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In this lesson, students learn to carefully listen to and analyze music
7, 8, 9
Title – Jazz Improvisation
By – Amy Sladowski
Primary Subject – Music
Grade Level – 7-9
How to Carefully Listen To & Analyze Music
Objective: Students will learn to carefully listen and analyze music based on instrumentation, rhythms, pitch, intensity, timbre, and texture.
Homework the Night Before:
- 1. Bring in pillows and blankets (this is optional but it does allow the students to feel more “relaxed” when they listen to the music).
- 2. Bring in your favorite song on a CD. Be sure that the song is school-appropriate.
Before Lesson Begins:
- 1. Move all desks to the side of the room and have students make themselves comfortable with pillows and blankets.
- 1. Listen for how the song is constructed
- 2. How does the song get from one verse to another?
Second Listen: This may need more than one listen.
- 1. Where does the melody line go up or down?
- 2. Be able to sing the melody in your head.
- 3. Where are there variations on the melody line?
- 1. How do bass lines relate to melody?
- 2. Memorize the bass part
- 3. What is the time signature?
- 1. What are all other instruments doing in the song?
Repeat these steps for one more song.
After the Listening Activity:
- 1. Have students get back a piece of paper and a pencil along with something to lean on.
- 2. Play another song and have the students analyze the work and write down things they hear that they may not have been listening for before out listening activity.
- 3. At the end of the time, ask each student how many things they heard. Encourage the lists to be as long as possible.
- 4. Ask the following questions:
- a. How did the music make you feel? Why?
- b. What was the mood of the music? Why?
- c. Think of one word that describes the music. Why did you choose this particular word?
- d. Does the music make you think of a certain person, place or thing? Why?
- e. What did you picture in your mind while listening to the music? Why?
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