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teachers' tips please to stop children making noises on instruments at wrong time in orchestra

(9 Posts)
lingle Mon 19-Sep-11 14:03:16

I'm no teacher but lead a primary school orchestra.

It's an ambitious project -anyone can join on any instrument.

When the children did the odd toot or pluck while I was talking last term, I hit on the idea of instantly holding my own instrument up in the air and stopping talking. They copied. It worked brilliantly and still does.

But now some parents who've popped in to watch have told me off for allowing their children to endanger their instruments. I guess it's part of the role to respond so here I am asking for help.

Is there another equally effective technique I can use, or should I just modify this one (so cello stays on floor but bow goes up, tuba doesn't bother lifting as he doesn't talk anyway, but guitars and violins still have to be lifted, etc). It did just seem to be so effective - all the energy went away from chatting/plucking into lifting smile

What I absolutely do not want to do is have instruments on the floor. Violins and being on the floor do not mix.

"teaching"/leading in a school when you aren't a professional teacher is quite tricky because the parents expect the same levels of professionalism as in class time - tricky!

2BoysTooLoud Mon 19-Sep-11 14:08:21

Oh I think your technique sounds great. Maybe for cellos just the bow in the air but don't see that most instruments can't be held in the air. [Maybe drum sticks in the air rather than drums etc!!].
Parents sound a bit unsupportive.

blackeyedsusan Mon 19-Sep-11 14:28:14

well, perhps you could remind them that if they prefer not to risk the instruments, they don't have to come... ?

lingle Mon 19-Sep-11 15:05:35

LOL blackeyedsusan smile

you are both cheering me up, thank you.

SamsungAndDelilah Mon 19-Sep-11 18:11:04

play the note A in a particular rhythm e.g. Time-to-stop-talking.

The children then join in playing A in that rhythm and looking at you. Repeat rhythm until everyone is playing and looking at you (should take only 3-4 repetitions once the class are used to it). When you stop playing, they stop playing and continue looking at you.

Theas18 Mon 19-Sep-11 19:13:33

With recorders I've seen the teacher tuck the instrument under her arm ( as to warm it up) and the kids all look up and copy.

pinkgirlythoughts Mon 19-Sep-11 19:13:44

I like your method! Like Susan says, if they don't like it, their kids don't have to go.....
I tend to take instruments off them if they're playing out of turn, and give them back 2 minutes later. That also works quite well.

woahwoah Mon 19-Sep-11 19:18:46

I think your method sounds a good one. I think the parents are being unhelpful.

lingle Mon 19-Sep-11 21:46:09

thank you, I like all those ideas

I'm being a bit wingey I know - but where can you go and have a secret winge if not mumsnet? smile

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