|Grade span:||K to 3|
|Duration:||Two to three 45-minute sessions|
Description:This lesson is one example of how you can implement the practice of Building Skills in the Arts. In this activity, students will use classroom materials to create and use simple musical instruments to play.
- Learn to analyze various musical pieces
- Understand musical concepts such as tempo (how fast or slow the sound), dynamics (how loud or soft the sound), and pitch (how high or low the sound).
- Learn to improvise simple expressive rhythms and melodic variations on musical instruments
- Max Found Two Sticks by Brian Pinkney
- Various sound- and instrument-making materials, such as: dry pasta, rice, beans, tissue paper, cardboard tubes, cellophane
- Paper plates and cups, also boxes with lids, cans, plastic bottles
- Stapler, glue, tape, rubber bands
- CDs (or cassettes) with excerpts of suggested classical music pieces:
- Night on Bald Mountain by Mussorgsky
- Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven
- Stars and Stripes Forever by Sousa
- Compile excerpts of suggested classical music pieces.
- Read Max Found Two Sticks.
- Review the basics of the musical concepts to be discussed.
- Create your own musical instrument to demonstrate.
What to Do:
- Read aloud Max Found Two Sticks, a book about a boy who uses two sticks to beat out the rhythms of the city around him.
- Discuss how musical instruments can be found all around. For instance, Max used sticks. Primitive people used shells and animal horns.
- Allow students to use the materials provided available in classroom to create musical instruments. Students don't have to make an instrument if they can use objects or materials in the classroom to make sounds (for example, a zipper on a backpack or a desktop to drum).
- Listen to brief excerpts from classical music pieces to hear how orchestras "play" various emotions. For example, Night on Bald Mountain by Mussorgsky is "angry"; Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven is "sad"; Stars and Stripes Forever by Sousa is "happy."
- Discuss how tempo, dynamics, and pitcho (speed) and rhythm.
- Have students use play various emotions on their musical instruments to express various emotions.
- If possible, use additional time or sessions to investigate dynamics (loud or soft) and pitch (high or low). Play classical music pieces as a demonstration, and allow students to use their found object instruments to investigate musical concepts in a hands-on way.
Evaluate (Outcomes to look for):
- Student participation and engagement
- Students' ability to analyze and describe melodic variations in musical pieces
- Students' ability to create and use instruments to demonstrate musical concepts such as tempo, dynamics, and pitch.
Click this link to see additional learning goals, grade-level benchmarks, and standards covered in this lesson.