Chapter Three: Music
Music is an art form and cultural activity whose medium is sound organized in time. The common elements of music are pitch (which governs melody and harmony), rhythm (and its associated concepts tempo, meter, and articulation), dynamics (loudness and softness), and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture (which are sometimes termed the "color" of a musical sound). Different styles or types of music may emphasize, de-emphasize or omit some of these elements. Music is performed with a vast range of instruments and vocal techniques ranging from singing to rapping; there are solely instrumental pieces, solely vocal pieces (such as songs without instrumental accompaniment) and pieces that combine singing and instruments.
There are many types of music, including popular music, traditional music, art music, music written for religious ceremonies and work songs such as chanteys. Music ranges from strictly organized compositions-such as Classical music symphonies from the 1700s and 1800s, through to spontaneously played improvisational music such as jazz, and avant-garde styles of chance-based contemporary music from the 20th and 21st centuries.
Although the exact definition of music varies widely even in the West, music contains melody, harmony, rhythm, timbre, pitch, silence, and form or structure. What we know about music so far.
• Music is comprised of sound.
• Music is made up of both sounds and silences.
• Music is intentionally made art.
• Music is humanly organized sound (Bakan, 2011).
In short, music is an intentionally organized art form whose medium is sound and silence, with core elements of pitch (melody and harmony), rhythm (meter, tempo, and articulation), dynamics, and the qualities of timbre and texture.
Overtone: A fundamental pitch with resultant pitches sounding above it according to the overtone
series. Overtones are what give each note its unique sound. Timbre: The tone color of a sound resulting from the overtones. Each voice has a unique tone color that is described using adjectives or metaphors such as "nasally," "resonant," "vibrant," "strident," "high," "low," "breathy," "piercing," "ringing," "rounded," "warm,"
"mellow," "dark," "bright," "heavy," "light," "vibrato."
Pitch: The frequency of the note's vibration (note names C, D, E, etc.).
Amplitude: How loud or soft a sound is.
Duration: How long or short the sound is. Melody: A succession of musical notes; a series of pitches often organized into phrases. Harmony: The simultaneous, vertical combination of notes, usually forming chords. Rhythm: The organization of music in time; closely related to meter.
Texture: The density (thickness or thinness) of layers of sounds, melodies, and rhythms in a piece: e.g., a complex orchestral composition will have more possibilities for dense textures than a song accompanied only by guitar or piano. Most common types of texture:
• Monophony: A single layer of sound; e.g. a solo voice
• Homophony: A melody with an accompaniment; e.g., a lead singer and a band; a singer and a guitar or piano accompaniment; etc.
• Polyphony: Two or more independent voices; e.g., a round or fugue.
Structure or Form: The sections or movements of a piece; i.e. verse and refrain, sonata form, ABA, Rondo (ABACADA), theme, and variations.
Dynamics: Volume (amplitude)-how loud, soft, medium, gradually getting louder or softer
(crescendo, decrescendo). Tempo: Beats per minute; how fast, medium, or slow a piece of music is played or sung. Articulation: The manner in which notes are played or words pronounced: e.g., long or short,
stressed or unstressed such as short (staccato), smooth (legato), stressed (marcato), sudden
emphasis (sforzando), slurred, etc.
Music as an Art Form: Composition, Notation, and Improvisation
Composition" is the act or practice of creating a song, an instrumental music piece, a work with both singing and instruments, or another type of music. In many cultures, including Western classical music, the act of composing also includes the creation of music notation, such as a sheet music "score", which is then performed by the composer or by other singers or musicians. In popular music and traditional music, the act of composing, which is typically called songwriting, may involve the creation of a basic outline of the song, called the lead sheet, which sets out the melody, lyrics and chord progression. In classical music, the composer typically orchestrates his or her own compositions, but in musical theatre and in pop music, songwriters may hire an arranger to do the orchestration. In some cases, a songwriter may not use notation at all, and instead compose the song in her mind and then play or record it from memory. In jazz and popular music, notable recordings by influential performers are given the weight that written scores play in classical music.
Even when music is notated relatively precisely, as in classical music, there are many decisions that a performer has to make, because notation does not specify all of the elements of music precisely. The process of deciding how to perform music that has been previously composed and notated is termed "interpretation." Different performers' interpretations of the same work of music can vary widely, in terms of the tempos that are chosen and the playing or singing style or phrasing of the melodies. Composers and songwriters who present their own music are interpreting their songs, just as much as those who perform the music of others. The standard body of choices and techniques present at a given time and a given place is referred to as performance practice, whereas interpretation is generally used to mean the individual choices of a performer.
Although a musical composition often uses musical notation and has a single author, this is not always the case. A work of music can have multiple composers, which often occurs in popular music when a band collaborates to write a song, or in musical theatre, when one person writes the melodies, a second person writes the lyrics, and a third person orchestrates the songs. In some styles of music, such as the blues, a composer/songwriter may create, perform and record new songs or pieces without ever writing them down in music notation. A piece of music can also be composed with words, images, or computer programs that explain or notate how the singer or musician should create musical sounds. Examples range from avant-garde music that uses graphic notation, to text compositions, to computer programs that select sounds for musical pieces. Music that makes heavy use of randomness and chance is called aleatoric music and is associated with contemporary composers active in the 20th century. A more commonly known example of chance-based music is the sound of wind chimes jingling in a breeze.
The study of composition has traditionally been dominated by examination of methods and practice of Western classical music, but the definition of composition is broad enough to include the creation of popular music and traditional music songs and instrumental pieces as well as spontaneously improvised works like those of free jazz performers and African percussionists such as Ewe drummers.
In the 2000s, music notation typically means the written expression of music notes and rhythms on paper using symbols. When music is written down, the pitches and rhythm of the music, such as the notes of a melody, are notated. Music notation also often provides instructions on how to perform the music. For example, the sheet music for a song may state that the song is a "slow blues" or a "fast swing", which indicates the tempo and the genre.
Written notation varies with style and period of music. In the 2000s, notated music is produced as sheet music or, for individuals with computer scorewriter programs, as an image on a computer screen. In ancient times, music notation was put onto stone or clay tablets. To perform music from notation, a singer or instrumentalist requires an understanding of the rhythmic and pitch elements embodied in the symbols and the performance practice that is associated with a piece of music or a genre. In genres requiring musical improvisation, the performer often plays from music where only the chord changes and form of the song are written, requiring the performer to have a great understanding of the music's structure, harmony and the styles of a particular genre (e.g., jazz or country music).
In Western art music, the most common types of written notation are scores, which include all the music parts of an ensemble piece, and parts, which are the music notation for the individual performers or singers. In popular music, jazz, and blues, the standard musical notation is the lead sheet, which notates the melody, chords, lyrics (if it is a vocal piece), and structure of the music. Fake books are also used in jazz; they may consist of lead sheets or simply chord charts, which permit rhythm section members to improvise an accompaniment part to jazz songs. Scores and parts are also used in popular music and jazz, particularly in large ensembles such as jazz "big bands." In popular music, guitarists and electric bass players often read music notated in tablature (often abbreviated as "tab"), which indicates the location of the notes to be played on the instrument using a diagram of the guitar or bass fingerboard. Tabulature was also used in the Baroque era to notate music for the lute, a stringed, fretted instrument.
Musical improvisation is the creation of spontaneous music, often within (or based on) a pre-existing harmonic framework or chord progression. Improvisation is the act of instantaneous composition by performers, where compositional techniques are employed with or without preparation. Improvisation is a major part of some types of music, such as blues, jazz, and jazz fusion, in which instrumental performers improvise solos, melody lines and accompaniment parts. In the Western art music tradition, improvisation was an important skill during the Baroque era and during the Classical era. In the Baroque era, performers improvised ornaments and basso continuo keyboard players improvised chord voicings based on figured bass notation. In the Classical era, solo performers and singers improvised virtuoso cadenzas during concerts. However, in the 20th and early 21st century, as "common practice" Western art music performance became institutionalized in symphony orchestras, opera houses and ballets, improvisation has played a smaller role. At the same time, some modern composers have increasingly included improvisation in their creative work. In Indian classical music, improvisation is a core component and an essential criterion of performances.
What Do Children Hear? How Do They Respond to Music?
Children's musical encounters can be self- or peer-initiated, or teacher- or staff-initiated in a classroom or daycare setting. Regardless of the type of encounter, the basic music elements play a significant role in how children respond to music. One of the most important elements for all humans is the timbre of a sound. Recognizing a sound's timbre is significant to humans in that it helps us to distinguish the source of the sound, i.e. who is calling us-our parents, friends, etc. It also alerts us to possible danger. Children are able
to discern the timbre of a sound from a very young age, including the vocal timbres of peers, relatives, and teachers, as well as the timbres of different instruments.
Young children are quite sophisticated listeners. As early as two years of age, children respond to musical style, tempo, and dynamics, and even show preference for certain musical styles (e.g., pop music over classical) beginning at age five. On the aggregate level, children physically respond to music's beat, and are able to move more accurately when the tempo of the music more clearly corresponds to the natural tempo of the child. As we might expect, children respond to the dynamic levels of loud and soft quite dramatically, changing their movements to match changing volume levels. The fact that children seem to respond to the expressive elements of music (dynamics, tempo, etc.) should not come as a surprise. Most people respond to the same attributes of music that children do. We hear changes in tempo (fast or slow), changes in dynamics (loud or soft), we physically respond to the rhythm of the bass guitar or drums, and we listen intently to the melody, particularly if there are words. These are among the most ear-catching elements, along with rhythm and melody.
Teaching Music Vocabulary
For most children, the basics are easily conveyed through concept dichotomies, such as:
• Fast or Slow (tempo)
• Loud or Soft (dynamics)
• Short or Long (articulation)
• High or Low (pitch)
• Steady or Uneven (beat)
• Happy or Sad (emotional response)
For slightly older children, more advanced concepts can be used, such as:
• Duple (2) or Triple (3) meter
• Melodic Contour (melody going up or down)
• Rough or Smooth (timbre)
• Verse and Refrain (form)
• Major or Minor (scale)
Using Music in Arts-As-Curriculum
Most schools still contain music and art teachers, who are valuable assets in providing input regarding art strategies, teaching materials, etc. This is definition of an arts-as-curriculum strategy, where the arts teacher teaches their separate material. Fully integrating the arts requires a time commitment and instructional expertise, but often there isn't the time, resources, or incentive to fully learn or implement the entire process for a lesson. How might you utilize the music teacher in your school to enhance your lesson? What are some ways to work with the specialists to benefit the student's learning experience?
Using Music in Arts-Enhancement Curriculum
There are many things to be learned from arts-enhancement as well. Using the arts yourself to enhance your lesson provides opportunities for students to experience music during the school day in a non-content related way.
There are ample opportunities for children to experience music in their day, including singing, moving, clapping, or stomping that are not directly related to teaching content area but provide students an alternate
form of expression, a chance to re-group and focus, for motivation, learn about proper group and individual expectations and behavior, and to make transitions between subjects and activities. How might you use music to "enhance" a science or language arts lesson? Vocabulary or poetry lesson?
A Sample List of Arts-Enhancement Opportunities:
• Activity: lining up, cleaning up
• Aesthetic Purpose: motivation
• Activity: changing from one activity to another
• Aesthetic Purpose: change of mood, re-focus energy
• Activity: Greetings/Hello, goodbye, holiday music
• Aesthetic Purpose: Prepare students mentally, provides stability and repetition
• Activity: Short break between two subjects or activities
• Aesthetic Purpose: Provide relaxation, moment of expression, and alternate uses for cognitive functioning
A Sample Day That Includes Music:
9:10 Use music before the school day begins
• Ritual: Set the mood/change the atmosphere in the room with sound 9:20 Students enter and settle in to the room
9:25 Morning Work, Attendance, Calendar
• Organization: i.e. "If you're ready for_clap your hands" (or stomp your feet, etc.)
• Ritual: "Good Morning," and/or movement activity "Head Shoulders" 10:00-10:40 Special (Music, Art, Physical Ed)
• Transition: Focus for Math
10:45 Math Stations
• Organization: Line up for Lunch
• Transition: Focus ready for reading 12:10-12:50 Reading/Literacy Stations
• Interstitial: Break song/movement 12:50-1:30 Writing
• Interstitial: Movement/song break 1:30-2:10 Social Studies/Science/Health
• Transition: Movement activity/song 2:10-2:25 Snack/Play time
• Organization: Focus: Line up for Library or Lab 2:25-3:05 Computer Lab or Library
• Transition 3:10 Pickup and pack-up
• Organization: "Clean up song" 3:15 Dismissal
• Ritual: "Goodbye" song
(Substitute any subject such as math, reading, physical education, art, instead of music, and any action instead of "stand on up" or "clap your hands.")
If You're Ready for Music
Janet Elder (n.d.), in her article on "Brain Friendly Music in the Classroom" suggests the following four groups of reasons to incorporate music into the classroom:
1. Music's effect on the physical body and brain;
2. Music's effect on the emotional body;
3. Music's effect on the physical and learning environment;
4. Music's effect on group coherence and intimacy. (Elder, n.d., p. 1)
For example, music's beats per minute (b.p.m.) or tempo, has a direct impact on the human body.
Elder (n.d.) also goes on to suggest specific songs to use for different classroom situations, such as playing classical music during individual or group work or "Get Up Offa That Thing" by James Brown for stretch breaks. There are many, many different types of songs and places to use them when working with children, and the inclusion of music in the daily routine can improve transitions and the overall mood of a classroom (Table 3.1).
Table 3.1. Class Times When Music Is Appropriate
|Class Activity||Musical Qualities To Look For In Song Selection||Song Examples|
|As students enter class||Select loose, upbeat, uplifting music, or music that pertains in some way to the course or topic that day. Songs with humor also start the class on the right foot.||"Star Wars," "Summon the Heroes" and other John Williams' Olympic Music, "Walk Right In" (Rooftop Singers), "Thanks for Coming" and "Hello, Welcome to the Meeting" ("Laughable Lyrics" CD), and "The More We Get Together" (Raffi)|
|To welcome students back after a weekend or holiday break||"Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, It's Off to Work We Go!" "The Flintstones" ("Yabba Dabba Do" TV theme, Aron Apping), "Monday, Monday" (Mamas and Papas), "Reveille" bugle call ("Authentic Sound Effects, Vol. 3")|
|To comment on the weather|
On a rainy day:
"Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" (B. J. Thomas), "Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again" (The Fortunes), "Come Clean" (Hilary Duff) For sunny days:
"It's a Beautiful Morning" (The Rascals), "Good Day Sunshine" (The Tremeloes), or "Walking on Sunshine" (Katrina and The Waves)
|To get students on their feet||Students need a change after 15-20 minutes of sitting. Use any of these when you want to have them stand up to stretch, change where they are sitting, or move for some other reason.||"Get on Your Feet" (Gloria Estefan), "Line Up" (Aerosmith), "Stand Up!" (David Lee Roth), "1-2-3-4" (Ataris), "Up!" (Shania Twain), "Get Up Offa That Thing" (James Brown), "Arkansas Traveler" ("Smokey Mountain Hits" CD)|
|As students are moving into collaborative groups||Look for songs with themes of friends, help, or general encouragement.||"Help" (Beatles), "We Can Work It Out" (Beatles), "You've Got a Friend" (Carol King), "Lean on Me" (Bill Withers), "Reach Out" (The Four Tops), "I'm into Something Good" (Herman's Hermits), "Call Me" (Blondie), "You Can Make It if You Try" (James Brown)|
|Class Activity||Musical Qualities To Look For In Song Selection||Song Examples|
|After a pair-share review (Students make the immediate connection between these songs and having to recall/review material)||Select songs with titles or lyrics that include "remember," "memory," etc.||"Thanks for the Memories" (Bob Hope and Shirley Ross), "Always Something There to Remind Me" (Naked Eyes), "Unforgettable" (Peggy Lee)|
|As low background music when students are working in small groups, in pairs, or individually, or when they are taking a test||The volume should be low enough that you could speak at a conversational level without raising your voice. The music should act as a filter for unwanted noise and help create a relaxed, mentally alert state. If any student objects to background music, you should not use it. However, if the entire class likes background music, try to play the same baroque music during the test that was used during the original presentation of the material: it acts as an auditory memory cue.||"Water Music Suite" (Handel), "Brandenberg Concertos" (Bach), "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" (Mozart), and music by Telemann, Vivaldi, or Corelli in a major key. Soft piano or violin concertos with orchestral accompaniments work well.|
|To use music to create positive stress or add drama||"James Bond Suite" (Henry Rabinowitz and the RCA Orchestra), "Law and Order" (TV theme), "Jeopardy" (TV theme), "Mission Impossible" (TV theme), "Jaws" (movie theme, John Williams), "In the Hall of the Mountain King" (from "Peer Gynt" by Grieg)|
|To energize students or have them physically move||Select highly rhythmic music in a major key or any upbeat music or song. Beats per minute should be 70-140.||"Shake It Up" (The Cars), "Fun, Fun, Fun" (Beach Boys), "Bonanza" (TV theme), "Listen to the Music" (Doobie Brothers), "We Got the Beat" (Go-Gos)|
|To relax or calm students, to use for stretching, or activities such as reflection, journaling, and visualization||Beats per minute should be 40-60.||"The Lake House" (movie theme; Rachel Portman), "Chariots of Fire" (Vangelis), "The Reivers" (movie theme), "Peaceful, Easy Feeling" (Eagles)|
|To celebrate successes or to honor students||"Olympic Fanfare" (John Williams), "In the Zone" (David Banner), "I Just Want to Celebrate" (Rare Earth), "Celebrate" (Three Dog Night), "Celebration" (Kool and the Gang), "We Are the Champions" (Queen)|
|To end class||Select upbeat, fun, or funny music; lyrics may pertain to leaving.||"Never Can Say Goodbye" (Gloria Gaynor), "So Long, Farewell" (from|
|Class Activity||Musical Qualities To Look For In Song Selection||Song Examples|
|"The Sound of Music"), "Who Let the Dogs Out" (Baja Men), "Happy Trails" (Roy Rogers/Dale Evans)|
For other purposes: Beg
Funny, and therefore str
|inning of class, Encouragement, Moti ess-reducing).||vation, and Support (music could be|
Table 3.1. Source: adapted from Elder (n.d.) "Using Brain-Friendly Music in the Classroom."
Using Music in Arts-Integrated Curriculum
An arts integrated lesson plan will be similar to a regular lesson plan, with the exception that it will have a place for both the arts learning objectives as well as the objectives for the content area and will allow students the opportunity to construct understanding through both disciplines.
Consider that you have to create a lesson plan to celebrate the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. It is, of course, nice to add a song somewhere in the lesson, perhaps a song from the Civil Rights Movement. This does not make the lesson integrated, but rather an Arts-Enhanced-Curriculum as discussed above. Integration requires that there be music objectives as well as subject area objectives, and that both subjects are treated equally. Keep in mind that any lesson can be made into an arts-integrated one, by simply delving in deeper to the art form itself to find structural details and meaning from which to draw. To make a lesson integrated, it is necessary to include social science or history goals and objectives as well as musical information, goals and objectives. For example, including information about the song that incorporates the music itself (form, timbre, melody, rhythm, etc.), while discussing the genre of civil rights songs itself.
To demonstrate a deeper understanding of the tenets and issues of Civil Rights, social science connections can be made not only to slavery in the previous century, but to the pro-union struggle in the earlier part of the 20th century. Students could demonstrate their understanding of Martin Luther King's leadership and the famous marches of the 60s through song by recreating the march on Washington, DC while singing a civil rights song ("We Shall Not Be Moved," "This Little Light Of Mine," "We Shall Overcome," etc.). The types of songs used for demonstrations could be analyzed, including their roots in the pro-union movement, gospel and religious music, and/or the use of call and response in the songs, which dates back to slavery and early African-American culture, and particularly how music was used during the protests. A follow-up might focus on blues, jazz and other genres inspired by the music of the Civil Rights movement.
Try this: Which one of these examples represents Arts as Curriculum, Arts-Enhanced Curriculum, and an Arts-Integrated Curriculum?
• Students sing a song they learned in music class for a school assembly
• Students have to explain how sequential groupings work in math and music
• Students learn the song "50 Nifty United States"
Now try this: Students complete a unit on the lifecycle of a caterpillar.
• How might this lesson be changed to reflect an Arts-Enhanced lesson? Arts-integration? Arts as Curriculum?
• Create your own examples of the three types of curriculum.
Music Integration with Core Subjects: Vocabulary, Concepts, and Learning Standards
In order to successfully create arts integrated lessons, begin with the state learning standards in the content area in which you are working, then consider the art form you will be using. Explore vocabulary that may help you to work between the two disciplines. Below are two examples of vocabulary lists from Education Closet, a website dedicated to integration and innovation in teaching.
Try This: Review the vocabulary lists below (Table 3.2; Table 3.3). Identify which terms work best for music instruction. Select three of the terms from either list and give an example of how you might use that term to illustrate music concepts in addition to either a math or literacy concept.
Table 3.2. Arts Literacy: Common Vocabulary
|Grade||Shared Vocabulary Between Literacy and The Arts|
|K||Illustrations, illustrator, listen, setting, space, title, beginning, end.|
|1||Audience, character, collaborate, connections, expression, fluent, phrase, plot, segment, sequence.|
|2||Analyze, compare, contrast, expression, genre, introduction, point of view, rhythm.|
|3||Audience, comparative, dialogue, effect, line, mood, narrator, plot, point of view, scene, stanza, theme.|
|4||Animations, categorize, drama, elements, meter, narration, pose, stage direction, theme, verse.|
|5||Analyze, compare, conclude, contrast, dialect, dialogue, evaluate, expression, fluent, influence, interpret, mood, multimedia, perspective, perspective, reflection, theme, tone, voice.|
|6 Bias, convey, elaborate, interpret, multimedia, perceive, point of view.|
|7||Alternate, analyze, audience, categorize, collaborate, composition, concept, embellish, exposure, format, function, interact, medium, mood, segment, structure, tone, unique.|
|8||Analyze, bias, characterization, elaborate, evaluate, imagery, point of view, style, symbolism, theme.|
|9 & 10||Bias, coherence, clarity, comedy, character motivation, diction, dynamic, monologue, mood, plot structure, purpose, soliloquy, theme, tone, tragedy, digital media, quality.|
|11 & 12||Context, diction, digital media, nuance, perspective, satire, structure, style, subplot, subtle, theme, voice.|
Table 3.2. Source: by Susan Riley (2012) from Education Closet website.
Table 3.3. Math and the Arts: Common Vocabulary
|Grade||Shared Vocabulary between Literacy and the Arts|
|K||Compare, opposite, before, different, similar, object, measure, pattern, curves, slide.|
|1||Similar, object, symbol, group, pattern, compare, half, describe, side, size, parallel, curves, slide, turn.|
|2||Form, sequence, pattern, group, interpret, symbol, slide, reflect, turn, measure, three-dimensional, line of symmetry, intersect.|
|Grade||Shared Vocabulary between Literacy and the Arts|
|3||Expression, form, product, length, symbol, combinations, weight, angle, symmetry, line, dimensions.|
|4||Comparison, expression, produce, symmetry, measure, length, interpret, frequency, distance, lines.|
|5||Patterns, form, expression, variation, inverse, sequence, symbol, product, ratio, part, whole, quarter, half, organize, arrange, scale, line, distance, vertical, diagonal, horizontal, symmetry, transformation.|
|6||Scale, measure, compose, symbol, expression, grid, collection, interval, simulation, symmetry.|
|7||Point, area, proportion, analyze, compose, notation, expression, value, range, scale, drawings.|
|8||Expression, value, notation, frequency, non-linear, rigid, symmetry.|
|9 & 10||Expression, notation, properties, model, measure, acceleration, scale, direction, structure, value, range, vary, inverse, frequency.|
|11 & 12||Linear, range, oblique, measure, symmetry, composition, variation, velocity, arc, chord.|
Table 3.3. Source: by Susan Riley (2012) from Education Closet website.
Generating Ideas for Integrated Lessons
The following grid (Table 3.4; Table 3.5 (blank)) offers a process for generating integration ideas using music, particularly in making connections across the disciplines. The first row of the grid contains an example of how to generate ideas from a musical concept.
Begin by selecting one music concept to work with. In the first column of the grid below, the word "staff is written. The lesson is to teach the musical staff to 2nd grade students.
What are your main objectives for the lesson? What should children be able to do by the end of the lesson that they couldn't do at the beginning? Note: "SWBAT" stands for "Students Will Be Able To."
What activities could you use to teach the staff? Where would you begin? You might begin by teaching the line and space notes for the treble staff (EGBDF and FACE) and teaching the mnemonics that accompany those note names (i.e. E-Every; G-Good; B-Boy; D-Deserves; F-Fudge). Even at this point, writing the lines on the board, on a smart board, PPT, or even making lines on the floor with tape can be a visual accompaniment to the lesson, and help students learn through body movement as well as visual learning.
How might you integrate this concept using different core subject areas? What higher order thinking skills, or vocabulary? Look at the second grade Vocabulary grid above from Education Closet concerning math and the arts and Music and Literacy and select the most appropriate terms to apply to the lesson:
• (Math and the Arts) Form, Sequence, Pattern, Group
• (Arts Literacy) Analyze, Compare, Contrast
Common Core Learning Standards or State Performance Standards
Now refer to the state website to look for the appropriate common core standards or state performance standards.
Table 3.4. Idea Generator: Concept, Objectives, Activities, Integration, and Standards
|Objectives||Activities||Integration (connections, constructivism, creative process, understanding)|
Common Core Standard/State Performance Standards
Ex. Concept: Reading the Music Staff
SWBAT identify pitches on lines of the treble staff
SWBAT analyze the correlation of skipping and sequential regarding the pitches on the treble staff.
SWBAT understand correlations across
disciplines of math, literacy and music between sequential movement and skipping movement
Review (or teach) the pitches of the treble staff, first using sequential alphabet letters, then using the acronyms EGBDF and FACE.
Create huge lines of treble staff on the floor using masking tape. Mark each line or space with large letters for each note.
Movement: Have students
physically move across the floor staff, first sequentially and then skipping line to line and space to space, reciting the letters as they go.
Literacy: Analyze the letters EGBDF as a mnemonic for "Every Good Boy Deserve Fudge." Brainstorm, having students create their own acronyms for EGBDF and FACE.
Compare and contrast the pitch names on the staff with the letters of the alphabet. Which direction do they go? What are the differences between letters of the alphabet and music pitch names?
Math: Discuss the form of the staff. Is there a pattern? What is it? Does it alternate (skip)? Is it sequential (all in a row)?
Math, Music and Literacy: (EGBDF). Have students count sequentially. Sequence the letter names by saying them in a row (EFGABC). Then create a pattern by skipping every other letter of the alphabet (B-D-F or A-C-E). Then correlate with math by switching to numbers. Practice grouping by 2s.
|1. Concept: Rhythm: Eighth and|
|Objectives||Activities||Integration (connections, constructivism, creative process, understanding)|
Common Core Standard/State Performance Standards
2. Melody: Pitch
3. Timbre: Voice
Table 3.5. Idea Generator (Blank): Concepts, Activities, Materials, and Integration
|Music Concept Grade||Objectives||Activities||Integration (connections, constructivism, creative process, understanding)||Learner/ Common Core Standard/State Performance Standards|
An Example: Integrating Music in Language Arts and Social Studies "Goober Peas"
Many older songs offer excellent material for integration. For example, the song "Goober Peas" provides students a very inside look at the life of a Confederate soldier during the Civil War. In this case, both the music and lyrics are highly informative, as is the situation in which the song was sung, lending itself to integration through three areas: music, language arts, and social sciences.
Timeline: Civil War history timeline including various battles, Sherman's March, etc. Song: "Goober Peas"
Text: The Personal Story of Life as a Confederate Soldier, "The Letters of Eli Landers" http://www.gacivilwar.org/story/the-personal-story-of-life-as-a-confederate-soldier
Goober Peas Southern U.S. folk song, 1866 Sung by Confederate soldiers during the Civil War
2. When a horse-man passes, the soldiers have a rule To cry out their loudest, "Mister here's your mule!" But another custom, enchanting-er than these, Is wearing out your grinders, eating goober peas. (refrain)
3. Just before the battle, the General hears a row
He says, "The Yanks are coming, I hear their rifles now" He turns around in wonder and what d'ya think he sees? The Georgia militia, eating goober peas. (refrain)
4. I think my song has lasted almost long enough The subject's interesting but the rhymes are mighty tough
I wish the war was over so free from rags and fleas We'd kiss our wives and sweethearts and gooble goober peas. (refrain)
Integration Process Questions
How might you integrate this song beyond that of "Arts as Enhancement"? What learning principles will you use? How will students be engaged? Demonstrate their understanding? What will be the processes of creation? What connections to other parts of the curriculum can be made? Are the standards present for both the art and the subject area? Go through Silverstein & Layne's (2012) Arts Integration Checklist below to see how to incorporate an integrated level of understanding to the lesson:
Approach to Teaching
• Does the lesson contain learning principles of Constructivism (actively built, experiential, evolving, collaborative, problem-solving, and reflective)?
• Are students engaged in constructing and demonstrating understanding knowledge rather than memorizing and reciting?
• Are the students constructing and demonstrating their understandings through an art form? Creative Process
• Are students engaged in a process of creating something original as opposed to copying or parroting?
• Will the students revise their products? Connects
• Does the art form connect to another part of the curriculum or a concern/need?
• Is the connection mutually reinforcing?
• Are there objectives in both the art form and another part of the curriculum or a concern/need?
• Have the objectives evolved since the last time the students engaged with this subject matter? Have the objectives evolved since the last time the students engaged with this subject matter? Have the objectives evolved since the last time the students engaged with this subject matter? (Silverstein & Layne, 2014).
Analysis: Vocabulary and Concepts
You'll find an abundance of material to integrate and connect after analyzing both the music, lyrical/poetic aspects, and social contexts. The musical forms, phrases, harmonies and the poetic structure reveal a great deal of material apart from the content of the lyrics (Table 3.6).
Table 3.6. Music Vocabulary and Concepts
• Dotted rhythm
• Verse + refrain
• 4 phrases per verse
4 verses in the song
• Long-short long-short (trochee stressed-unstressed)
• Ballad style
• Rhyme scheme (AABB) Narrative story telling/ballad
Setting: Civil War, soldiers resting on the roadside while waiting for orders for the next
Date Written: 1866.
Singers: Popular in the South among Confederate Soldiers (losing the war).
Sentiment: Expresses the living conditions of Confederate soldiers and the public, as the war was
lost. Sherman's troops laid waste to much of Georgia, cutting off food supplies.
Song Vocabulary: Students may not be familiar with these terms:
Goober Peas-another name for boiled peanuts. Eaten by Confederate soldiers during the war when rail lines were cut off, making food and rations scarce.
Messmate-a person/friend in a military camp with which one regularly takes meals.
Row -an argument or fight (rhymes with "cow").
Georgia Militia-a militia organized under the British that fought the Union during the Civil War.
They fought in Sherman's devastating "March to the Sea" and in the last battle of the Civil War at
the Battle of Columbus on the Georgia-Alabama border.
Yanks-Refers to "Yankees" or Union soldiers of the North.
Rags and fleas -Tattered clothing and poor health conditions.
Sing the song "Goober Peas;" Read some of the letters of Eli Landers. Questions to think about (Historical perspectives of soldiers)
• What conditions did the soldiers have to endure?
• What was happening towards the end of the Civil War?
• How do you think they felt during this time? (i.e., anxiousness, anticipation, weariness while waiting by the road).
• Overall, what do the lyrics express on behalf of the Confederate soldiers?
• What does the reference to the Georgia Militia mean in terms of the fighting? Ideas for Integration:
• Constructivism: Analyze the music, text, and history (timeline). Reflect what it would be like to be a soldier in the Confederacy during the beginning, middle, and end of the Civil War. Problem Solve as to how to obtain food after the railroad lines were cut off, strategize as to earlier successes during the war.
• Student Engagement: (historical perspectives). Experience: learn and sing the song. Divide into groups and read Eli Landers letters from different years comparing changes in attitude for a confederate soldier over time from the beginning of the war to the end of the war.
• Art Form: Analyze by comparing Eli Landers' letters to the lyrics of the song. What are the differences in historical facts? Sentiment? In terms of the song itself, explore the meaning of the music itself apart from the lyrics-sing the melody of the song on a neutral syllable. What does the melody remind you of? What kind of emotion do you hear in the melody, rhythm and phrasing? Does it seem to complement the lyrics or oppose them? Why might this be the case?
• Creative Process: Work collaboratively to create further verses of the song or write "letters home" that will express the feelings of soldiers facing defeat. Read the letters from home along with singing the new verses of the song.
• Objectives (see below):
What Learning Standards or Objectives can you incorporate for this lesson for each of the following?
1. Language Arts/Social Studies
a. Language Arts 3: Use knowledge of language and its conventions when speaking, reading, or listening.
b. Writing 3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
c. Reading 2: Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.
2. Music National Standards
a. 1: Singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
b. 6: Listening to, analyzing, and describing music.
c. 8: Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts.
Additional Songs for Integrating History/Social Studies
Other examples include songs that are informative and contain a long narrative or historical information for students. For example, the song "Christofo Columbo" chronicles much of the famed voyage including detailed geographic references in a fun and light song.
Christofo Columbo (Christopher Columbus) Ring Lardner, 1911
To the Kings and Queens of Europe, Columbus told his theory, They simply thought him crazy, and asked him this here query, How could the earth stand up if round, it surely would suspend, For answer, C'lumbus took an egg and stood it on its end.
In Fourteen Hundred and Ninety-two, 'twas then Columbus started, From Pales on the coast of Spain to the westward he departed,
His object was to find a route, a short one to East India, Columbus wore no whiskers, and the wind it blew quite windy.
When Sixty days away from land, upon the broad Atlantic, The sailors they went on a strike which nearly caused a panic,
They all demanded eggs to eat for each man in the crew, Columbus had no eggs aboard, but he made the ship lay too.
The hungry crew impatient grew, and beef-steak they demanded, Equal to the emergency, Columbus then commanded
That ev'ry sailor who proves true, and his duty never shirks, Can have a juicy porterhouse, "I'll get it from the bulwarks."
Not satisfied with steak and eggs, the crew they yelled for chicken, Columbus seemed at a loss for once, and the plot it seemed to thicken, The men threatened to jump overboard, Columbus blocked their pathway, And cried: "If chicken you must have, I'll get it from the hatchway."
The sailors now so long from home with fear became imbued,
On the twelfth day of October their fears were all subdued, For after Ninety days at sea, they discovered America's shores, And quickly made a landing on the Isle of Salvador.
When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again Patrick Gilmore, 1863 American Civil War song
Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier Traditional English folk song popular during the Revolutionary War
Music and Language Arts
Of all of the content area relationships with music, language arts and music have one of the closest bonds. This bond is rooted within the inseparable relationship between lyrics and music that has existed for thousands of years. People in across countless cultures have chanted or sung poetry for all types of human rituals, ceremonies and for entertainment. When we listen to a song, a musical phrase usually accompanies a phrase of lyrics; a verse or refrain emerges from a short poem. For centuries, ballads, and epics were all sung, as were Biblical chants and Vedic hymns. Long stories and epic tales used music to draw in the audience and to help the reciter's memorization.
In addition, there is an intrinsic relationship in the discrimination of phonemic sounds and musical sounds for children learning to read. Language and music are intertwined to the point where there is evidence of a connection in the brain between phonemic sound discrimination and musical sound discrimination. In a 1993 study, for example, Lamb and Gregory examined the correlation between phonemic and musical sound discrimination for children reading in their first year of school and discovered that a child's ability to discriminate musical sounds is directly related to reading performance, primarily due to their awareness of changes in pitch.
This close relationship allows for multiple avenues for integration. The use of music to build characters through sound expression; create tension in the narrative; highlight important moments in the plot, and so forth, are examples of the high compatibility between words and music.
Creating a "Sound Carpet"
Since music and language have such a close relationship, one of the easiest ways to begin is to combine the two. Creating a sound carpet (it refers to extensive and liberal use of music, sound effects, and character leitmotifs in the performance of a narrative or story) entails taking a story and adding sound effects, leitmotifs, instruments, vocal sounds, body percussion, and actors and/or a narrator, in order to bring literature to life. The goal of a leitmotif (it is a recurrent theme throughout a musical or literary composition, associated with a particular person, idea, or situation) is to help the listener identify the main characters and give each a very short musical pattern, so that every time their name is mentioned, someone plays that pattern. Also, sound effects can be added to enhance the action or bring a fuller meaning or experience. For example, if the story introduces a chiming bell, hit a bell or, for more advanced or older students, play a
bell peal on the glockenspiel. Folk tales and fairy tales from around the world are excellent sources for this type of activity.
Characters and Leitmotifs
To create a sound carpet, begin by making a list of the main characters in the story. For example, the story The Princess and the Frog has three main characters-the King, Princess and Frog. Sample leitmotifs might look like this:
King: (temple blocks and bass xylophone) q ioq q
Princess: (glissando on glockenspiels)
Frog: scrape guiro; hit hand drums q q q (say "ribbit!")
Help students create a short phrase or leitmotif for each of the main characters-think of Star Wars' Darth Vader theme as an example. Every time the name is introduced in the story, their leitmotif should be played. To help the creative process, you might give students a short, simple rhythm to work with to create the motif. Then play the leitmotif on an instrument that helps describe that character. The King's leitmotif, for example, might be 4 quarter notes played on a trumpet sound on a keyboard, or using an interval of a 5th on any instrument to sound regal and stately.
Next identify locations in the story where sound effects can be used. A running stream could be a glissando on a xylophone; thunder can be played with drums; footsteps with a woodblock, etc.
Body Percussion and Vocals
Then add body percussion (clapping, stomping) or vocal sounds (moans for wind, yells and whoops) to increase the creativity and excitement level in the story.
Introduction and Finale
Add a short song with lyrics that are based on the story, to be sung and played by everyone at the opening and closing of the story.
Finally, assign a narrator, speaking or acting parts, and along with your instruments and sound effects, you have a complete performance that incorporates music composition and creativity along with language arts and theater.
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Everywhere man: Integrating music and literacy through song writing [Video file]. (2012). Retrieved from https://youtu.be/2ikQJN_PIeU
Integrating music and movement with literacy [Video file]. (2012). Retrieved from https://youtu.be/YoOb3JSDAUo
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SCHOLARLY JOURNAL ARTICLES
Burns, A. (2006). Integrating technology into your elementary music classroom. General Music Today, 20(1), 1-6.
Howell, A. C. (2009). Curricular pillars in the elementary general music classroom. Music Educators Journal, 95(3), 37-41.
Kerstetter, K. (2009). Educational applications of podcasting in the music classroom. Music Educators
Journal, 95(4), 23-26.
Moore, P. (2009). Beyond folk: Using contemporary music in the elementary classroom. Teaching Music, 16(5), 57.
Music every day: Transforming the elementary classroom. (2002). Music Educators Journal, 89(2), 69. Prescott, J. O. (2005). Music in the classroom. Instructor, 114(5), 29,30,32,34,67,76.