Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Notes: More or Less

**This post will only interest those who enjoy children's worship. And even the great majority of them might succumb to sheer boredom by paragraph two. Go brew some coffee and read someone else's blog today:)

The second day of the Children's Worship Conference was just as useful as the first, even though I got a bit of a late start.

I found it very difficult to leave my 20 hour haven called Hampton Inn. The only people I really knew from the conference were running late as well, and so we "conferred" over a second cup of coffee in the Hampton lobby. They have been music ministers for many years and I enjoyed hearing their response to the previous days' offerings.

As I arrived on campus, my first session was "Moving Forward in Children's Choirs with Technology" presented by John Woods (Assoc Pastor music/Worship, Northside Baptist Church, Victoria, TX) & MJ Gallop (Minister of Music, Valley Mills Baptist Church, Waco, Texas). These guys are buddies and they seem to really know their stuff. I missed the first few bullets about planning and communicating with parents, but picked right up with rehearsal pointers.

Skype - have a message recorded from the composer of the music your working on.
- have an "expert" or just "someone else" send a message or comes better from "someone else"
- have a message from a missionary

Music Exploration - give each kid a card. Have them write a sentence of praise. Then have them select things like "fast, slow, loud, soft" for their song's style and then even choose instruments to be included. Brainstorm and come up with a melody for their lyrics and RECORD their creation.

Recording can also create a "performance atmosphere"...when the kids begin to lose interest, say, "Ok, give it your best...we're going to record this next song." This also gives them the opportunity to critique themselves and suggest improvements like "somebody carried that ssss way too long" or "we weren't together on that word". Ownership will solidify interest and excellence.

Games for Kids

for iphone/ipad
**Music Draw
**leaf trombone

web based

In a section called "Sharing" they mentioned the importance of promotion, feedback, recruitment, contributing, and building on past successes. There are some tools to utilize in order to work in these directions.

They suggested having parents sign a "Photo/Audio/Video/Travel" release form at the beginning of the season. This way you are free to post photos to facebook or make a promo/ performance video.

They said PICNIK was easy and free to upload photos.

For recording rehearsals, they mentioned
Mikey for iphone

all for $99...zoom H1 being their fave.

They also mentioned
GarageBand for mac
Audacity which is free

Flip Video ($129) for fast recording of rehearsals and the best quality for $$
JayCut is free editing
Animoto is free for a 30second can upload your own music and longer productions cost just a few dollars.
both post directly to YouTube hassle free.

They strongly encouraged building a facebook page for the choir....builds identity, common place for photos, videos, announcements, etc.

After the session, I was able to ask them what they would ask for if they could build a "dream rehearsal space". They listed...

magnetic white board with staff written on it.
projector for laptop (or flatscreen tv)
long VGA cable for connecting laptop for games, lyrics, skype etc.
Cubbies for each member (I'm not convinced about this one, but I guess it's wise)
an ipod center for early arrivers and for incentive...5+ ipod touches loaded with apps mentioned earlier.
keyboard with rhythm/ recording capabilities
sound system of course. (I think a remote control for cd would be fantastic...or I suppose I could have the cd's loaded on one of the ipod touches and just run it into system.)

Next was the KeyNote address by Dennis & Nan Allen.

They warned to "Be Careful"

Be Careful to not miss an opportunity.
...more examples of kids in their ministry who weren't "singers" but ended up being gifted worship leaders.
...used the story of Paul in NT. Stuck in prison...used the time to write letters and sing hymns. Made the most of his opportunities and God blessed many through his obedience.

Be Careful to not miss the message.
...Dec 17, 1903: Wright Bro get a plane off the ground for 12 seconds. They telegram home, "We have actually flown 120 feet. We'll be home for Christmas." The telegram operator read the message and exclaimed, "Great! The boys will be here soon." He totally missed the central message. They had flown!

...what is our message to the kids? performance is most important? costumes can be stressful? diction and melody are the most important thing?? NOPE. keep the message of Christ clear and centralized as the priority.

Be Careful to hear the Right Voice.
...familiar voice, trusted voice. John 10: good sheep hear, recognize, follow my voice.
...story of Tommy Dorsey...singer who tragically lost his wife and newborn baby. Went mute in his despair. months later, the first words he uttered were, "Precious Lord, take my hand. Lead me on through the night. I am weak, I am tired, I am worn...." He waited to hear the right voice and he found his own in the process.

Nan concluded by singing "When all is said and done". (She said she totally wished she had written this song and smiled.)

Before lunch, I attended "Training Drills" with Sandy Stephenson (Children's Minister, Double Oak Community Church, Birmingham, Alabama)
"Kids love to play games and do fun activities. Games increase participation and learning comprehension and retention. Use games to teach rhythm, melody, singing skills,and and following a musical score."

Fudge is a game where you stand in a row and pass down the action in a 4 beat round.

Hat Palmer's cd "Movin..." is Instrumental 4/4 that can be used with many activities.

Bean bag toss with large see-through chart for bingo.

Hokie Pokie with flash cards...."You put your forte in, you put your forte out..."

Google: Free powerpoint games for teachers for things like jeopardy. ($3-5) find the flea for quiz questions

Airhead rhythms
Blue/Raspberry/eighth-two sixteenths

McDonalds rhythms
happy face / "yum" / quarter
fries / "french fries" / eighths
burger / "hamburger" / eighth - 2 sixteenths
pie / "apple pie" / two sixteenths - eighth
nuggets / "chicken nuggets" / 4 sixteenths

Coke, pepsi, Dr Pepper, Mt Dew, Cup for quarter rest, etc

Sit in circle...each kid has flash card. "Call them" by clapping their rhythm.
They answer by clapping it back. a "missed call" means they turn their card over and the last one in it wins it.

Step bells are great to teach skip/step/same/jump + higher/lower/repeat

"One Two Three. Echo Me" book

I spy with the music

Windmill races for steady breath support (videos)

Create rhythm on board by having two kids toss a bean bag back and forth without dropping. Their number is how many notes they get to add to the string of notes on the board. After several have contributed, go back and add bar lines as a class.

The last session was my favorite. And I have NO notes. We began creating improvised original music from the moment we walked in.

The teacher's name was David Talaguit. He is from the Philippines and moved here when he was 16. He is a gifted music educator in the Mesquite ISD and he LOVES Jesus! His passion for the Lord and enthusiastic encouragement for people to MAKE music was simply inspiring.

After 50 minutes, we had learned a new scripture song, enhanced it with hand motions, put it to music with Orff instruments, written additional lyrics that we presented in ostinato with motions as small groups. THEN we added a 30 second story with drama that went along with it. We also improvised melodies to a two chord ostinato and I got to be a soloist:) So incredibly fun.

**I want instruments for MP3!!!! Someday:)

Then it was time for final doorprizes (of which I won none) and a hearty good bye.