Warming Up With a Little Hip Hopera

Back in the fall, I watched Patrick Schell demonstrate this warm-up during a TB Clinic. It's such a fun way to get everyone focused at the beginning of a rehearsal, or just to provide a brain break. A video of our warm-up from today is below, and so is info on how you can get started with this exercise...including links to the super cool YouTube channel the accompanying track comes from.

How you can use Hip Hopera in your own Classroom

The music makes this appear more involved than it really is. This is your basic "follow me" exercise, except you adjust it to follow the tempo of the track. I generally stuck with 8 beat patterns, but 4 or 2 could also work with this, too.

You can call out things ahead of time to help give your students direction, and move towards visual only as they get used to the exercise. I put a post-it note on the stool in front of me as a reminder of some general movements (based off of when I first saw this done). As I progressed throughout the day I improvised a little more. Here are some of the suggestions I wrote for myself:

  • stretch up

  • stretch over to the right/left

  • shakedown (shake in the following order: right arm, left arm, right foot, left foot)

  • jazz hands

  • jump

  • single/double fist pumps

  • should rolls (backwards/forwards/ alternate

  • claps

  • snaps

  • touch shoulders/head/ knees/ toes

  • reach arms up (alternate)

  • grapevine

  • crescendo/decrescendo

  • robot

  • stretch down

  • wave right/left

All of my classes enjoyed this so much we did it a second time! Also, check out the actual YouTube video. from Babatunde Akinboboye and visit his YouTube channel. What a cool way to introduce opera to your students. Opera is cool, guys!

Do you guys have any other ideas for tracks that might work? I was thinking something along the lines of dubstep.

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