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Home > The West Music Blog > From Wibbleton to Wobbleton: Exploring Orff-Schulwerk with James Harding
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From Wibbleton to Wobbleton: Exploring Orff-Schulwerk with James Harding
By West Music Company
1/3/2014 8:53:00 AM

James HardingFrom Wibbleton to WobbletonJames Harding, author and preschool, elementary and middle school music teacher at the San Francisco School, was kind enough to give us a bit of insight on his new book, From Wibbleton to Wobbleton. Published in September by the Pentatonic Press, this book is the third in the Integrated Learning Series, following Intery Mintery and Blue is the Sea, and takes an in-depth look at creative play using the Orff-Schulwerk method and features artwork by Eli Noyes.   

"As I write this, the final proof of my book, From Wibbleton to Wobbleton (Pentatonic Press 2013), is winging its way through Express Mail towards the printer. Did I catch the last typo? Probably not! But I am confident that the book is going to be attractive and intriguing to readers from the moment they catch sight of the cover or flip through the pages, because it is filled with delightful drawings and diagrams from the pen of my collaborator, Eli Noyes.

I am a doodler and cartoon-drawer myself, and I knew from the start that I wanted the book to have illustrations. Eli is a former parent at The San Francisco School who is an award-winning animator, and when I saw his style of drawings I knew he would be perfect for the job. We started working together last September on some samples. Little did we both know that in the next 12 months he would complete almost 400 drawings for the project!

James Harding From Wibbleton to WobbletonJames Harding From Wibbleton to WobbletonJames Harding from Wibbleton to Wobbleton James Harding From Wibbleton to Wobbleton

One of my favorite parts of the book is a section called “Playing With the Elements of Music.” It’s a kind of index of ways to work creatively with any material by playing with the parameters of rhythm, pitch, timbre, tempo, dynamic and form. I wanted a drawing to show each element of music. I suggested that we show each element on the side of a cardboard box, implying that each element was one facet of the whole musical experience. Eli drew the boxes as I asked, but they looked lifeless. How about having a child playing with each box? Better, but the children looked lonely, and I realized that a child playing alone did not represent the spirit of communal music making that is the hallmark of the Orff approach. How about two children playing together with each element? Yes! Suddenly the images showed the spirit of creative play. As they say, a picture is worth one hundred words, and so I’d have to write millions to thank Eli Noyes for his contribution to this book."

From Wibbleton to Wobbleton features great ideas for any music curriculum, with chapters about speech pieces, singing games, working with props, orff instruments, songs and canons, and introductions to the elements of music, musical notations, and orff schulwerk. Find it at your local West Music or by clicking here.


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Tags: James Harding, From Wibbleton to Wobbleton, Orff-Schulwerk, Music Education, Eli Noyes
Categories: Orff, Kids & Movement, Music, Books & Resources
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