Music Learning Activities Plan
"Sabre Dance" from the Gayane
Grade Level: 4th grade
Learning Prerequisites: The students have previous experience
describing expressiveness, form, and rhythmic elements through movement, language,
and using visuals.
- "Sabre Dance" recording from the Gayane Ballet.
- Device for playing the recording
- Extension cord, if needed
- Lycra-spandex circular rope (stretchy circle)
- Copies of tapping page
- Pens, pencils, pictures, magazines, etc. for students to express the meaning
of the music and to make their own visual map.
- The students will be able to describe what they felt the composer was expressing
through the music by using languge and drawings.
- The students will be able to demonstrate their understanding of the melodic/rhythmic
patterns by imitating the movements of the teacher while using the stretchy
circle. Using this stretchy circle, students will be able to demonstrate
their understanding of the melodic/rhythmic patterns by moving to the underlying
steady beat and the shortest underlying sound.
- The students will be able to demonstrate their understanding of the form
and rhythm of the music by following the teacher-designed iconic representation
of the music (tapping page).
- The students will be able to describe the form of the
song by imitating the movements provided by the teacher.
- Working in groups, the students will be able to develop their own movements
that describe the form and expressiveness of "Sabre Dance."
- The students demonstrate their understanding of the melodic/rhythmic pattern
by slide-clapping with the teacher.
- The students will be able to demonstrate their understanding of the expressivenss
of the music through movement. Using the words they used to describe the
selection, they will be asked to look like what they thought the music sounded
like (perhaps someone cleaning up frantically, circus clowns running around,
and/or babies creating havoc while their parents chase after them).
- The students will be able to demonstrate the expressiveness, form, melodic
contour, and dynamic contrast of the piece by moving a scarf while the music
- The students will be able to demonstrate their understanding of the music
by creating their own visual map.
- After discussing the plot of the Gayane Ballet, the students will
be able to create their own ending to the ballet, deciding where the "Sabre
Dance" would be played.
- In conjunction with other Russian music, the students will be able to identify
the Russian style and compare it to other styles.
- Anticipatory set:"Class, as we play this music, please
listen carefully and decide what you believe the composer was trying to express.
You may share your ideas through words or drawings." Have students share
what they felt the music sounded like.
- Gather the students into a circle and give each of them a section of the
stretchy circle. "First we will describe the rhythmic patterns of the song
by moving to the underlying steady beat. Follow me as we model these movements."
Play "Sabre Dance" and move to the underlying steady beat. "Next we will
move to the shorter and longer sounds in the melody." Students move with
- Have the students return to their seats. "Now that we have shown and felt
the melodic/rhythmic patterns and the form of the song, see if you can follow
this listening map." Teacher starts by pointing to chart at front of room
but then circulates to see if students can follow the map without her help.
- Gather the students into a circle. "move with us as we show you movements
that can be used to describe the form of "Sabre Dance." As the teacher models
the movements, we will verbalize them with the students so they will have
a better understanding of what we want them to do. (For example: "Imagine
yourself running in place, now dip, run in place, and twist like a dish rag.")
- Break the students into groups of four or five. "Now that we have shown
you some movements that represent "Sabre Dance," in your groups come up with
your own dance that could show what the composer is trying to express. Make
sure that you repeat your movements when the theme is played.
- Have the students perform their dances for the rest of the class.
- To close the lesson, explain to the students the actual plot of the Gayane Ballet
and the "Sabre Dance."
Behaviors and Concepts:
- Students will describe the expressiveness of "Sabre Dance" with words and
- Students will describe the music using the stretchy circle to show the
underlying steady beat as well as the rhythmic patterns (shorts and longs)
- Students will demonstrate their knowledge of the form by independently
pointing to a listening map provided by the teacher.
- Students will describe the music with movements that show the rhythm,
tempo, and form.
- Students will develop movements that describe the expressiveness of "Sabre