view a plan
A Music Lesson I wrote on Rhythm and Tempo
2, 3, 4
Music Lesson on Rhythm (Tempo)
Song : Any quality song that contains a slow pace and any quality song that is fast-paced.
Possibilities include the slower parts of Beethoven’s Symphony Number 3 and the fast-tempo portions of his Ninth Symphony .
Musical Element to Teach : Rhythm (Tempo)
Grade Level : Second to Fourth
Concept : The students will experience a fast and a slow tempo in music and create drawings the different tempos cause them to think of.
Objectives : The students will:
Listen to the two musical pieces.
Draw pictures of what the music causes them to think about.
Materials Needed :
Recordings of fast and slow-tempo music, crayons, paper, drawing(s) the teacher has done while listening to music to use as an example.
Preliminary Procedures :
The teacher will ask students if they think of anything when they hear the music that accompanies a McDonald’s commercial, or other commercials, television shows, etc. Note that many songs cause us to think of different things or make us feel different ways.
1. First, present students with sample drawings that you as the teacher have done while listening to music. This will give them an idea of what is expected of them.
2. Tell the students that you are going to play some music for them and that they need to listen carefully and create drawings of anything that they think about when listening to the music. Ask students to not start drawing until they have a good vision in their head of what they want to draw.
3. Play the first, slow-tempo music and tell the students to start drawing whenever the music causes them to think of something.
4. After they have done the slow-tempo music, play the fast-tempo music and have students do similar drawings.
5. When the second piece is finished, have students finish up their drawings, then ask what they noticed about the differences between the two pieces of music.
6. Discuss these differences with the students and ask them if the two pieces made them think of different things, and if so, how? Describe these differences to be different tempos and discuss how these different tempos are used in commercials, movies, etc. to make us feel different ways.
No evaluation is needed for this lesson since students will learn through the activity itself.
Present students with movie clips of chase scenes, scary scenes, relaxing scenes, and others in movies, and ask how the music is different in each case. Does the different music make us feel different ways or think differently? How?