Gripe Orchestra

Goal: To express ourselves through music and rhythm, to connect with the group, to acknowledge how we’re feeling, to change the energy of the room.

Gripe Orchestra
  • Intro
  • Closings

Gripe Orchestra

Contributed by Laura Borgwardt

Goal

To express ourselves through music and rhythm, to connect with the group, to acknowledge how we’re feeling, to change the energy of the room.

Directions

  • TA will lead the group in finding a basic rhythm — ie. stomp clap, stomp stomp clap
  • TA will lead the group in making the same rhythm, but quietly — practice conducting the volume with your hands — hands up=loud, down=soft
  • Have the group continue the beat quietly while you explain the instructions
    • Think of one thing that makes you mad / irritated, a gripe. 
    • We’re going to add onto this beat, one person at a time to make a sound, movement, or rhythmic spoken phrase to express your gripe. This is something you will repeat over and over again. 
  • Once everyone has added to the orchestra, conduct the volume, maybe change tempos? 
  • Have the group continue their gripes quietly while you explain the next part
    • Think of one thing that makes you happy / a glow, something you are proud of / excited about.
    • We’re going to change one person at a time from our gripe sound/phrase to make a sound, movement, or rhythmic phrase to express your glow. This is something you will repeat over and over again. 
  • Once everyone has changed to a GLOW orchestra, conduct the volume, maybe change tempos, grand finale or fade out, and a cut-off to end.
  • Reflection – 
    • How did it feel to express your complaints out loud?
    • How did it feel to transition from an orchestra of gripes to an orchestra of glows? Would it have been different if we started with glows and ended with gripes?

Transition into Activity

Get in circle and then start the beat, or start a beat and encourage everyone nonverbally to make the beat with you as we get into a circle. 

Transition out of Activity

TA will lead us in two collective deep breaths in and out. There are a lot of things we’re dealing with right now some that make us mad, some that make us happy. Let’s take those things, honor that we’re feeling them, and maybe ask them to sit on the side for the next hour while we create together in class and they’ll be there for us when we get back. 

Classroom Arrangement

Circle

Supports/Adaptive Materials/Tools

  • Option: Chart an options bank by brainstorming gripes we have — you might change the language to “complaints, grows, thorns, etc” to match vocabulary they are already familiar with
  • Option: Have a DO NOW when entering the room. Write a GRIPE on one color post-it and a GLOW on a different color post-it. Keep your post-its with you as we meet in a circle. Students can then refer to their previously written content when creating a musical sound/phrase.
  • Option: Create a movement to express your gripe/glow instead of a sound. OR pick two different instruments — one harsh and one soft — to play during the orchestra.
  • TA conductor: When the TA points to you, add your sound/phrase. The conductor might have to give a cue to students to keep going/repeat. As the conductor you could have part of the group get quieter and have a solo or small group moment, etc. 
  • Option: Connect to previously learned musical terms. Have dynamics / tempos posted — point to or show visual and say name of dynamic instead of visual hand cue. 
  • Option: Seated circle if it’s too long to stand
  • TA can use visual representations of feelings for students to gesture to if they are not verbal. Students could also draw their “gripes and glows” if that’s available to them. 

Role of the Teachers and Paraprofessionals

  • Model full participation — stand next to TA to be the first to add a sound/phrase
  • Chart options
  • Side coach: If someone gets stuck, provide an intraverbal: It makes me mad when ___. What sound or word can you use to express that?

Remote Adaptation

TA might create a soft recorded beat to play in the background (using audio only share) so that there is no interference when students come off mute to share. TA can scaffold creating a beat and keeping, and then adding words or other sounds to that beat. Students can then create an individual beat and add words, sounds or gestures to this beat so that there is no interference with too many people sharing off mute at one time and canceling out each other’s sound.

Art forms

,

Time

15 mins