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A Music Lesson on Melody and Rhythm that I wrote
Music Lesson on Melody and Rhythm
: Samples of music from several different nations
Musical Element to Teach
: Melody and Rhythm
: Fourth or Fifth
: The students will predict what music from different
cultures sounds like based on what they have heard through the
media, movies, etc. They will then listen to music from these
nations and compare how their predicted music differed. They
will also note any differences in melody and rhythm between the
various cultures and our own.
: The students will:
Predict what music from different nations will sound like by
creating short musical pieces based on their assumptions.
Listen to music from different cultures and describe how their
differed as well as how each piece of music differed from the
others and from our own.
Write a list of differences in melody and rhythm found between
the various nations and our own.
Musical samples from at least three different nations, musical
instruments (as many different ones as possible).
Ask students what kind of music they think that they would hear
if they went to China, Russia, Zimbabwe, Chile, etc.
1. Divide the students into groups and have each group create
a musical piece that represents what they think the music of a
certain nation will sound like. Provide few guidelines and allow
them to choose whatever instruments they think may be used in
making music in the country their group is doing.
2. Allow students to play their music for the group. After each
group plays, let them listen to authentic music from that nation
and invite the entire class to discuss differences in the group
and the nation’s music. Also, ask them what the differences between
this music and our own is. Before students listen to the music,
remind them that differences in music are welcomed and do not
mean that any form of music is better than another.
3. After each group performs and the national music is listened
to, ask students to write a list of differences in melody and
rhythm from our own. They should describe why they think each
aspect of melody and rhythm that they write about is different.
Also have them write about some of the similarities in the different
The students’ descriptions of differences in melody and rhythm
between the different nations’ music and our own can be evaluated.
They should be evaluated based on the accuracy of their responses
when considering the brief musical pieces that they were allowed
to listen to.
Ask students if they think that all of each nation’s music would
be similar in melody and form to the one short piece that they
heard. Note that there are numerous differences in melody and
rhythm within a culture’s music. Also, ask students to describe
which music they liked the best and why.