Making It Up As You Go - Selected Essays - Writing about Music, Improvisation, and Teaching

 
9780983654537: Making It Up As You Go - Selected Essays - Writing about Music, Improvisation, and Teaching
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Sensitively adapting Orff and Keetman's principles to North America's rich and varied traditions, Carley integrated passion and intellect. At last, here are her collected essays ranging over a lifetime...and ready for new generations to discover the music within.

Making It Up As You Go includes 21 essays, nine of them published here for the first time. Three sections - Origins, Practicum and Exhortations - provide memoir, musical analysis, history, opinion, teaching how-to's, and persuasive reasons to teach authentically, keeping the students' musical growth at the center of every endeavor.

Essays include in-depth descriptions of the Orff Approach itself, the untapped treasures of the pentatonic modes, and how to build the Carpet of Sound - that perpetual-motion layered accompaniment that is an Orff hallmark.

Essays on the use of speech play, hand-drum technique (which Carley learned directly from Keetman), and recorder teaching with improvisation provide detail and insight to teachers.

The collected essays are highlights from Carley's ongoing quest to reach people and open their lives to more music.

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About the Author:

Isabel McNeill Carley was a published composer, writer, editor and lifelong innovator and creative teacher of music. The first American Honors graduate of the Orff Institute in Salzburg, Austria, she was a founding member of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association. She established and edited for its first fifteen years AOSA's journal, The Orff Echo, and organized and instructed at Orff certification programs in the US and abroad. She composed works for piano, instrumental and vocal ensembles, performed in chamber-music consorts, and taught music for over fifty years to children and adults.

Carley's three-book Recorder Improvisation and Technique series is a classic, integrating recorder instruction with musicianship, improvisation and the Orff Approach. It is used successfully in Orff certification courses as well as classrooms.

Review:

This collection of twenty-one essays from the pen of one of our most thoughtful pioneers is a landmark publication.

The book is divided into three sections: Origins, Practicum and Exhortations, with some useful reference material in a Resource section at the end.

[Carley] draws attention to the use of many pentatonics in the Schulwerk, including those centred on tones other than doh or lah. She was an advocate for the use of American folk songs featuring many modal, and unusual pentatonic tone sets; she points out that this melodic variety was not available to Orff and Keetman in their native Bavarian musical culture, so the North American teacher actually has a richer heritage to draw on in this respect.

[The book covers the] basic where and why of complementary orchestration, improvisation, hand drum, recorder and more, along with global advice about how to maintain a balanced program.

Altogether this is a collection to savour, to dip into and read in bits and pieces, or from cover to cover. It clarifies important, perhaps sometimes overlooked, understandings from the dawn of the development of Orff pedagogy and inspires belief in the model, and its ongoing relevance. --Catherine West, in Ostinato (Orff Canada)

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Isabel McNeill Carley
Published by Brasstown Press (2011)
ISBN 10: 0983654530 ISBN 13: 9780983654537
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