Aubrey Helmuth Miller
Music, Grades 3-4 (with adaptations for Grades 1-2)
Overview: Students will rotate through stations where they interact on iPads in three ways: writing and performing rhythms, reading simple melodies, and experimenting with instrument sounds. They will also have the opportunity to explore music apps at their own pace.
SOL: Music 1.1.3, 1.2, 1.5, 1.11, 2.1.3, 2.2, 2.3, 2.5.3, 2.9.3, 2.10, 3.2, 3.3, 3.5, 3.11.2, 3.14, 4.2, 4.5, 4.7, 4.10, 4.14
Time Required: 60 minutes
Technology Used: Classroom set of iPads
- Welcome: Greet students at the door. To the beat of the drum, students parade into the classroom vocally echoing melodic and rhythmic patterns. When everyone has circled, introduce them by echo the rhythms of the Balaganjur orchestra piece. Use physical movements to represent the long tones.
- Introduction to Indonesian gamelan orchestra
a. Show youtube video of gamelan orchestra.
b. What instruments do you see? Discuss characteristics of the instruments.
c. How is it similar to Western orchestras? Different?
d. Point out the “timekeeper” on the kajar. As there is no director, the timekeeper is important!
e. Count the beats in the gong cycle. Show notation of 16 beats. (4 whole notes, tied)
- STATIONS: Introduce each station and then have students rotate through them, about 10 min each.
Station 1: MANDALA MELODIES (gamelan balaganjur)
a. Select a rhythm card (Kajar, Gong, or Ceng-Ceng Kopjak)
b. Choose an appropriate timbre on the Mandala Hang Drum (demo how to change pitch and volume). Guide students through discovery that the low sounds are longer and the higher sounds are shorter.
c. Practice your rhythm until you are comfortable with it; encourage students to find others with the same rhythm and play together. Switch.
d. *Extend: Some groups will naturally put their rhythms together, some will need some guidance. It is very cool to hear all the different Balaganjur rhythms played at the same time! Remind sts to listen to the time-keeper, the “director.”
Station 2: AWESOME OSTINATOS
a. Students will create an 8-beat ostinato on the beat card, using popsicle sticks for quarter notes (ta’s), eighth notes (tati’s), rests, and half notes.
b. Students will play their rhythm on the drum-kit app (with headphones).
c. Options: students switch headphones and play their ostinato for others, students read another’s ostianto, students go around the table and perform each others’ ostinatos together, create a new ostinato, etc… the possibilities are limitless; let creativity fly!
Station 3: IPAD PLAYGROUND
a. Students can choose from any app in the music folder to “play” with.
b. We used: Singing Fingers (a hit!), Free Guitar, Free Violin, Double Piano
- Closure/ next class:
—Review elements of the gamelan orchestra
—Transfer rhythms to “real” instruments
—Perform and videotape (assess)
To adapt for 1st/ 2nd grades:
Replace the gamelan rhythms with the Mystery Melody station. Students enter the room with their established “welcome” routines. Three stations are: Awesome Ostinatos (beat-cards had only 4 beats and ta/tati/sh), iPad Playground, and Mystery Melodies
Students take a mixed-up melody page and play the notes on the xylophone. When they finish, they can trade with another person and play that one. After 5 minutes, have students put large cards in numerical order. Each child gets one card to play. Starting with #1, they play their cards in order, one at a time, to ‘discover’ the mystery melody.
Assessment: Teacher will observe rhythmic and melodic accuracy, milling around the room to check on student progress and performance. Taking photo/video the day of the lesson can help with assessment. Successive classes can transfer gamelan melodies to classroom instruments and a “final” presentation of the gamelan orchestra can be performed and assessed.
Describe how the use of technology affected student learning: Technology was engaging and the students were able to interact with content we were learning in a new way. Students were able to use the iPads to apply their learning about rhythm and melody to create new sounds. They found this very motivating.