Creative movement is a scary activity to teach for many teachers. Just the thought of a class of thirty children running around the room screaming and bumping into each other was enough to keep me from teaching it for many years. I learned how to teach it, however, at an Orff-Schulwerk Conference a few years ago, and it works!

First you must set some ground rules: the two S's as explained in the mirroring article. If this is your first attempt, and the children start breaking the rules, just stop the music, have them sit down, and calmly state the rules again. Begin the music again. Usually, this is all it takes. If not, do the same thing again. If the a child refuses to follow the rules, set the child aside to watch the other children. If the whole class is unruly, then stop the activity for the day, and try again another day. Most classes can handle movement, but there are some that have proven to be uncooperative, so they do more structured activities.

Moving like paintbrushes allows the participants to lose the self-consciousness and inhibitions that are often connected with group dance. Very interesting music to use for this activity is on the CD Fresh Aire 4 by Manheim Steamroller, American Gramaphone Records, 1981: "Crystal" and "Interlude 7." Tell the participants to give themselves enough space, at least arms length apart, to move on the floor. Do the warm-up, painting, then dance to "Crystal" and "Interlude 7." Slowly demonstrate and say each of the following points as the group follows your instructions:

Warm-up: (no music--just the sound of your voice)



Interlude 7:

This relaxing activity takes approximately fifteen minutes. It works well with school-aged children and adults. The imaginary paintbrush technique is exciting to do and to watch.

Copyright © 1991 by Carol A. Greene