My Orff level 1 certification really changed my life. The Orff process provided me with a sound teaching framework as well as opened my ears to listening with purpose. Before Orff training, I would hand out instruments to children and tell them the exact instrument name (i.e., drum, sand blocks, etc.)
After training, I changed my teaching technique adding to instrument time questions like: Does your instrument make a scraping sound? Is that a tapping sound? These types of questions helped the children “make sense” of their listening as well as place sounds into categories with the hope of improving general listening discernment skills needed for language communication. Now, I find myself saying, “Let’s have all the scrapers play; now, the booming instruments tap, etc.”
I know my next statement is a bit of a stretch, but I do believe it. When we help children differentiate between tappers, scrapers and shakers, we are laying groundwork for spiritual listening. Instrument listening skills can transfer to spiritual listening skills. The concept of focusing on a sound and discerning its timbre is the beginning of true listening and can elementally lead to a more advanced listening concept – the spiritual foundation of determining the difference between the world’s voice and God’s voice. Spiritual listening begins with differentiation – the same skill needed to hear the difference between a tapping, scraping or shaking sound.
Many of your students may enjoy the Tapper/Scraper/Shaker Worksheet which you can download below.
Listen! Are you listening? Are you increasing discernment skills? Take time to ask meaningful questions and direct others toward deep listening.