML file. And the file that works better in some versions of Sibelius.

Hey, did you know all of our scores for sale come with a digital file to allow total customization to your specific ensemble? Also, back page warmups, chord parts, and more? Hope you'll check us out!

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