www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJkUKcNcfR0 This is the first of TEN free YouTube clips about the making of the stage production of the Lion King. Classes might talk about musicals, African music, percussion, music to create moods … ENJOY!
www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJkUKcNcfR0 This is the first of TEN free YouTube clips about the making of the stage production of the Lion King. Classes might talk about musicals, African music, percussion, music to create moods … ENJOY!
Today I told Year 8 that teenagers today learn ‘heaps’ from YouTube … I handed out keyboards … and pressed ‘play’ on THIS YouTube clip. All I had to do was wander around the class admiring their progress, and making a few corrections.
For Sorry Day (26 May 2011) or for Reconciliation Week (27 May – 3 June 2011) listen to Black Arm Band’s music on YouTube (www.youtube.com) and discuss the band’s motivation for performing (read on). Listen to Gurrumul Yunupingu’s soulful music (eg. Wiyathul) while doing written work (www.grooveshark.com lets you listen for free).
Black Arm Band has just been asked to perform at the London Olympics in 2012
The aim of Black Arm Band (www.blackarmband.com.au) is: “It is a creative meeting place for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal artists and producers to develop, perform, promote and celebrate contemporary Australian Indigenous music as a symbol of resilience and hope in the spirit and action of reconciliation.”
HERE is a YouTube clip of the Axis of Awesome singing dozens of songs with the same chord progression (I V vi IV). NB: One profanity. HERE is a similar clip with slightly different songs – some of them use the same chord progression but at twice the speed. After watching both, write up the chord progression in C (for keyboard = all white notes): C G a minor F … and in G (for guitars): G D e minor C. Ask students to learn one or other progression, so they can play the majority of pop songs!
“A Great Landscape” was a 2008 DVD created by www.vea.com.au and is available via Click View. It discusses Indigenous self-expression through music, focussing on a Hip Hop band.
If you want to show this 36 min video to your class for Reconciliation Week (or any other week), here are some possible questions:
Name a famous Indigenous Australian band – “Yothu __________________________ ” Name a famous Indigenous Australian Hip Hop band? ________________ and the Young ___________________________ Do Indigenous people own their land? If not, then what is the relationship between Indigenous people and the land? How does music support Indigenous identity? What do lyrics describe in Indigenous music? What is empowerment? Music and song allow indigenous people to share _________________ with a wider community and audience. Clapping and click sticks are ___________ - phones Didgeridoos are ____________ - phones In the past, who was NOT allowed to play didgeridoo, according to sacred law? Is Indigenous Australian history always written down? What political issues do contemporary Indigenous artists address? How can music be used as a means of protest? What type of band was “No Fixed Address”? Reggae, Folk, Pop or Hip Hop? When did Archie Roach come to fame, with the song “Took the Children Away”? During the Sydney 2000 Olympics, what did “Midnight Oil” have written on their costumes? Why? Who is Shane Howard? “Solid Rock” was the first Pop song to feature the didgeridoo. About what were the lyrics written? What prevents some Indigenous artists from accessing mainstream venues (at times)? What is CAAMA?
Aboriginal stories about life and life-cycles revolve around 4 different natural elements.
Sun, Moon, Water, Land
Divide your class into 4 groups, each labelled Sun, Moon, Water or Land. In 15 minutes they will choose classroom instruments and/or sound sources to depict their label … Each group performs to the rest of the class … Discuss and decide upon a logical order for the soundscape sections … Perform all 4 sections in their order.
Play the following two songs, and ask the students to guess what they have in common: Zorba the Greek & In the Hall of the Mountain King (by Grieg). ANSWER = accelerando (gradual speeding up of tempo). In pairs, ask students to create their own 30 second composition which features an accelerando.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-EkRHRxSDY ACO is currently touring “The Reef” program around Australia – this 2 minute YouTube clip shows ACO’s multimedia approach – music + waves + technology. Ask students for other ideas re. uniting Art music with nature. View the concert program HERE.
Go to resource: Brass Instruments and Pitch, Percussion Instruments and Pitch, String Instruments and Pitch, & Woodwind Instruments and Pitch are four lessons that cover how to make basic musical instruments. The lessons are written by Leslie Thomas and published by the Kennedy Center US. The production of sound through string, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments is explored. The lessons are designed for K-4 students (US).
Go to resource: Acting Up, A Melodrama, published by the Kennedy Center, US, and written by Mary Beth Bauernschub, is a unit based on the book Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. In this unit, students incorporate their own music compositions into a student-produced melodrama. The unit also utilizes and explores drama and arts language.
This Ted Ed free video lesson (by Tim Hansen) uses a 5 minute video to show how to understand music notation, followed by a quiz and some discussion points. A slight audio error towards the end gives gifted students a chance to find-an-error!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTNVXlirF4Y Don’t Laugh At Me
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIDarYJHCpA Caught in the Crowd (for middle school)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOpx7VBeel0 It’s OK to be different
Play these three songs to kids, and ask what the common theme is. (anti-bullying & accepting difference)
Go to resource: Approaches to Learning and Teaching – The Arts (Music) Level 3 (Vic) outlines music standards and activities that could be incorporated in lesson planning.
The approaches are published by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority in order to implement VELS.
Go to resource: Approaches to Learning and Teaching – The Arts (Music) Level 4 (Vic) outlines music standards and activities that could be incorporated in lesson planning.
The approaches are published by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority in order to implement VELS.
Go to resource: Approaches to Learning and Teaching – The Arts (Music) Level 5 (Vic) outlines music standards and activities that could be incorporated in lesson planning.
The approaches are published by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority in order to implement VELS.
Go to resource: ArtsEdge Kennedy Centre Music Lesson Plans (USA) offers dozens of music lesson plans, many of which are integrated with other subjects such as science and maths. Each lesson plan is graded according to age level, arts subject, and other subjects. ArtsEdge is a program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and is a partner of Thinkinfinity, a consortium of USA national education organisations. ArtsEdge’s aim is to implement arts programs in schools.
HERE is a scene from Baraka called “Balinese monkey chant”. Baraka is a feature-length film without any script. Show this scene to a class, and discuss the role of music in eastern cultures, how a film can be created without any scripted text, the importance of music in films … Enjoy!
Watch this TED talk on YouTube www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3jYVe1RGaU with Middle School students. Then ask them to self-organise into groups (with internet access) and pursue their own choice of ‘big question’ to do with music.
Try this fun YouTube clip as an ice-breaker at the start of Music class – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgAlQuqzl8o. Would the same battle work on clarinet? Ask the kids for their own ideas on musical parodies.
Go to resource: Chinese Instruments is a two-lesson unit published by ArtsEdge, Kennedy Center (USA) and written by Mary Beth Bauernschub. The unit introduces students to Chinese instruments through research and listening. In addition, students create an instrument using recycled materials. The unit is suitable for Years 3 and 4 students (USA).
Go to resource: Classics for Kids is a podcast station that streams classical music suitable for children.
In addition the site has links to composition and creating games, lesson plans, information about classical music, and links to advocacy and articles on classical music for parents and teachers.
Go to resource: Classics for Kids Lesson Plans (USA) are classical music lesson plans designed for students aged 5 to 11 years of age.
Each lesson was designed and written by Dr Kay Edwards of Miami University and outcomes of each lesson plan are outlined. Composers covered include Haydn, Rossini, Mozart and Kodaly.
This page is full of fun music-related videos to show students. Ice-breakers, end-of-year fun, unit-starters …
Watch 20 mins worth of ColdPlay performing live on YouTube. Take notes on stage-craft (actions, moves and dress), how they engage the crowd, what percussion is played, and what makes this live performance so exciting. Suggest students incorporate some of these ideas into their own band performances.
Write a brief paragraph about covers in books (introduce the words ‘cover’ and original’). Watch THIS original video of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, followed by THIS cover version by The Muppets. Ask students what stayed the same and what differed in the cover version.
Lesson idea: Write songs, create a song book, and create illustrations.
Here’s an example from Pine Creek Primary School:
Use the 3 main notes from the chorus of this year’s MUSIC: COUNT US IN program song “We’ve Got the Music” to create a 3-tone drum melody.
(1) Group your classroom drums or classroom percussion or junk percussion into three different groups (high, middle and low)
(2) Allocate the lowest drums to B-flat, the middle drums to C and the highest drums to E-flat.
(3) Re-create the chorus melody on 3 different drums: “Get on your feet, feel your heartbeat, we’ve got the music. We’re not too proud to sing it out loud, we’re not afraid to use it.”
Try the activity aurally, playing along with the MP3 found at www.musiccountusin.org.au
(4) Write the drum tune on the board using letters: L = low drums, M = medium drums, H = high drums
LM LM L MM M M M LH M
ML M M ML LM M MMMM LH M
(5) If your school has signed up for “Music: Count Us In”, then you can access the free backing-track (‘For Teachers’ section) and play the drum melody along with the chorus.
This lesson was inspired by “Izo Beat” from Islington Public School
Lesson Idea: Ask Middle School students to create their own way of writing music. Students might work in groups or individually.
Use the book “Notations 21: Visualizing Music Notation” for some interesting examples / inspiration. (Many pages are shown free online.)
Share ideas with the class, explaining how the new notation ‘works’.
Primary and Secondary students are encouraged to sing / dance / play a song, record it, and send it to Generation One. The aim is to start classroom conversations on indigenous issues and reconciliation. A free classroom kit is available on CD.
Here are a series of digital challenges for students - exciting
opportunities for music students across Australia.
The eTrack challenge gives students the great opportunity: To write
and record an original song that tells a story. The story may be based
on personal experience, a friend, a folklore or fairy-tale.
Winners will be awarded digital prizes from our sponsors Adobe, Wacom
and Scholastic at the exciting ceremony at the Sydney Opera House in
Other opportunities include:
* eProfile challenge: To create an informative and motivating eProfile
about an inspirational person such as a singer, composer, musician,
inventor, instrument maker, producer – anyone who is related to the
music world and inspires the students.
The website is at www.wecreate.nsw.edu.au
> For further information please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Go to resource: Creative Resources for Primary Schools. This Dept of Education and Training (NSW) page has links to DET-published resources including Arts Action, Sync or Swing, and Vocal-Ease. These resources can be ordered and purchased through this page.
The ‘Music Count Us In’ Dance movie is now uploaded to the MCUI wiki. You can find it, with all the other teacher resources HERE.
See if your classes can dance along with these characters …. DANCE VIDEO LINK
Then play along with the JellyBeans-style ONLINE percussion score
Ask the class to invent new moves or actions for the song “We’ve Got the Music”
Watch the Auslan video and learn hand-signs for this year’s MUSIC: COUNT US IN SONG … AUSLAN VIDEO LINK
www.musiccountusin.org.au Watch the INSPIRING video clip with your class – how deaf students experience music, and sign the Music: Count Us In 2012 song. Then teach the Auslan signs to your class using the free MCUI 2012 Special Needs kit.
An instructional video on playing orchestral excerpts on Double Bass, as performed by Hal Robinson.
The visual quality is very raw, but the Double Bass sound is amazing.
A good video to show Middle School students who are studying instruments of the orchestra.
Show students the MusicCareer website with its list of ‘careers in music’. Students should choose a career which interests them, and spend the rest of the year undertaking career-related activities, eg. practising (= performer), writing a list of equipment they think school should buy, listening to songs and writing what emotion it evokes (= music therapy), changing songs to words … ENJOY!!!
Watch this YouTube clip about a frog being chased by a snake (with very dramatic orchestral music). Discuss the way the music changes our perspective on the visual images. Ask students if they notice anything about the editing, as well (ie. what’s happening on the screen during loud percussion sections, etc). Can you think of any other films/advertisements that are well-matched to dramatic music?
Watch this YouTube clip about a lion being re-united with its human parents. About 1.5 mins through, the music is perfectly timed to match the physical reunion. Discuss this with the students, then brainstorm any other songs that would suit this video clip.
Eurovision telecasting starts late May 2012. Introduce the concept to students with THIS YouTube clip – clips from 2011 Eurovision contest. Then show the 2011 winner HERE. Discuss with students the way visual effects and dancing can enhance (or detract from) a performance. ENJOY!
Flame Award applications are due Monday 29th August – be part of the $15 000 prize pool. ALL Australian schools are invited to apply (Primary & Secondary).
Lesson idea: play some laid-back music, hand out paper and pencils, and ask students to write down and/or draw what they love about MUSIC at your school. Display some of the responses on school noticeboards / websites and around your music classroom Copy some of their ideas into your Flame Award submission
This month (October 2012) Klerrisa Music’s ACCESS site (usually available to paying customers) is FREE to all teachers. Browse through brilliant resources (Middle School to High School) and sample tastes of many different units, lesson plans and worksheets.
Australian Chamber Orchestra school program – free teaching notes, worksheets and activities
This fun, free worksheet, asks students to fill in a mock job application, requiring biographical details of a composer. The website www.makingmusicfun.net includes biographical information and other fun activities.
Each of the Arts has a number of units designed to complement the National Curriculum. Scroll to the bottom and choose “Music”!
free worksheet – Sarah Lantz has made a cute, free worksheet which uses clover leaves to help kids practise the notes in a major chord
Lesson idea – help students to fill in the clover leaves (with chord notes) then play them on keyboard, glocks, guitar …
Jozzbeat is offering FREE access to its new online Music education software (for 5-13 year olds) from February to April 2012. Click on the above link to find out more information. The program suits classroom teachers without ANY musical background, as well as being fun for music specialists. It requires having a digital projector or interactive whiteboard in the classroom, and giving brief feedback after lessons.
THIS WEBSITE is a rich source of free (and paid for) music games on a computer. Just download and play. My favourites are Staff Wars 1.2 (teaching notation reading), JamaMambo (rhythm reading) and Rhythm Dictation. Put the games on a digital projector and teach concepts to the class as needed. ENJOY!
Go to this link: Ray Foo … Click on “Music Games/Quizzes” half way down the left side to find dozens of free online quizzes and games to drill music theory. Send students to this page and let them explore – learning through games.
This is a fun way to learn / teach the Music: Count Us In song for 2011 (We’ve Got the Music). In fact, the song will teach itself, all ready for the massed-music-making MCUI event on 1st September, 2011.
If you don’t yet have a free login, and have registered for Music: Count Us In, please send an email to email@example.com requesting a Jozzbeat login.
Dr Watson’s podcasts – a MASSIVE and free resource from an American lecturer in music, which has dozens of podcasts, many of which have free lesson guides and activity sheets attached. Topics include “what music means to me”, “repetition in music”, “bad boys in classical music”, “modality” …
Click here to download FREE teaching kits for teaching pop music to Middle School students – using the Musical Futures approach. Handouts include song lyrics, keyboard chord fingerings & guitar chord fingerings.
Thanks to Coombeshead Academy for sharing their resources freely
Go to resource: Free Primary School Lesson Plans & Education Resources is a general site that offers primary school resources submitted by site users. Resources are listed according to subject area, including creative arts, and music. The site offers links to organisations and other lesson plan search engines.
FunMusicCo has prepared a video tutorial on how to prepare and use a rhythm clock (suits primary and perhaps Year 7). All the files you might need are also free on the website.
Here is a free lesson from Klerrisa Music re. Mashing Up 2 Bruno Mars songs which have the same chord progression.
If you sign up to the Klerrisa mailing list, you get free access to a dozen more free sample lessons (Middle school & Secondary).
HERE are some free worksheets from makingmusicfun.net – naming notes and intervals in bass and treble clef. Make up a booklet for students to work through when they have a few spare minutes at a time.
Select 4 very different pieces of music. Divide students into teams of 2-4 students. Hand out blank paper (to be divided into 4 sections). Teams are to secretly discuss the music (while it plays) and write down answers to 5 questions. After each ’round’, teams share their answers with the class, and the teacher allocates 1 point for each correct answer. After 4 rounds (equating to 4 pieces of music), tally up the points (out of a possible total of 20).
Suggested questions: What is the mood of the piece and does it change at all? What instruments do you hear (instrumentation)? What nationality do you think it is? What is the message or story behind the music? Is it fast or slow (tempo)?
There’s a wacky, catchy kids song on YouTube – in English, he is “Gummy Bear” … in French he is “Funny Bear”. The first half of the song is in C major, and the melody uses A, C, D & E, so it suits glockenspiels or beginner keyboards.
Lesson idea: Practise alternate hand slapping on thighs: 6 taps starting on left … short rest … 6 taps starting on left … 14 taps starting on right. Play the YouTube clip to Middle School students. Get the kids singing the chorus. Add in the ‘hand slapping on thighs’ pattern during the chorus (it fits with the chorus rhythm). Ask students to figure out the melody, which starts on A.
Extension: see if students can alternate their glockenspiel mallet hands (as per the hand slapping warm-up).
Melody: A A A C A A – - A A A C E E – - E E E D D D D D D D E D C A – -
Further extension: Write the chorus melody on the board as a row of quavers and quaver rests. Ask students to help put in the bar-lines and time signature.
April 2011 saw the launch of Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu’s second album. Gurrumul is a spectacular, Indigenous Australian musician who was born blind, and grew up singing and playing guitar.
Lesson idea: Listen to one of Gurrumul’s tracks (all songs feature his language-of-birth, while some include English as well). Describe the tune, harmonies, vocal quality (which Stinge has described as “the sound of a higher being”), chord progressions, etc … then try to guess what the lyrics mean.
Great fun for Middle School aged students with glockenspiels (or keyboards) … view it here:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmG34QB07Bc (mobile phone)
Watch the Gruffalo film on YouTube (about 30 minutes long).
Discuss (or ask students to take notes on) the music which accompanies each new character. Discuss what instruments are used to make the audience feel scared or wary. Brainstorm the ways in which music has been used to turn a 5 minute picture-story book into a 30 minute film.
|Educators around the world are looking toward popular music as a way of ‘engaging kids’ who otherwise would never be likely to pursue a musical instrument in school, let alone in adult life.
This website offers a new method of learning useful-level guitar. The backing tracks are based on special chords that allow simple one to three fingered ’shapes’ to fit in well – no muffled notes, no special re-tunings!.
This is a Creative Commons free resource that can be downloaded and used in whatever way you want. Although simple enough for an individual learner it probably works best if a trained teacher gets you started following the tutorial. Teachers can use the system for other instruments as well as guitar..
Just download the 5mb zip file listed at left and open it as a PowerPoint (.pptx). Open full-screen so that you can click on the embedded midi files and view the animations showing finger positions for chords.
Go to resource: Haunting Music (ArtsEdge USA) is a six-lesson unit that focuses on program music through exploration of ’spooky’ orchestral works by Berlioz and Saint-Saens.The unit is published and written by ArtsEdge, the Kennedy Center, USA. The lessons include analysis of musical works, storywriting, and creating a class mural. The unit is recommended for Grades 4 to 7 (USA).
THIS “History or Rock” app should save me a lot of time when preparing this term’s unit on Rock Music. ($5.50) We will look at one decade each week. I will pick out a song from each decade and encourage the Musical Futures groups to learn that song each week.
Go to resource: HotChalk (USA) is a site that offers lesson plans, grouped according to different disciplines and age ranges, including music. The site is free for users. Lesson plans were collated by trained educator Kyle Austin Yamnitz and students at the University of Missouri.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHZD_scyYQc This is one of the best YouTube teaching clips I’ve ever seen. Play it to your primary class, copy the actions, then create your own movement ideas to Hungarian Dance.
As a tribute to Ruby Hunter, Archie Roach has just released a kit about a song-writing trip to Cape York. Butcher Paper, Texta, Black Board and Chalk The kit includes a CD of songs (written by Cape York school kids with Ruby Hunter) & a book of lyrics and art-work & a DVD documentary of the journey through Cape York (including song-writing sessions and jamming). The cross-curricular content of the DVD is brilliant – music, art, indigenous culture, creativity, etc. More info HERE.
LESSON IDEA: Play the DVD, then try song-writing with your class (about their own place, home and country) … later play the CD and encouraged students to draw pictures to go with the words (as did Ruby).
This article in the Herald Sun describes the process for creating an indigenous translation for Advance Australia Fair (for NAIDOC week). Free teachers’ notes are found HERE. A kit has also been released ($26) with advice on how to teach the song.
“This is about changing the way we teach and appreciate the language, culture and traditions of Aboriginal people,” Mr Garrett said.
A short example of the video teaching kit is found HERE along with ‘how to purchase the kit’ information.
Go to resource: Phil Tulga presents a list of interactive activities and lesson plans which combine Music with Science, Language and Maths.
A Jozzbeat percussion chart has appeared using the Music: Count Us In 2012 song.
It’s an online, animated chart (JellyBeans-style) for classes to play percussion with. Great for learning rhythm reading and concepts of arrangement. ENJOY!!
How do you get FREE access? Sign in to Music: Count Us In … then email firstname.lastname@example.org asking for the JellyBeans chart access. ENJOY!!!
Go to resource: Kiravanu is an opera written by James Humberstone and Mary Elizabeth, specifically designed for children and integrated with the curriculum.Online resources are available through the site to support performances of Kiravanu in schools. It was first developed in MLC, Sydney, and resources include cross-curricula lesson plans to assist with implementation of this opera production in schools.
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=lang+lang+piano Lang Lang is a flamboyant young pianist with plenty of showmanship. He pulls huge crowds, and plays Classical music. Watch some YouTube clips with your class and discuss what makes him so appealing to audiences around the world.
Not sure how to introduce opera to a primary class? Choose a comic opera with crazy plot (Magic Flute). Ask a handful of volunteers to act out the plot with some costumes while the teacher reads the plot. Then play some excerpts of the opera on YouTube. (Thanks to MPA Forum @ SOH for the idea!)
Introductory Keyboard Lesson for Middle School
Turn off the keyboards, and explain how to make a chord – play one, miss one, play one, miss one, play one. If a scale is like flowing water, then a chord is a block of ice!
Write up the chord progressions for The Beatles’ song “Let It Be” (which uses only C major, F major, G major and A minor).
Ask students to create chords (sound off!) with one or two hands. The teacher moves around the room, asking students to make the chords of C, F, G and A minor (explaining that the right hand thumb goes on the chord’s name) after which each student (int turn) may turn on the power and practise making chords (out loud this time).
Work through the chords of “Let It Be” as a class of keyboards, with the teacher singing (calling out chords) & playing piano / guitar to accompany.
Ask students to look for patterns in the chord progressions (ie. repeated lines and the fact that every phrases moves to G major in the 2nd chord), then memorise the song chords. Ask for a small group of students to test out their memory and play the whole song as a small ensemble.
To end the lesson, students might have a few free minutes to create their own chord progressions.
This free teaching kit uses an original song to deliver a sustainability and environment message to primary school children: www.environment.gov.au/land/publications/firewood-kit/
Teaching idea: Look at THIS article about the proposed music for the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony music. Ask students why they think some of the charts were selected – e.g. why are there THREE Beatles tracks? What does “Land of Hope and Glory” represent to British people? How many of the composers are from 21st century, how many are Classical, how many are Romantic, and how many are 20th century?
CLICK HERE to make your own bingo cards (using musical instruments and/or symbols)
or CLICK HERE to print off a set of bingo cards, ready-to-go, using instrument pictures.
Lesson idea: the caller will mix up the actual names of the instruments / symbols with descriptions (eg. 1 beat note, saxophone, largest stringed instrument, triangle …)
Have you signed up yet to be part of Making Music Being Well?
This national initiative, which takes place from 16 – 22 May, is a collaboration between Music: Play for Life and the Australian Music Therapy Association and it’s all about a grassroots celebration of the links between music making and wellbeing.
When you register to participate – it’s FREE – we’ll send you event posters, stickers and brochures and you’ll get access to lots of downloadable resources including event planning and promotional tips. How you participate is up to you.
The best way to be involved is to take something you may already have planned for that week and hitch it to the national wagon of Making Music Being Well 2011. You don’t have to do something on every day during the week – one event is enough. Your event will be outlined on the MMBW website and you and your group members or students will be helping to shine the national spotlight on an important fact: music is good for you!
Here are a few ideas based on previous years: Open the doors to the community for your rehearsal that falls within the MMBW week and turn it into a free performance. Take your choir or group to a nursing home, hospital or school. Organise a big sing at your workplace. Turn a school assembly into a musical celebration and tell students and parents about the value and benefits of making music. Convene a drum circle in your school playground. Run an open mic session at your local pub or club. Organise a gathering of community music leaders and organisers in your area and discuss how you could pool resources and share skills.
Register to be part of it at www.makingmusicbeingwell.org.au
AND … don’t forget – registration for our biggest school music initiative, Music: Count Us In, opens soon too!
Teach the chorus melody of Mamma Mia using letter names, or the numbers:
21 21 112321 2 1 4 444 3 1
Put the melody onto keyboards (using finger numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4) or glockenspiels (C, D, E and F)
Talk about the relationship between numbers and pitch names
Play with a recording of Mamma Mia, transposed down into C major (using digital music editing software such as Audacity, Reaper or GarageBand)
Try to sing and play at the same time!
Talk about mash-ups with your middle school music class – where musicians take lots of songs and mix them into a new musical work. Try mashing up the MUSIC. COUNT US IN song for 2011 – the stem files (MP3) for which are freely available here.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QspTBmTar5U Elephant Song medley from Moulin Rouge (a mash-up)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3e5kJl9-oV0&feature=related The same Elephant Song medley from Moulin Rouge, but this clip inserts the ORIGINAL versions of songs
Sensitive New Age Cow Persons wrote a new Australian Anthem, which mashes 13 iconic Australian songs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BiQxIP0-FQ
Adam Hills has put the words of the real Australian Anthem to ‘Working Class Man’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okHs4308nJc&feature=related
Watch THIS video of Bellingen Youth Orchestra rehearsing “Different People”. With the class, make a list of the positive effect music has on children’s lives. Ask students for their ideas to add to that list.
More free lessons are available on musiccountusin2011.wikispaces.com
Try out the Boomwhackers playalong movie (played on glockenspeiel or boomwhackers) & Ukulele playalong movie
Some Queensland schools have recently unblocked the JellyBeans style online-percussion and singing videos, which are great fun! LINK IS HERE Most states have been enjoying this site for a few months now
Bring on September 1st @11.30am
Watch this YOUTUBE CLIP of the MozART Group from Poland. It is an entertaining collage of Classical String Quartets re-interpreted
Now choose a Classical piece of music (Google search for the Classical Top 100) or nursery rhyme and change it drastically … into pop, funk, country, metal, etc. You may wish to write lyrics to go with the Classical melody. OR
Choose a piece of pop music and arrange it for a classical ensemble. Start by putting the vocal line into an instrument, then find chords to go underneath.
HINT: Google search for the song name + free + midi. You may well be able to save a midi file from the internet, which will open in Finale / Audacity / Sibelius, etc.
Billy Bragg on Q & A about the link between music and social change:
“Young people ARE engaged in the debate. But let me tell you this (about social media): nobody
ever wrote a tweet that could make you cry, nobody ever toured Australia reading out their
facebook comments. If you want to see the world and get paid for it, learn an instrument, get on
it, step up, let us hear your voices!”
Lesson idea: Discuss this quote, then write two paragraphs about how music can create social change.
Go to resource: Music Education at About.com (USA) is a listing of lesson plans submitted by teachers and endorsed by academics.The lesson plans are for various age groups and stages of students. There are also links to specific subject/genre areas, for example, 80s music.
On April 12th 2011, a dozen talented teenage singer-songwriters were mentored by John Foreman, Claire Bowditch, Holly Throsby, Rai Thistlethwayte (Thirsty Merc) and Kavyen Temperley (Eskimo Joe).
The result was the 2011 song for Music. Count Us In (1st September 2011).
Watch this space for free lesson plans, free MP3 material, free Professional Development (for teachers) and free instrumental arrangements. Let’s get more music in more Australian schools!! www.musiccountusin.org.au
This year’s Music: Count Us In resources are about to be released – ready for 1st November, 2012 performance date. HERE is Fairvale High School’s 2011 MCUI concert. Play it to your class, and ask how THEY would like to perform the 2012 song: “Different People (Stand Together)”. Note that the local primary school came to the concert too!!
CHECK IT OUT! Listen to the new song on the website … sign up for all the great free resources (for both primary generalist teachers AND secondary music specialists) … let us know what you think
FREE teaching kit and lesson plans are coming VERY soon.
The following worksheet is for use with ACO’s DVD”Musica Surfica” which explores the expressive tendencies of surfing and Classical music! Suits ages 10-18.
A preview of the DVD can be seen HERE
Lesson Idea: In the spirit of “Musical Futures”, give your students access to the MP3 of “We’ve Got the Music” … divide them into groups of 4-6 with drums / guitars / keyboards / ukuleles / percussion, etc … ask them to come up with their OWN version of “We’ve Got the Music” (about 30 mins) simply by using their ears, playing along with the MP3, experimenting and supporting each other … share their performance attempt with the class.
The key factor is that the student performance SHOULD sound different from the original MP3, reflecting the group’s creative interpretation.
“We’ve Got the Music” is the 2011 program song for MUSIC: COUNT US IN
The National Folk Festival (Australia) is developing educational resources. These include a free CD of 2009 festival highlights & IWB resources about the fiddle.
Fresh off the printing press – Instant Lessons in Music (Vols 3, 4 & 5) – photocopiable /digital lessons designed to enhance school Music programs OR leave for Emergency teachers (without the need for musical competency) – suits 11-16 year old Music classes – written by an Australian teacher for Australian students.
Vol 3: Music in Australia
Vol 4: Everyday musicality
Vol 5: Theory, composition & song-writing
New Millenium Records – a rich resource for free lesson content. Most lessons are paragraphs of typed information embedded with free audio files or video clips to support the text.
Have a smile ready when you show this to your class – www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHXMX4eKNfA A good introduction to making straw oboes, or rice bottle shakers, or junk percussion, or instrument classification.
Play some trumpet fanfares to your kids, asking them to notice what they all have in common. Hopefully you’ll get a response re. ‘jumpy’ melodies. Explain that the original trumpets were ‘natural horns’ without any valves or buttons, so they can only play a handful of different notes (along the harmonic series). Have a look at different pictures of trumpets as they evolved. Play John Williams’ Olympic Fanfare and see what modern trumpets look like.
Share this article / video with your class, then ask if they know any other musicians with a disability. (eg. Beethoven was deaf, percussionist Evelyn Glennie is deaf, Tony Melendez plays guitar with his feet, Ray Charles was blind)
www.desktopblues.lichtlabor.ch This website lets students play along with a blues radio. They have 24 different bars / licks to experiment with (guitar and vocals) just by clicking a button. Inform the class of an easy 12 bar blues progression to try on their choice of instrument: C C C C F F C C G F C G
Try giving groups of students ‘big questions’ or composition tasks or performance challenges (eg. Battle of the Bands) and lots of space to self-direct with access to the internet … and see what they come up with. Some ideas HERE and HERE.
Ask students to choose a photo from THIS amazing page, and plan a soundscape or composition using any instruments. Once shared with the class, do “speed improvisation” – the teacher chooses a photo, and the entire class responds to the photo with whatever instrument/s they can reach.
Here’s a lesson idea inspired by YouTube’s “Picture Songs”. Ask a group of students to find 16 interesting / weird photos online and put them in a chosen order. Using another group’s pictures, groups create 4 beats worth of lyrics for each picture. Try to rhyme some of the lyrics. Ask a guitar-playing to vamp a 4-chord progression (eg. C, Am, F, G) while each group raps or songs their 16 lines of lyrics.
The Goulburn Conservatorium has commissioned an electronic book and piano music to encourage students to learn piano, enjoy music, and compose. This link is free. ENJOY it with your students! Afterwards, ask them for their personal responses.
Talk with your class about which instruments might be added to pop songs. Here are some ideas: Moves like Jagger (whistling); Baker St (synth, sax, congas); You’re the Voice (bagpipes); I Will Wait (banjo); Feel So Good (trumpet). Are there any instruments that could NOT be used in pop songs?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Z78Mzkl9rTk Please watch this with your classes – the video shows a young disabled girl making amazing progress with regular music sessions.
Go to resource: Primary Lesson Plans NSW is a site published by NSW Country Areas Program, and contains lesson plans grouped under subject areas and stages, including music. The site also includes links to CAP events such as professional learning.
LINK HERE – thanks to Midnight Music!
Amy Burns is an experienced elementary music teacher at Farhills Country Day School in New Jersey and the author of Technology Integration in the Elementary Music Classroom (highly recommended).
Amy’s writes about her classroom activities and also about the professional development workshops she runs at Elementary Music/Music Technology. She also has a website where she uploads notes from her conference presentations and maintains lists of useful links for Smartboard (interactive whiteboard) resources and more.
Amy has started curating collections of links on the visual sharing site Pinterest [this is something I'm finding very useful too. In the future I'll be writing a post about Pinterest and how you can use it to keep track of resources. You can find me on Pinterest here] and has boards that feature music she has used in her 2011-2012 concerts, iPad apps she uses in her PreK-Grade 3 classes and websites she uses in class.
Allison Friedman is a general music, chorus and band teacher at South Salem Elementary School and she maintains two websites: one contains student work, links and class information and the other is a wiki set up to share her interactive whiteboard resources, links and other files with music teachers.
Units of work for her general music classes can be found on the General Music page (follow the links to each year level). She also has links to the digital media work she has done with students, including podcasts, videos and pictures.
Karen Garret – from Central Park School in Birmingham Alabama – is well-known for her Music Tech Teacher website containing excellent music games and quizzes. Most of the games were tailor-made my Karen herself, but they are available to use for free from her site. Popular games include Fling The Teacher – a hangman-style quiz game in which correct answers contribute pieces to trebuchet which “flings the teacher” once completed – and Hoop Shoot – a quiz in which a correct answer allows you to try your luck shooting a basketball into a hoop.
In addition, Karen shares an extensive collection of lesson plans, complete with objectives, correlation to national standards and step-by-step instructions. The lesson plan collection can be found here.
I first came across Cherie online while I was researching ideas for using interactive whiteboards in the music classroom. Cherie has contributed a number of resources to the SMART Exchange (the Smartboard file-sharing website). Cherie has her own blog – Just A Little More: Musings about music and technology – where she publishes Smartboard Notebook lesson files (use them as inspiration if you have a different type of IWB), interactive music site links, and iPad resources.
Tanya is a Kodaly specialist from Colorado and blogs about her music classroom at Teaching Elementary Music: Tanya’s Blog. Tanya also has a collection of ideas for Kodaly teachers using interactive whiteboards – including videos of students in action – at her other blog: The Kodaly Aspiring Music Classroom.
THIS link takes you two random uses of YouTube in music-related lessons. If you have suggestions, PLEASE email them to schools.mpfl AT mca.org.au
This is book is published by Macmillan for approx $24. It captures ‘reconciliation in action’ in the arts – events, people, organisations & activities associated with the Arts illustrate how reconciliation can be achieved.
A lesson idea for “National Sorry Day” … or any day.
Watch the Colli Crew’s song about reconciliation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsWo9CxqsN8&feature=related
In small groups, brainstorm phrases that rhyme with “reconciliation” and “it’s up to us”
Watch the Colli Crew’s 2010 ARIA Award winning song “Change the Game” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0rJajbIs-o
Create a class rap, make an audio recording, and place it on the school’s website.
Email a link (or a copy of the song) to email@example.com
Listen to Indigenous Australian music from “Black Arm Band”, “Saltwater Band”, “Gurrumul Yunupingu” and “Archie Roach” on YouTube, iTunes, CD or GrooveShark.
In early November, 2011, ABC will release a tribute album to 20 years of The Wiggles! 20 of Australia’s great contemporary artists have covered 20 Wiggles songs (eg. Clare Bowditch & The Audreys). The final track is a Wiggles mash-up.
LESSON IDEA: Ask students to re-interpret or mash-up Wiggles songs before the album is released in November
Play rhythm bingo with a middle school class using crotchets and quavers. HERE is a free website for printing out a class set of bingo cards (thanks to DSMusic). The teacher starts by clapping the rhythms, then hands the job over to a student or two.
Go to resource: Roll over Beethoven was written by Donald Robertson and Gail Cork, 1987. The kit is designed to support the teaching of contemporary music (Australian rock) in secondary schools, and ties in with the NSW secondary school music syllabus. The kits also contains wallcharts, cassettes, teachers manual.
Listen to the first minute or so of each track from the recent Royal Wedding (soundtrack available from iTunes).
For each piece of music, discuss the time signature (how many beats per bar) and the instrumentation (which instruments and voices are heard).
Discuss the sound of hymns – organ introduction & massed voices singing throughout (rarely changing colour or texture). Decide which tracks from the Royal Wedding are hymns.
Discuss the process of commissioning a new piece of music. John Rutter was commissioned to compose “This is the Day” to be sung as an anthem for this wedding (performed 29/4/2011).
Watch a tribute to Ruby Hunter HERE. Download a file of Ruby Hunter’s lyrics from HERE. Ask students to choose one song, and analyse the rhyming pattern, structure & message of one of Ruby’s songs. FYI The dominant messages in Ruby’s music are “Stolen Generation” and “Indigenous Women’s Issues”. Her CD can be bought HERE.
Go to resource: Sibelius Groovy Music is a software program that assists with teaching music to five to eleven year old students. The program can be used by generalist and specialist music teachers. Additional resources are available to support the software including lesson plans, stickers, charts etc.
This SMART Notebook for a basic guitar lesson – a musical introduction in a Primary or Secondary School environment. Each Image has the chord sound and are some simple song examples. All the sounds and songs are included in the Notebook Attachments Tab. Students and teachers can move the images around to create new chord progressions and patterns.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2c7zk8Grp8 A great new song by Archie Roach about the healing power of singing and song-writing. Play the clip to your class, and have them devise 3 different movements: slow section (beginning), upbeat chorus, and gospel groove at the end. Older students might talk about the message / story behind the video clip.
Use Savage Garden’s song “Affirmation” to inspire song writing. Students listen to the song, while filling in THIS CLOZE activity. Discuss the meaning of an ‘affirmation’. Then students work in small groups to write their own verse. Each line must begin with “I believe …” and be about the same phrase length.
Here is a powerpoint presentation to show students … before asking them to write a song for 500 000 students to perform on November 1st, 2012 in Australia. Write individually or as a group. Keep the lyrics positive and optimistic.
Music: Count Us In has full details – due 25 May, 2012. $1000 up for grabs!
Go to resource: Stage 2 Music Resources are published by the Department of Education and Training (NSW).
The resources support classroom teaching that meet NSW syllabus requirements for and include: Stage 2 Program Overview; Stage 2 Skill and Concept Development; Stage 2 Blank Program Overview for planning learning experiences; Concept Based Programming Chart (blank); Thematic Programming Chart (blank); Adapting the â€˜Etchingsâ€™ Unit for each stage; and Adapting the â€˜Funge alafiaâ€™ Unit for each stage.
The above website links to the 2011 prize-winners of the Australian Children’s Music Foundation song-writing competition. Categories catered for students aged 5 through to 18. LESSON IDEA: Listen to the winning songs (from the website) for each class’s age-category and discuss the strengths and musical elements of each winning song.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jr4jR87dDQc&feature=youtu.be Lots of short clips from Sydney Symphony’s teacher training sessions and school concerts – lots of teaching ideas in the video.
The creators of Tashi books (Barbara & Anna Fienberg) often write songs for their book characters to sing, but rarely have a melody / tune in mind. Pick any 5 notes from A through to G, and create a melody for a Tashi song. If you only use 5 different notes, it uses a pentatonic scale, and will sound Oriental — just like Tashi!
Go to resource: Teacher’s Toolkit is a website that lists resources for classroom teachers of students 5 to 13 years old. The site has links to lesson plans for Creative Arts teaching, homework activities, and other resources, such as their magazines and newsletters. Lesson plans are uploaded by users of the site.
Go to resource: Creative Arts lesson plans posted by teachers – some links no longer work. Each teacher has 10MB free web space to post resources online for others to view and use. The site is hosted by the Australian Council for Computers in Education.
TeachersNetwork.org – an excellent website (by US teachers for teachers) with free lesson plans. Most lessons require computers as a resource or tool for quality Music lessons – from Bach to Rap! Some lessons include rubrics for assessment.
HERE is a free worksheet from FunMusicCo which uses mobile phones (alpha-numeric buttons) to help students to learn the definitions of Italian terms. After completing the sheet, students could create their own worksheet using mobile phone buttons.
HERE is a free video explaining how to use the worksheet.
Thanks to Midnight Music, HERE are 41 tips and free resources for teaching 12 bar blues to students of all ages.
Top Gear’s “Middle East episode” sees the 3 Top Gear presenters driving up some Iraqi hills (towards the start of the episode) with sinister music in the background. Soon after, they have an epiphany that the region is much safer than they had imagined. As they drive back down the Iraqi hills, the scenery is the same but the background music is fun and light.
LESSON IDEA: Watch the Top Gear episode up until the Iraqi hills re-appear. Pause each time music is played and discuss the mood and instrumentation of the background music. Finally, discuss the effect that music has on our perception of TV images.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkXXdIowJx0 Precision drumming and good fun to watch! The Swiss Top Secret Drum Corps (Edinburgh Military Tattoo) in August 2012. Play it to your class, and talk about the importance of “practice makes perfect” in music.
Organise students into table groups. Inform them you will play 5 pieces of music from 5 different centuries (1600’s 1700’s 1800’s 1900’s 2000’s). Use iTunes library or GrooveShark to play 5 very different pieces of music. Each team must discuss (quietly) which century belongs to each piece of music. Score 2 points for each correct century or 2 points for being 100 years either side. Score 1 bonus point for every correct reason given for answer!
On Sunday 20 February 2011, Damon Gameau took out first prize for the 19th annual Movie Extra Tropfest in front of crowds of 150,000 nationwide. The film was titled “ANIMAL BEATBOX”. It creates a type of beat-box using only animal words – verbal percussion of sorts!
Watch the YouTube clip of Animal Beatbox (giggle and smile) then ask students to come up with a list of animals with 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 syllables. Next, they can form groups to create a poem, rap, beat-box or verse. Finally, practise saying the animal beat-box creation over a djembe beat, drum-kit beat or electronic loop. ENJOY!!
Play some of the free (MP3) TV themes from THIS website, and ask teams of students to guess the TV show. Encourage students to sing along and make musical comments. Write up the notes for “I Dream of Jeannie” (D A A G B A G C A A G B A G D A A G B A G C) to play on glockenspiel or keyboard. Next, ask students to suggest (other) TV shows with good music or theme songs. Then, show THIS YouTube clip of a medley of TV themes and THIS YouTube clip. Finally, ask students to string together their own medley of TV themes.
Online song-creation … start by humming a melody into the computer … choose instruments, styles, form … publish a song
A lesson plan of its own – since the webpage guides you through each selection.
NB: You will need to create a login.
There’s a new way to let students view YouTube clips online … www.viewpure.com. The teacher copies the URL address from a YouTube clip, pastes it onto the viewpure.com website, clicks “create”, and it creates a new webpage (which students can view) with the YouTube clip on its own (without ads or comments). Copy and paste the newly create URL address and give it to your students.
Here’s an example I entered into ViewPure of ACO playing to surfing footage …
HINT: Don’t click on the “Download” button (bottom of ViewPure screen) – it is only advertising!
Play the audio of this YouTube clip of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones playing “Hall of Mirrors”. How many instruments can students recognise? Watch the video afterwards. www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FMM59GPw4w What other songs have unusual instrument combinations?
THIS YouTube clip shows a street musician playing the HANG. Show it to students, then make a list of other unusual instruments. Finally, ask groups of students to design an unusual instrument which uses reclaimed / recycled materials.
Bring 2 instruments into the classroom (I used cello and guitar). Ask the students to find similarities and differences. Students should put the characteristics into a Venn digram (= 2 over-lapping circles, with the over-lapping portion being for the common characteristics) in pairs or individually. Play a CD in the background, which features the two instruments you have chosen. Suits middle school students.
Go to resource: VOSA (Vic Orff Schulwerk Assoc) Resources, articles, ideas and lesson plans for incorporating the Orff approach to Music education (hands-on percussion and ensembles). Resources are split into two sections: Early Childhood resources (aged 0 – & ages 9+. Also includes ideas for Music and movement.
THIS website takes you to free downloads of film clip (MP4), script, storyboard and teaching ideas (PDF). Australian students cannot enter the competition, but can certainly enjoy the process. Suits Middle School.
Waltzing Matilda free historical resources – LESSON IDEA: explore the content on the Music Australia webpage (old sheet music and old jazz recordings of “Waltzing Matilda”) … listen to and discuss the differences between the old recordings (found at the bottom of the webpage) and the way “Waltzing Matilda” is performed/sung today
We’ve got the Music & Music: Count Us In online resources are up and going, Jozzbeat-style. They are accessed via this page:
Jozzbeat will give each school a free log-in (after the school has registered for Music: Count Us In at www.musiccountusin.org.au)
Existing customers of Jozzbeat that come through as MCUI registrees can just use their existing JozzBeat website password/username to access the resources.
Grab a group of kids, log on, learn the song, add some percussion, and have a fun lesson
Ask students what positive effects music education might have on them … watch THIS YouTube clip from the movie “Mr Holland’s Opus” … see if students can add to the list of positive effects … hopefully they come up with words like: listening, empathy, imagination, perseverance, fun …
Use the new release song “Moves like Jagger” by Maroon 5 to inspire classes to practise their whistling! Ask students to draw the shape of the whistled melody in the air. Try to figure out the notes on a keyboard. Experiment with half the class singing and half the class whistling any tune!
http://youtu.be/pAV-fJOl0J4 Watch this well-edited video with your class, then discuss the benefits of music-making to students and teachers. Make a list of songs that make kids feel happy and positive. Brainstorm why massed singing makes us all feel special on the inside!
Give students a melody (as a Sibelius or Finale file, accessible via school intranet if you want to save time). Using trial and error, asking students to write a harmony line, creating a duet. For the melody, you could use a nursery rhyme OR the Music: Count Us In song. EXTENSION: Explain how notes fit into chords. Ask students to write another duet, using only notes from each chord, and compare for the two duets.
Here are some amusing (string) clips to share with students of all ages: