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Here’s a lesson on patterns in music
Music, Math, Language Arts
Title – What’s That Pattern?
By – Jennifer Dalke
Subject – Music, Language Arts, Math
Grade Level – 4-5
What’s That Pattern?
25.A.2c, 25.B.2, 26.B.2c, 27.A.2b
Math, Language Arts
* Students will begin to understand how pieces of music are constructed and the different parts that make up a song
* Students will work in pairs to construct unique songs
* Different instruments (drum, flute, recorder, organ, maracas, etc)
1. The teacher will play part of a popular song to the class. After the class has listened to the song once, the teacher will play it again. This time, the class will be instructed to listen carefully to find a pattern in the music.
2. After the students describe what they think the pattern/s may be, the teacher will give the students some definitions of what a pattern is. The teacher will also explain to the children that music actually consists of many parts, the pattern being one of the most important. Then, the teacher will play some simple patterns on different instruments. The teacher should give volunteers the chance to try, too.
1. The teacher will ask the students to pair themselves up with a partner. Then, the teacher will pass out different instruments to each pair of students.
2. Next, the students will be instructed to work together to produce a song. They will need to use the instrument to make up a pattern, and then they will need to make up words to a short song about school that will go along with the music.
3. Students should be given about a half an hour to complete this project.
4. When all the students have finished their songs, each group will come up to the front of the room to perform their song. The rest of the class will try to imitate the performing group’s pattern with their own instruments.
5. If other teachers will permit, the class may take their show to other classrooms to perform
6. If time permits, the students can brainstorm different commercials that they know that have patterns, and they can try to play them with the instruments.
The teacher’s role In this activity is to inform the students about patterns in music. Once the teacher has helped the children to recognize the parts and patterns of music, the children should use their own creativity to produce their own songs.
Creative Question Suggestions:
1. How do patterns work within songs to make you feel a certain way?
2. Can patterns be different lengths?
3. How many times must a sound or group of sounds repeat in order to be considered a pattern?
4. Was this activity easy or difficult? What made it so? Did you find it easy or frustrating to work with a partner on this project?
* Some students may choose to use the instruments for purposes other than the assigned project. If this occurs, tell the students that they have a fun twist to their assignment- one student needs to write the words and the other needs to compose the music, but they cannot put them together until their performance.
1. Students will be evaluated on their cooperation with their classmates. Did they work well with another student? Did they work on the assignment?
2. Did the students produce a song with a pattern? Did they use what they learned to use the instrument and words to make a patterned song?