Music Learning Activities Plan
Elise Moab, Melody Richfield, & Melody Sforzando
Music3824 * Spring 2003 * Dr. Priest
(Canceling Stamps in Ghana)
Worlds of Music: An introduction to the Music of the World's
Peoples, 4th edition. By Jeff Todd Titon, General Editor.
Published by SCHIRMER Thomson Learning: Belmont, CA, USA. 2002.
Worlds of Music: An Introduction to the Music of the World's
Peoples" 4 CD set. CD 1:1 "Postal Workers", 2002.
Visual maps with pictures
of stamps, letters, men whistling, post office, scissors (one large
and small individual maps for eachclass member)
Whiteboard or Chalkboard
to post questions to be answered
Any music-making materials each student has brought
to class (i.e. papers, books, zippers, pens...the sky is the limit!)
The students understand what "timbre" is.
The students have experienced creating compositions. The students have
had experiences in all learning modalities previously: iconic,
symbolic, and enactive. Students know what a visual map is and have used
them with previous songs exposed to in class.
The students will describe through writing what timbres they
initially hear when introduced to the piece.
The students will make
written hypotheses on how the music is being made.
After seeing the visual
maps, students will be able to associate the pictures with the music
through writing down how the music is truly being made.
Through class discussion and verbally sharing comments,
students will be able to make comparisons of their initial reaction to
the music and their
reactions after they have seen pictures associated with the music.
Students will be able to discriminate among the different
timbres in the piece (whistling, stamping, and scissors clicking)
by making movements to describe or act out each of these timbres.
Students will be able to understand that everyday items can
be used as instruments by creating their own accompaniment to
a familiar tune with miscellaneous items they may have brought to class.
Students will be able to create an original composition/arrangement with
any items they choose.
Students will perform their compositions for the rest of
Anticipatory Set: Write two questions on the board: "How
is this music being made?" and "What timbres
can you hear?" Tell the students to "write down
answers to these questions and what you feel is being
expressed." Have the students listen to "Postal Workers." Hopefully they
will be captivated by this original piece of music.
Present the visual maps to the students and play the
piece once again."Write down answers to these two questions
again, now that you have looked at these visual maps which are associated
with this music. See if you can hear what is in this
picture. Make comparisons with your previous answers." List on the board
the specific timbres you want the students to hear: stamping, whistling,
tapping letters on table, and scissors clicking.
Conduct a discussion with the students. Allow students
to share what they have written on their papers and
what similarities and differences they have in their answers from the first
time they heard the song and the second time they heard the song. As time
allows, students may get in small groups and talk about their answers and
As pertaining to the students' interest, a background
may be given on the piece including where it came from,
who made it, why it was made, how it was made, etc.
Count the students off into three groups. Assign
one group to the sound of the whistling, one to the
stamping, and one to the clicking scissors. "We are going to act out the
different timbres of whistling, stamping, and scissors. Create a movement
to describe what you hear."Move with me as you find the sound of the
whistling." "Move with me as you find the sound of stamping letters." "Move
with me as you find the sound of the scissors clicking." After each group
has displayed competence in their description of the assigned timbres, have
the groups rotate so that each group has a turn to find each of the three
Have the student stay in the same groups as counted
off in #5 above. " Each group will now compose
a song using whatever materials she has brought to class." Show the students
ideas of what they may use. For example, books, stapler, zipper on
jacket, clicking pens, their vocal chords, etc. "Everyday items
can be used as instruments. You may choose a tune you already know
and create accompaniment. Think of the purpose of your song and what it
expressing." Walk around and help the groups develop their compositions.
Help them to know that they sky is the limit on
what they may use as instruments.
Closure: Allow each group to perform their
compositions for the class.
The goal is to have students engage in behaviors that
fall under all of the learning modalities.
Some of these behaviors may fall under more than one category or modality.
Students write down their feelings. Students write answers
to questions posted on the board.
Students share through speaking their comparisons
of answers and impressions "before" and "after" seeing a visual map of the
Students compose music to represent an idea, feeling, or mood.
Students look at pictures on visual map and posters associated
with the song "Postal Workers."
Student may become "icons" as they act
out the timbres they hear
(i.e. being stampers, whistlers, or using scissors)
Students will engage in movements to
the timbres of the piece.
Students will create compositions, trying out different
Students will perform their compositions
The various behaviors and activities the students engage in will help
them to increase their knowledge and understanding in the concepts
of expressiveness, timbre, rhythm, polyrhythm (texture), and
melody. Students will be given many opportunities to use careful and concentrated
skills which will help them hear the different timbres and the intricate
rhythms used in the piece to create the texture. Students
will recognize melody through the distinct and prevalent timbre of the human
Students will be provided with the challenge of using
extremely careful and concentrated listening. It
will be a challenge for them to hear the sound of the scissors especially,
but hopefully after seeing visuals of the scissors being acted out by someone
who has identified that timbre, students will be able to locate that sound.Students
will also be provided with the challenge of creating music out of items they
have never used as instruments. Students will be challenged to get their mindset
out of preconceived ideas of what an instrument is. Students will be challenged
and encouraged to be creative.
The lesson will close with the students being given
the opportunity to perform their compositions for
the rest of the class.