February 4, 2009

Using Audacity to Have Fun With Folk Dances

I absolutely love folk dancing. And naturally my students do too!!
A husband/wife team named
Peter and Mary Alice Amidon are folk dancing
"masters" literally - known as the "
New England Dancing Masters," along with their friends Mary Cay Brass and Andy Davis. They are collectors of traditional folk dances and singing games from North America and the British Isles. Their website features their products, workshops, and the best of all, two FREE dances with directions and sound files!! Sasha is a Russian folk dance that is simple enough for little Kindergarteners but magical enough for even adults to enjoy!

We used "Sasha" this week with Kindergarten and First grade with their exploration of tempo. I imported the mp3 of "Sasha" into Audacity, a program I talked about in my recent post,
Blogging With Students. In this program, you can manipulate the tempo, pitch, volume, etc. So I produced copies of "Sasha" at a variety of tempi.....slow, medium, fast, really slow, really fast. Then once we learned the dance, we were able to experience tempo by movement (appealing to those kinesthetic learners!). Great fun and a great use of digital media for teaching musical concepts!!
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5 comments :

  1. I love folk dancing too! Thanks for showing me a new website to use as a resource. As I was reading about using Audacity to manipulate the tempo of a song I thought I could also use audacity to place a "call track" over the music. My voice gets so tired from having to project over the music. This could be a great way to save me from a sore throat or two! Thanks for helping me to expand the use of a tool I'm already using (Audacity).

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  2. Great idea, Brenda! My voice also gets tired of calling the dance steps over the music....I will have to try that one!!!

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