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This lesson teaches accents using The Russian Dance from “The Nutcracker”




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Title – Introduce “Accent” with
The Russian Dance from “The Nutcracker”
By – D.L Davis
Primary Subject – Music
Grade Level – 1-2

This lesson is an active approach to teaching accents.

The students will…

      1. Gain an understanding of an accent


      2. Play rhythm instruments together and alone.


      3. Express musical terms through movement


    4. Listen to a ballet (OPTIONAL: Use this as a way to discuss the ballet and what happens in it)


      1. Pictures with words like BOOM, POW, BAM, etc. Try designing them like they are in comic books.


      2. Pictures of quarter notes with accents.


      3. Drums, or other rhythm instruments


    4. Music “Russian Dance” from “The Nutcracker”


      1. As the students enter the room, have the large pictures with comic words hung in the classroom. Ask the students where they may have these.


      2. Below each one, add a picture of an accent. Discuss with the students that these accents do the same thing as a comic book. It shows where the music goes BOOM or BAM, etc.


      3. Introduce the piece from the Nutcracker. Discuss the students where this song occurs in the ballet, or that it is a very “MANLY” dance (for those boys who may think ballet is all girls and toe shoes).


      4. Play “The Russian Dance”. Have the students raise their hand when they hear a boom or a bam! Guide them through the first few and see how many they can find. (The version in the

McGraw-Hill Share the Music

      text has a nice listening chart for this as well. If you have it, you can use the listening chart.)


      5. During the second listening, have the students add the accents with their instruments. You may divide them into groups, as an ensemble, or alone..
      VARIATION OR IN A LATER LESSON: Have the students create new accents and play them in the piece. (Improv. and composition standards)
    6. Have the students “Pretend they are in the ballet”. Play the song and on each major accent, hold up one of the comic words. Have the students move to the music as they wish, but to kick on the accents.

Evaluatuon: On a song of your choosing, have the students move to the piece. If they hear an accent, they are to kick as they did in the “Russian Dance”.

This lesson can lead to many other activities including classical music, Christmas traditions, the Orchestra, improv, etc.

E-Mail D.L Davis !

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