Category Archives: Lesson Plan

October 2014: Marching Band Comparison

Meets National Core Arts Anchor Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8

 Objectives

  • Perceive, analyze, and interpret intent in artistic work
  • Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work
  • Organize and develop artistic ideas and work
  • Develop, refine, and complete artistic work for presentation

Materials

October 2014 Bonus CD

Optional: Marching Music by Rich Breske

Piano and classroom instruments

 1: Play the Florida State University Marching Band’s “Notre Dame Victory March” (CD track 5).

 

ASK

What time signature is this in? (2/2 or cut time—two half notes per bar.)

Is the key signature minor or major? (Ef major.)

Why do you think it’s in a flat key? (Flat keys are horn-friendly.)

In the beginning, is the texture primarily homophonic, with all the instruments harmonizing the melody in the same note values, or polyphonic, with lines that have independent melodies and rhythms? (Homophonic.)

Which of these textures best describes the music beginning at around 0:07? (Polyphonic.)

What mood does the piece evoke? (Jubilant, etc.)

The piece is titled “Notre Dame Victory March.” In the context of marching music, what’s significant about Notre Dame? (Its marching band is the oldest continuously running American college band.)

 2: Play the Florida State University Marching Band’s “Fight On March” (CD track 6).

 

ASK

What time signature is this in? (4/4.)

Is the key signature minor or major? (F major.)

Can anyone say how far apart the roots of the first three chords are? (Minor thirds.)

What kind of melodic technique, heard often in jazz and blues, is happening around 0:07? (Call and response: One group states a melody and another answers.)

What happens to the music at around 0:43? (It modulates to the key of A-flat, giving the music an emotional lift.)

3: Play the Florida State University Marching Band’s “Hold That Tiger” (CD track 7).

 

ASK

What’s the time signature? (4/4.)

And the key signature? (B-flat major.)

Why do you think all these pieces are in major keys? (Major produces an appropriately festive sound, etc.)

Throughout, is the music of this piece homophonic or polyphonic? (The latter.)

Can anyone identify the type of chord heard at the very end of the piece? (This is a sixth chord—a major triad with an added sixth, in this case a B-flat triad [B-flat–D–F] with a G. Play this chord on the piano to demonstrate.)

4. Play Ohio State’s Trubute to Michael Jackson

ASK

How is this does repertoire differ from the tracks on the CD? (It’s an interpretation of popular music.)

Does seeing the band move alter your interpretation of what you’re hearing? (Open discussion)

 

 ASSESS

  • Were they engaged in discussing the listening selections?
  • Were the students able to identify the elements in each song?

 

 

 

 

 

October 2014: The Music of Texas

Meets National Core Arts Anchor Standards 7, 9, and 11

 OBJECTIVES

Perceive and analyze artistic work

Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work

Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural and historical context

MATERIALS

CD (October 2014)

Music Alive! Classroom Worksheet 1: Pitch and Melody (download at musicalive.com/resources/mahandouts.php)

Piano or keyboard

 

  1. Play “New San Antonio Rose” by Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys (CD track 2).

 

ASK

What time signature is this tune in? (4/4.)

Does it start off in a major or minor key? (D major.)

What instruments do you hear? (Brass, woodwinds, bass, drums, guitar, piano.)

Can anyone describe the rhythmic feel? (Swing, with pairs of consecutive eighth notes.)

So what style of music is this? (Western swing.)

Which elements of the song hint at a Mexican influence? (The trumpets with their lines harmonized in thirds.)

Which elements suggest a jazz influence? (The rhythmic feel.)

Based on your reading, can you identify the group? (Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys.)

What happens to the music at around 0:45? (It modulates to a new key, Af major.)

 

  1. Play “Call It Stormy Monday” by T-Bone Walker (CD track 3).

 

ASK

What time signature is this tune in? (4/4.)

Is it in a major or minor key? (G major.)

Name the I, IV, and V chords in this key. (G, C, D. You might also have students identify each chord as they’re listening to the song.)

What instruments do you hear? (Saxophone, muted trumpet, piano, bass, drums, electric guitar.)

What style of music is this? (Blues.)

In which part of Texas did a lot of blues originate? (Dallas.)

 

  1. Play “Beautiful Texas” by Willie Nelson (CD track 4).

 

ASK

What time signature is this tune in? (3/4, or waltz time.)

Is it in a major or minor key? (E major.)

What instruments do you hear? (Upright bass, drums, pedal steel [explain what this instrument is, and point out where it’s heard on the recording], guitar.)

In most measures, on which beat is the bass picked? (Beat 1 only, but it plays on all three beats when transitioning between certain phrases.)

What is the basic rhythmic pattern on the snare drum? (Quarter notes on beats 1 and 3 and a pair of eighths on beat 2.)

What style of music is this? (Country.)

Based on your reading, can you identify the artist? (Willie Nelson.)

 

CLOSE

Hand out copies of the Pitch and Melody worksheet. Then play Texas’ official state song, “Texas, Our Texas.”

 

After that, play the first eight bars of the melody on the piano, using the notation below. Repeat as many times as needed while the students fill in the worksheet.

 

ASSESS

Were the students engaged in discussing the three listening selections?

Did they complete the Pitch and Melody worksheet?

 

 

 

 

 

October 2014 Bonus CD: “Rude” by MAGIC!

“Rude” by MAGIC!

Meets National Core Arts Anchor Standards 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7

OBJECTIVES

Perceive and analyze artistic work (Pr4, Re7)

Organize and develop artistic ideas and work (Cr2)

Develop and refine artistic work for presentation (Cr3, Pr5)

 

MATERIALS

Music Alive! Classroom Worksheet 12: Staff Paper (download at musicalive.com/resources/mahandouts.php)

Piano or keyboard, classroom keyboards or other instruments 

START: Play “Rude” by Magic! (either the soundalike version on CD track 1 or the original version:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIh2xe4jnpk

 DEVELOP: Guide the students through the song with a series of questions and answers

ASK

What’s the key signature? (D-flat major.)

What beat does the melody start on? (Beat 3.)

What are the longest and shortest note values here? (Half note; 16th.)

What are the lowest and highest notes? (The F just above middle C; the Af above the staff.)

The song’s main chord progression is G-flat–A-flat–D-flat–B-flat minor. Can anyone identify the harmonic functions of these chords? (IV–V–I–vi.)

Help students with the song’s potentially toughest rhythm, the quarter-note triplet.

  • Without using any notes, have students count in a steady stream of eighth-note triplets: “Trip-uh-let, trip-uh-let, trip-uh-let, trip-uh-let.”
  • Have students place emphasis on every other syllable: “Trip-uh-let, trip-uh-let, trip-uh-let, trip-uh-let.”
  • Take away the non-emphasized syllables: “Trip, let, uh, trip, let, uh.”
  • Have the students tap the rhythms in the verse before singing the section slowly.
  1. Now work on the pre-chorus and chorus, focusing on the trickier spots (for example, the interval between the last note in bar 1 of the chorus and the first note in the following measure—a descending perfect fifth).
  2. Have the class sing the entire song.

 

CLOSE

  1. Hand out copies of the staff paper and then, on the piano, guitar, or other harmonic instrument, play a basic reggae accompaniment in a repeating one-bar pattern. Have the students transcribe this—the rhythms only. Next, have them write short compositions using these rhythms. Finally, have them take turns playing their pieces on classroom instruments.

 

ASSESS

Did the students respond to questions about the song’s elements?

Were they engaged in breaking down its rhythms?

Did they sing the song together?

Did they complete their transcriptional and compositional exercise?

 

 

 

October 2014 Issue Summary