Beacon Lesson Plan Library

You Can Play It

Roberto Gonzalez-Trigo
Miami-Dade County Schools

Description

Diversity! Do you want your students to be able to perform on different instruments and have fun doing so? This lesson will give young musicians the foundation needed to appreciate the wonderful rainbow of sonic timbres.

Objectives

The student independently performs melodies and patterns with various rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic classroom instruments (e.g., recorders, keyboards, barred instruments, and autoharps), with appropriate instrumental techniques.

Materials

- Piano or keyboard

- Each student needs:
A. Bells
B. Mallet
C. Tabletop music stand (optional)
D. Rhythm Sticks
E. Recorder
F. Student copies Rhythmic and Melodic Versions of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" (See Associated File)

Preparations

1. Print out the Associated File.
2 Make photocopies of each version for each student in your class.
3. Place a bell, table top music stand (optional), and mallet on each student's desk.
4. Make available a recorder for each student or for several days prior to this lesson, ask students to bring their own.
5. Place a pair of rhythm sticks on each desk.

Procedures

(For this lesson, students should have prior experience at playing a recorder.)

1. Welcome the students and ask them to listen to you play a piece of music on three instruments: the bells, recorder, and rhythm sticks.

2. Select a popular tune of your choice and play the melody of that tune on the bells.

3. Play the piece again on a recorder and then finally on rhythm sticks.

4. Ask the students to name the piece you played. Write it on the board.

5. Ask the students to name all the characteristics they could see and hear for each of the instruments they just heard played.

6. List these comments on the board and discuss the differences and similarities.

7. Ask the students to look on their desk and music stands where they have the piece: "Row, Row, Row Your Boat." (Associated File)

8. Review proper bell playing technique as well as mallet grip.

9. Review notation of the piece and play it for the students on a bell instrument while students point to the notes on their melodic sheet.

10. Play the piece again and ask the students to touch the notes on the bells with their index finger as they listen.

11. Have the students play along with you while you play an accompaniment on the piano (refer to the attached file; melodic version of Row Row Row for the chord structure), and/or with a metronome to keep a steady beat.

12. After playing it once through with the class, review sections of the piece where students seemed to have problems either following the melodic or rhythmic notation.

13. Divide the class into groups of 2-3 players per group.

14. Have each group, one at a time, play the piece again on the bells. This time either program the keyboard to play the accompaniment or just use a metronome to keep the beat. Assess each group's performance. (See Associated File)

15. Review proper playing technique and posture for the recorder.

16. Review notation of the piece and play it for the students once on a recorder while students point to the notes on their melodic sheet.

17. Play the piece again and ask the students to finger the notes on their recorders as they listen.

18. Have the students play along while you play an accompaniment on the piano (refer to the Attached File for the chord structure), and/or with a metronome to keep a steady beat.

19. After playing it once through with the class, review sections of the piece where students seemed to have problems either following the melodic or rhythmic notation.

20. Divide the class into groups of 2-3 players per group.

21. Have each group, one at a time, play the piece again on the recorders. This time either program the keyboard to play the accompaniment or just use a metronome to keep the beat. Assess each group's performance. (See Associated File)

22. Ask the students to refer now to the rhythm stick version of the piece found on their desks. (Associated File)

23. Review proper playing technique for the rhythm sticks. Discuss differences between pitched and non-pitched instruments.

24. Review notation of the piece and play it for the students once on the rhythm sticks while students point to the notes on their rhythmic page.

25. Play a simple song like "B-I-N-G-O" with rhythm sticks only. Ask the students if they can name the song they just heard. If someone guesses the correct title, congratulate the student then play another song for students to identify. Continue to play songs until the students find it difficult to guess the song played then asked students why it is difficult to guess the title. After listening to their answers, state that in order to play a melody, both rhythm and pitches are needed. Explain that since rhythm sticks can not change pitches they are called non-pitched instrument.

26. Direct students to tap their pointer finger lightly on the palm of their hand as accompaniment while you play the piece again.

27. Have the students play their rhythm sticks while you play the melody on the bells, and/or with a metronome to keep a steady beat.

28. After playing it once through with the class, review sections of the piece where students seemed to have problems following the rhythmic notation.

29. Divide the class into groups of 2-3 players.

30. Have each group, one at a time, play the piece again on the rhythm sticks. This time either program the keyboard to play the accompaniment or just use a metronome to keep the beat. Assess each group's performance. (Associated File)

31. Separate the class into three groups and assign an instrument for each.

32. Play the piece one more time as a class, while having the students focus on staying on the beat with the use of a metronome.

33. To bring closure to the lesson, review the instruments used, the music played, and all the elements of the lesson.

Assessments

Each student performs the same selection on a rhythmic classroom instrument, a melodic classroom instrument and a harmonic classroom instrument.

Formatively assess each performance using a checklist (See Associated File) containing the criteria listed below. Provide corrective feedback using the completed checklist. Students who do not successfully meet all of the criteria will receive further opportunities through repetition of the activity, practice with a peer and/or additional instruction from the teacher. Provide a copy of the completed checklists to each student to use as a guide for practice prior to subsequent performances.

Criteria:
1. Proper playing technique
-Good sound quality
-Use of wrist instead of arm
-Proper grip of mallet
2. Excellent execution of notes (no more than 2 notes missed per song.)
3. Maintenance of steady beat while listening to one or more of the following
-A selection of a touch and play rhythm on a electronic keyboard
-A standard metronome for reference.
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