Music in the Classroom
What You Will Find In Music
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Impact student's academic achievement
Encourage social and emotional development
Strengthen memory and learning retention
Influence motor development and physical maturation
Enhance the connection between the body and mind
Boost confidence and acquire 21st century skills
"Music enhances the education of our children by helping them to make connections and broadening the depth with which they think and feel. If we are to hope for a society of culturally literate people, music must be a vital part of our children's education." - Yo-Yo Ma
Elements and Concepts
sounds occurring at a certain frequency that can be described as high or low
- Pitches go up or down or repeat
- Pitches may be represented by symbols
- Pitches move up or down by step or skip
SCALE: pitches that are arranged in a specific order of whole and half steps.
Scales determine tonality; different cultures and different periods in time use different scales.
MELODY: a succession of sounds (pitches)
- A melody may be based on a scale
- A melody has a range (low to high)
- A melody may move by steps, skips or remain the same
- A melody may have shape (melodic contour) moving up, down or remaining the same
CHORD: three or more pitches sounded simultaneously
HARMONY: the simultaneous sounding of two or more pitches; the vertical structure of music
moving through time and supporting the melody. Harmony may be homophonic and polyphonic.
- MONOPHONIC: one melody that everyone sings or plays in unison without accompaniment
- HOMOPHONIC: single melody supported by an accompaniment (e.g., a hymn)
- POLYPHONIC: more than one melody performed simultaneously (e.g., "Row Your Boat" sung in a round)
TEXTURE: the interaction of melody and harmony. Two or more melodic or rhythmic lines may occur at the same time, resulting in a "thick" or "thin" texture or density of sound.
lengths of sounds and silences that occur in music, as well as the organization of these sounds and silences in time
BEAT: the underlying pulse that may be sounded or silent
Sounds may be organized into steady beats and music may or may not have a steady beat
Silent beats are called rests
METER: the pattern of beats by which a piece of music is measured
Beats may be organized into patterns of strong and weak
These beats may create patterns of 2 or 3, or any combination of 2, 3, or 4
RHYTHM: the organization of sounds and silences in time
Combinations of sounds may be of equal and unequal length
More than one sound may occur during the time of a beat
Long/short sounds and silences may be organized into rhythmic patterns
Rhythmic patterns may be represented by symbols
characteristic sound (tone, color, or quality) of a voice or instrument
Sounds are made by vibrating materials. The vibrating materials determine the quality and "color" of the sound. These may have a pleasant or unpleasant quality.
One instrument may make many different sounds; different cultures use different kinds of instruments.
Sounds may be organized into categories according to the vibrating material:
AEROPHONE: vibrating air (e.g., flute)
CHORDOPHONE: vibrating strings (e.g., guitar)
MEMBRANOPHONES: vibrating membrane (e.g., bongo drums)
IDIOPHONES: vibrator and resonator are the same (e.g., triangle)
DIFFERENT SOUND SOURCES:
VOCAL: man, woman, child
INSTRUMENTAL: woodwind, brass, percussion, strings
ENVIRONMENTAL: sounds found in the environment
BODY PERCUSSION: examples include clapping, snapping, patting, stomping, etc.
Basic Music Skills
differentiate between singing voice and speaking voice
explore range of high and low pitches
sing on pitch and with good tone
experience feeling and moving to a steady beat
recognize the difference between strong and weak beats
practice beat accuracy
explore sound and silence in rhythmic patterns
practice playing strong and weak beats in patterns of 2, 3, 4
practice rhythmic patterns simultaneously with beat/rhythmic patterns of others
build skill in playing rhythm patterns
explore varying uses of tempo and dynamics
perform with body percussion (clap, snap, pat, stomp)
play on non-pitched and pitched instruments
explore a variety of icons representing pitch, duration, and form
understand the relationship between beat and rhythm
use traditional and iconic notation as a means of reading and performing music
Use Curwen hand signs
respond to patterns of same and different
listen and identify how tempo (fast and slow), dynamics (loud and soft), and timbre (vocal, instrumental, environmental sounds) are used in a piece of music to express the composer's intent
learn to listen carefully to others when participating in an ensemble
recognize repeated or contrasting phrases
identify the form of a piece of music
analyze and identify the elements of music in a piece and how they are used to express the composer's intent
connect music to personal, societal, and cultural context
compose, improvise, and apply musical elements to create music
create vocal characterizations as part of a story or song
create new words and rhymes for favorite classroom songs
create simple beat and rhythm patterns
create simple iconic representation of beat, meter, rhythm and pitch
create simple rhythmic patterns to be played against a steady beat
create variations in tempo, dynamics, and timbre for musical expression
Vocal Warm Ups
"The Voice is a manifestation of the soul." - JoAnn Ottley
"Singing is dancing with the voice: A Soul Dance." - Susan Kenney
Align and Energize Your Body
When body alignment changes, life changes
Play with Your Voice
Think of your voice as a toy. Find out what it can do
Feel the sounds in your body
Listen to the amazing sounds that can be made
Breathe with Love
Oxygenate every cell in the body
Allow the lungs to be cleansed
Sing a Pitch and Tune Your Cells
Find the "wonder" place
Feel the difference between vocal play and singing
Listen to the difference
Feel the vowel you sing shaping every cell in the body
Sing Two Pitches
Feel the sensation of changing pitches
Listen so your voice will know where to go
Sing a Phrase
Feel the flow of pitches as they move through your body
Feel the challenge of adding consonants to vowels
Listen as the voice shapes words by adding consonants to vowels
How to Teach a Song
1. Connect the song to their own experiences, a culture, or something they are learning about.
2. Before singing the song, students hear the whole song (4-5 times) with directed listening, playing, or movement activities. See "What Can I Do with a Folk Song?" below.
3. Students may sing part of the song every time it occurs.
4. Play singing games as students become familiar with the song.
5. Add body percussion and instruments.
6. Include movement.
7. Extend learning by having students identify or create form, discover patterns and sequences, count, group, read or write lyrics, make connections to other cultures or classroom subjects.
NOTE: "Whole song" refers to a simple song that includes a lot of repetition and a recurring, obvious form. For more complex songs, use the "whole song" method with just one section of the piece. It is not necessary to start at the beginning of a song. Begin where students will experience the most success. Adapt your teaching strategies to match the requirements of the song. The structure and demands of different songs might require different teaching strategies.
USE THE WHOLE-PART-WHOLE METHOD
What Can I Do With a Folk Song?
The 5 Audience A's of a Music Performance
Arrive early so you are in your seat before the performance starts.
Allow performers and audience members to focus on the performance and enjoy it. Silence and put away all devices. Never exit or enter during the middle of a song or piece.
Keep your eyes and ears on the performance. Be quiet and still.
Beat and Rhythm
Music Lesson Plans
Find lesson plans sorted by art form and grade level on the BYU ARTS Partnership website.
Click here to return to music menu.
MUSIC AND MATH LESSON PLANS
MUSIC AND SCIENCE LESSON PLANS
MUSIC AND SOCIAL STUDIES LESSON PLANS
MUSIC AND ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS LESSON PLANS
MUSIC, NATIVE AMERICAN, AND TRIBE APPROVED LESSON PLANS
Research on Music Education
1. Generate and conceptualize ideas for drama work.
2. Organize and develop musical work.
3. Refine and complete musical compositions.
4. Select, analyze, and interpret music for presentation.
5. Develop and refine musical techniques.
6. Convey meaning through performing music.
7. Perceive and analyze music performance and activity.
8. Interpret intent and meaning of musical compositions.
9. Apply criteria to evaluate musical performances and processes.
10. Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to music.
11. Relate music activities and performance with societal, cultural and historical context to deepen understanding.