The second installment of my series ‘teaching practice tips’ deals with the teaching of music, or rather my teaching of music. I am writing this with first and second class in mind but it could be differentiated up or down.
As with all subjects, structure is essential in your lesson. There must be a clear introduction, development and conclusion in your lesson. The strands in music are
- Listening and responding
Inspectors in my experience like to see and hear of the musical concepts in the music curriculum in your lesson. These include developing a sense of: • pulse • duration • tempo • pitch • dynamics • structure • timbre • texture • style etc.
I will choose the strand of performing and the strand unit of song singing for this example.
I always use the good old reliable ‘Booma Chicka Boom’ as a vocal warm up. There’s loads more vocal warms ups on you-tube. I tell the children that we will be learning a song and I ask them to remind me of musical words they have learned, e.g. pitch, pulse.
High , Low and Middle:
This game is called high, low and middle. It’s very simple – all you have to do is play a pitched instrument (you don’t have to play the instrument to do this – just play random notes, as long as you are always playing a few notes at a time and the children move around.
Then play either a high note (they stretch up), a low note (they curl up like balls) and middle note (make a cross with arms).
This website seems good, I have just signed up:http://dabbledoomusic.com/courses/irish-music-for-kids/lectures/853193#/questions/1
I play the song once for the children to hear. We discuss what the song is about. Remember to play a version or sing if you can, (I can’t) a song which is sung in a high pitch to suit the children. Read the lyrics of the song with the children. Ask the children to clap the beat of the song. Discuss the beat in the song. I would work on two musical concepts at a time in a music lesson.
Remember you will not teach a whole song in one lesson. Start with one verse and the chorus. Always give the children a clear starting point using either your voice or an instrument.
Ask the children to sing the first verse. If they are doing really well then you could introduce rounds but this may be a bit much for one lesson!
Remember the children must always be standing when singing!
Wrap up the lesson with a vocal cool down.