Grade 4, Music Literacy Lesson 2

Our 2nd music lit lesson for Grade 4 is one that I actually haven’t used before. It is still review, and will use do, re, mi, sol, la, half note, quarter note, eighth note, bar line, measure, and double bar.

I think I’ll begin by asking the students to remember what a bar line is for, and how many beats we are putting in each group. This will easily lead to note values for each type of note, and perhaps some note value addition. (Quarter + Quarter = Half,
Eighth + Eighth + Quarter = Half etc.) The large 2 at the beginning of the song will show that we are putting 2 beats in each group, called measures. I will ask them to count how many measures are in the song, and write the number on their whiteboards. I always ask them to try to keep their answer a secret and hold up their boards at the same time so that I can assess what each one really knows, as opposed to what a few know and the rest copy.

One way of showing beats in measures is to put 3 hula hoops on the floor so that kids can easily step from one into another. he hoops form a circle.)
If we want 2 beats in a measure, we step into a hoop, then pull the other foot along side, always stepping forward into the hoop on 1. (After practicing with counts move to “The Ants Go Marching.”) For 4 beats in a measure, we step, march, march, march; step march march march. (Move to “I’ve Been Workin’ on the Railroad.”) The tricky one is 3, because you’re always stepping forward on the opposite foot. (Move to “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.) But, I digress….

I always practice the rhythm first, having the students speak it in Gordon syllables: half note= doo-oo, quarter note = doo, eighth notes = doo-day. Next we speak and clap. (Clap and swing the half note.) Finally we “speak” in our heads, only hearing the rhythms through the claps. 3 different ways of performing the rhythms allows for multiple practice experiences.

Now we work on the melody, first by practicing the tones we will be singing using the Curwen hand signals.

On the board I have noted on the staff where do is located. After reviewing line and space notes we slowly read the tones without rhythm. (This may or may not be necessary more than once.) The last thing we do before adding the words by rote is to practice the tones and rhythms simultaneously.

The words are easy:

Oh, I’m gonna sing, gonna sing, gonna sing, gonna sing all along the way.
Oh, I’m gonna sing, gonna sing, gonna sing, gonna sing all along the way.

(Southern Folk Tune.)

Next week we start something new: Low sol.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Week Two Sequence of Lessons….links « Tuesday Music

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