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Saturday, April 30, 2022

Among Us Rehearsal Game for String Orchestra


All week I've been using an 'Among Us' theme in my orchestra rehearsals.  On Monday, we worked together to identify measures that sounded 'sus' (or suspicious).  I broke those measures down into small warm-ups to help students master the necessary skills to improve.  Framing our rehearsal in this way kept students motivated to do the hard work and repetitions needed to help the group sound better.  On Friday, our big reward was to play AMONG US!  At first I was worried about playing the game because I didn't want to waste rehearsal time with only 2 weeks to go before our next concert.  I didn't need to worry because this game actually helped my students a TON.  They were learning, assessing, listening, and practicing with maximum effort. 

To introduce the game,  I found some great mood music on YouTube and incorporated it onto my slide so while I went over the rules, 'Among Us' music was playing.  It made students SO excited to play and they listened extra carefully to the rules with the dramatic music in the background.  

To play the game, I used google slides to show students a sequence of notes to practice.  We practiced the sequence together until students were all playing it correctly.  Some of these were warm-ups I designed to work on specific skills while others were specific measures from our concert music.  Next, I started the mood music (just clicked on the YouTube video I put on each slide) and students bowed their heads, closed their eyes, and held their bows up in the air.  The room was completely silent and still as I stealthily walked around the room and used my bow to gently tap the horse hair on the bows of 4 students...who then became the imposters. 

Next, I asked ONLY the imposters to open their eyes and look at the screen.  There they would discover their 'secret weapon.'  Imposters had to play the exercise with the 'secret weapon' technique to try to destroy our sound.  

All students opened their eyes while I switch the slide back to the original warm-up/note sequence.  We played the sequence while crew members tried to find anything in the performance that seemed 'off.'  Students were allowed 4 guesses after each round.  We played 3 rounds for each slide.

Students who were called out and NOT the imposter became ghosts.  They were allowed to roam the room and point at students who were 'sus' help the crewmates narrow down who to guess for the next round.

We played this game with 5 different note sequences/warm-ups.  I kept the pacing quick and we got a lot done.  Students were striving to play correctly and they listened so carefully to each other.  I could definitely hear improvement when we ran through out concert pieces after the game.

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