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” A Round and A Round”

Subjects:

Art, Computers & Internet, Language Arts, Music  

Grades:

9, 10, 11, 12  

Title – “A Round and A Round”
By – Cheryl Dobson
School Affiliation: East Henderson High School
Primary Subject – Music
Secondary Subjects – Art, Language Arts, Computers / Internet
Grade Level – 9th – 12th

Description:

Students will compose original lyrics for a “Round”. They will develop a copyright, a recording company, and CD covers for their original pieces. Advanced and Honors students will compose their own original melody for this activity. The students will also teach these “rounds” to the students in their respective choral music classes.

Goals:

1. To provide students with a knowledge of the musical composition – the “round”
2. To further enhance students’ knowledge of unison & harmony
3. To teach beginning students to sing in 2, 3, & 4 part harmony
4. To give students a knowledge of copyrighting, publishing, and graphic designing
5. To reinforce the student’s knowledge of basic rhythms, time signatures, notes and note names, and their proper place on a music staff
6. To reinforce the student’s knowledge of correct grammar, spelling, sentence structure, punctuation, and poetry technique.
7. To give students the opportunity of performing for and teaching their peers.
8. To expose students to the technology of recording a group’s performance.

Objectives:

1. Students will be able to define a “round”.
2. Students will be able to write a “round” (original text) with rhyming words.
3. Students will be able to associate rhythms and counting with words used in their songs.
4. Students will compose an original melody line for their “rounds”.
5. Students will be able to recognize and write notes on a music staff.
6. Students will be able to transcribe their original melodies on manuscript paper.
7. Students will design a CD cover for their original compositions.
8. Students will be able to define and discuss the process of copyrighting an original piece of music.
9. Students will be able to define and discuss the process of forming a record company.

(Teachers may choose to use only objectives #1, #2, #3, #7, #8, & #9 with their beginning students, although I have used the other objectives with my lower level students. Everyone loves this activity and is very creative in their writing and composing.)

Materials:

  • Pencil/Pen/Paper
  • Manuscript paper
  • Copies of basic preexisting “rounds”(provided by teacher)
  • Jewel case for CD cover
  • Magic markers, colored pencils, crayons, etc
  • VHS & audiocassette tape and camcorder (provided by teacher)
  • VHS VCR Player/Television/Boombox
  • Computer to research files on publishing and copyrights

Additional Sources:

Procedures:

1. For 1½ to 2 weeks prior to this activity, incorporate various “rounds” into your daily warm-ups. (I usually work with “rounds” in someway each day.) Begin teaching rounds in unison and gradually divide students into 2, 3, & 4 groups, first clap the rhythm, then speak singing, and finally vocally.

2. After learning several rounds, have the students incorporate movement to rhythm of each syllable, first silently, then humming melody, and lastly singing text as they move for better rhythm, phrasing, expression, etc.

3. Begin defining the writing of texts by discussing and studying the characteristics of literary genres-poetry. This should also entail a discussion of words with 1, 2, & 3 syllables and their relationship to note values (rhythm). Assign note values to each grouping (one-syllable words=quarter note, two syllable words=2 eighth notes, 3 syllable words=4 sixteenth notes, etc.)
*Be sure to explain how each note can be grouped by note value.

4. Have students compose a list of words using 2, 3, & 4, syllables. Using some of the words from these lists, have students place the stressed syllables in different places. Next, write on the board an example of rhyming using a sentence from the listed words. Then have students assign a note value to each word of the sentence.

      Example:
      When, I, am, old, I, will, wear=quarter note/ 1 syllable words
      brilliant=dotted-quarter-sixteenth-sixteenth note/ 3 syllable word
      luscious=dotted-quarter-sixteenth-sixteenth note/3 syllable word
      Purple=2 eighth notes/2 syllable word
      Sample word list:
      1 syllable=when, old, will, blue, wear, joy, white, love
      2 syllables=beauty, purple, whispers, sugar, golden, sunset
      3 syllables=family, brilliant, charity, gossamer, luscious, waterfall
    4 syllables=operation, aquamarine, understanding, education

5. Using “Brother John”, “Three Blind Mice”, “Row, Row, Row, Your Boat”, “Baa, Baa’ Black Sheep”, etc. explain to students that the musical structure of MOST Rounds is A-B-A or A-B form.

6. Students are now ready to begin writing the text of their “Rounds”. Divide the chorus into groups of 4 or 5 students. (I usually have between 8 and 12 groups of 4 each.) I give the groups 20 to 30 minutes the first day to begin discussing ideas. It is a good idea at this time to brainstorm key words for the main subject of the “Rounds”. Such as the following: animals, holidays, nature, objects (both animate and inanimate), people, dates, events, foods, etc.)

7. Students will now be given 10 to 15 minutes at the end of each choral rehearsal for 1 week to work on their “Rounds” with the other members of their groups. (Be sure that the students know that they must “mix-up and alternate (incorporate)” the words of their texts with 2, 3, or 4 syllable words. This enables the students to compose a text that uses eighths, sixteenths, syncopated, and combination rhythms in their sentence structure.

8. At the end of the week, the class will discuss the rules of the copyright laws of the United States. Reference material used will be The United States Copyright Law: A Guide for Music Educators. (A copy of this may be found at http://www.nafme.org/) At this time the students will also a name and trademark for their recording company.

9. Once the “rounds” are completed, the students will design a CD cover depicting the meaning, title, emotions, etc. of their “Round”.

10. Students will each write a paper explaining the copyright process for their composition, the registration of the name and formation of their recording company, and the design of the CD covers.

11. Students will write a lesson plan for the purpose of teaching their original composition (“Round”) to the rest of the Choral Music class.

12. The groups will be given a number, which will be their order in the presentation for their project.

13. Each group will be responsible for recording the performance of another group on VHS and audiocassette tapes. These tapes will be viewed, listened to, and used in the final of assessment of the students’ work.

14. After the group presentation of the background of their original composition, the recording company (name and logo), and the CD cover design, the group will perform their composition of a “Round”. The group will first sing in unison and then in a round.

15. After their presentation, the group will teach the piece to the remainder of the Choral Music class.

Assessment:

Assessment can be done in a combination of 3 ways:

I. Music Rubric:

  • Level 4: The students exceeded the assignment requirements that were expected by the teacher for this project. The assignment was done in its entirety, was completed on time, there was evidence of originality & creativity, the students were knowledgeable and well prepared, and the performance and presentation was creative, clear, and precise.
  • Level 3: The students met all assignment requirements that were expected by the teacher for this project. The assignment was done in its entirety, was completed on time, the students were knowledgeable and well prepared, and their performance and presentation was clear and enjoyable.
  • Level 2: The students did not meet all assignment requirements that were expected by the teacher for this project, the assignment was only partially done, the work wasn’t very neat, the assignment was not completed on time, the students were not as knowledgeable and well prepared as they should be, and their performance and presentation was not clear or prepared. (All, any, or a combination of the items stated!)
  • Level 1: The students did not meet all assignment requirements that were expected by the teacher for this project. The assignment was only partially completed (50% or less), the portion completed was not neat, was unorganized, was not completed on time, the students were not knowledgeable or well prepared, and their performance and presentation was unclear and unorganized.

    (All, or a combination of any the items stated!)

    II. Point System:

  • 25 points for meeting ALL assignment requirements
  • 25 points for the content of the written assignment
  • 25 points for performance and presentation
  • 25 points for knowledge of subject
  • Extra Credit: Creativity, Originality, Percussive Accompaniment, etc. (Anything that adds to the assignment, performance, and presentation.)

    III. Adjudicators’ Sheets:

  • 25% Teacher will distribute adjudication sheets to judges (other teachers, parents, administrators, or a combination of any of these) who will come to judge the students’ projects and presentations.
  • 25% Teacher will distribute adjudication sheets to the students’ peers (the rest of the Choral Music class) who will also judge rate the students’ projects and presentations.
  • 50% Teacher will adjudicate and grade the students’ projects and presentation.
  • Extra Credit will be given for creativity, originality, etc.

    Adjudication sheet will be composed and printed by the teacher according to his or her assessment practices and requirements.

    National Standards – Music:

    Goal 1: The learner will sing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music

    Goal 3: The learner will improvise melodies, variations, and accompaniments.

    Goal 4: The learner will compose and arrange music within specific guidelines.

    Goal 5: The learner will read and notate music.

    Goal 6: The learner will listen to, analyze, and describe music.

    Goal 7: The learner will evaluate music and music performances.

    Goal 8: The learner will understand relationships between music, the other arts, and content areas outside the arts.

    National Standards Visual Arts:

    Goal 1: The learner will develop critical and creative thinking skills and perceptual awareness necessary for understanding and producing art.

    Goal 4: The students will choose and evaluate a range of subject matter and ideas to communicate intended meaning in artworks.

    National Standards Language Arts & Technology Source:
    http://www.EducationWorld.com/standards

    E-Mail Cheryl W. Dobson!

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