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This musical notes game is called Note Pyramids


Math, Music  


2, 3, 4  


Title – Note Pyramid
By – Susie
Primary Subject – Music
Secondary Subjects – Math
Grade Level – 2-4
Concept / Topic To Teach: Note values. This lesson has a definite math connection.

Specific Objectives: Students will learn about note values. Students will clap and count whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, eighth notes, and sixteenth notes.

Required Materials: Laminated note value cards as described. Make these ahead of time. Use card stock to make 16 cards. Use a bold marker and make large notes. Use a full sheet for each card. One for 1 whole note; two for 2 half notes; four for 4 quarter notes; four for 4 sets of 2 eighth notes each; four for 4 sets of 4 sixteenth notes each; one for a dotted half note. These can also be used for flash cards if you put the correct information on the back of each card. Laminate.

Step-By-Step Procedures:
          1. Start with the whole note card, and show and tell about the whole note. Place the whole note card on the floor where the class can see it. Have the students describe its appearance. Explain that it gets 4 counts or beats. Show the students how to count, clap and hold by clasping for the duration of the note. Have them try it until they show understanding and competence.
          2. Continue with the half notes, placing the two cards under the whole note to make the second row. Have students compare and contrast the appearance of the whole note. Introduce terminology for the parts of the note i.e. “head”, “stem”, “flag”, “beam” etc. Then let them clap the half notes, pointing out the mathematical side of the relationship-2 half notes = 1 whole note.
          3. Continue with quarter notes in the same manner, and so on with all the notes. With younger classes, it may be better not to go beyond the quarter note line the first time through. By the end of this activity, students should be able to clap and count the entire pyramid. It is important to keep the tempo slow so the sixteenth notes are doable. The dotted half note is not used in the pyramid but is used in other lessons on rhythm.

The teacher observes and watches for participation.

Additional Tips:
          1. If two sets are made, 2 teams could have a contest to see who could complete the pyramid the quickest.
          2. Smaller versions of these can be made for each student by folding a piece of copy paper in half 4 times to create 16 equal sections. Draw dotted lines on the fold marks. The notes can then be drawn in each section and run through the copy machine. The students can cut them apart on the dotted lines and keep them in a zip lock bag to be used to make the note pyramid on the desk, and in later lessons to create rhythms right on their desktops. I have had the whole class compete to see who can correctly construct the pyramid in the shortest time.
          3. Sometimes instead of clapping, it is good for the students to touch each note on the cards as they are counted to help them learn to actually follow the notes with their eyes.
          4. I have clapped simple rhythms and had the students use the cards to build what they heard. Rest cards can be added later. The possibilities are endless.

Please let me know if this has been useful to you.

E-Mail Susie !

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