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This “Name that Style” activity teaches elements of music and defines music styles
5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Title – Name That Style
By – Susie
Primary Subject – Music
Grade Level – 5-12
Objective: The elements of music, music styles
Materials: A collection of a wide variety of music recordings. (I use classical, rap, heavy metal, gospel, barbershop, kids songs, oldies, novelty songs… to name a few.)
- List or post the elements–melody, form, harmony, rhythm, dynamics, timbre–and brief definitions of each.
- See if students can come up with a good definition of style. Discuss briefly that what makes a style unique is the way the elements of music are utilized in the music.
- Have students brainstorm as many styles as they can, including styles they like and styles they don’t like. Have them try to think of at least 10.
- Get a volunteer to make a master list on the board. Give each student the chance to name one from his/her list. After each student has had a turn, get other styles that have not yet been named. Finally, add any that you have thought of that were left out.
- Have students choose from the list to describe a particular style. Encourage the use of musical terms to describe the styles, not opinions about the styles.
- Explain that you will be playing excerpts of several styles that are listed. Their task is to list the style. Have them number 1-10 (or however many selections you have) and be ready to guess the style. If they are unsure, the task is to describe the music (using music terms).
- Play excerpts. After the game, and as time permits, offer to let them listen to full pieces of their favorite excerpts. *
- Close by reviewing the elements of music, and the definition of style.
Assessment: Check the papers.
* You may be surprised, as I was, at what the students choose to hear again.
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