BCP DRAFT MUS 29

Second Grade - Music - Lesson 11 - Songs

Objective

Learn to sing four American songs.

Materials

Song texts, given below

Music to two of the songs, given below

Procedure

Teach the children these four songs during the course of February, utilizing information and suggestions as you see fit.

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

You may want to tell the children that the origins of this folk song, are hard to trace, because it was part of an oral tradition for so long, passed along through families and friends in black families from the time of slavery in this country. We generally refer to these religious songs as Negro spirituals. "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" has a particularly sweet and gentle, rocking rhythm which makes it seem very sad, since the words tell us that death is the only real escape from life-long slavery. We hear the great contrast between what we know to be the realities of everyday life with the singers' belief in heaven and an afterlife.

Chorus

Swing low, sweet chariot,

Comin' for to carry me home,

Swing low, sweet chariot,

Comin' for to carry me home.

1

I look'd over Jordan an' what did I see,

Comin' for to carry me home,

A band of angels comin' after me,

Comin' for to carry me home.

Chorus

2.

If you get there before I do,

comin' for to carry me home,

Tell all my friends I'm comin' there too,

Comin' for to carry me home.

Chorus











BCP DRAFT MUS 30

Second Grade - Music - Lesson 11 - Songs

We Shall Overcome

This folk song also began as a spiritual, but its straightforward, almost march-like rhythm makes it sound more like a hymn than "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," and of course its text is much more determined and earth-bound. Pete Seeger and others made some revisions to the song, and it became a kind of theme song for the integration movement in the South during the 1960s. This is the version most of us know.

We shall overcome,

We shall overcome,

We shall overcome some day.

Oh deep in my heart,

I do believe

We shall overcome some day.

2. Let's all live in peace, etc.

3. Lord! You'll see us through, etc.

4. No more doubt and fear, etc.

5. We shall overcome, etc.





Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child

This, yet another spiritual, is slow and sad like "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" but without the vision of a glorious afterlife. With its slow, repetitive, rocking rhythm and melody, it sounds like a song that a very weary person would sing to help a child go to sleep.

You may want to point out to the children that this song is in a minor key, like

"Wayfaring Stranger" from last month. Tell them that this is one of the reasons the melody sounds so sad. Again, you may want to sing or play a few scales and/or tunes in parallel major and then minor keys, just so they can begin to hear the difference.

The music is written out on a separate page.

Sometimes I feel like a motherless child,

Sometimes I feel like a motherless child,

Sometimes I feel like a motherless child,

A mighty long way from home.

Yes, a long, long way from home!

True believer, I'm a long, long way from home,

Yes, a long, long way from home!

Sometimes I feel that the night is long (3 times)

Sometimes I feel that the night won't end (3 times)

Shenandoah

This is a traditional river shanty, or work song, from workers on the Missouri River.

There are many, many versions and additional verses possible. The verses given below are probably the most commonly known. The most widely accepted explanation of the text is that it tells a folk tale about a white settler, a trader, who falls in love with and courts a Native American girl who is daughter of Chief Shenandoah. Some of the alternate verses deal explicitly with his taking her across the Missouri river in a canoe.

The music is written out on a separate page.

BCP DRAFT MUS 31

Second Grade - Music - Lesson 11 - Songs

Oh, Shenandoah, I long to hear you,

Away, you rolling river!

Oh, Shenandoah, I long to hear you,

Away, I'm bound away,

'Cross the wide Missouri.

Oh, Shenandoah, I love your daughter,

Away, you rolling river!

Oh, Shenandoah, I love your daughter,

Away, I'm bound away,

'Cross the wide Missouri.

'Tis seven long years since last I saw you,

Away, you rolling river!

'Tis seven long years since last I saw you

Away, I'm bound away,

'Cross the wide Missouri.

Oh Shenandoah, I love your daughter,

Away, you rolling river!

Oh Shenandoah, I'll come to claim her,

Away, I'm bound away,

'Cross the wide Missouri.

In all these years, whene'er I saw her,

We have kept our love a secret,

Oh! Shenandoah, I do adore her,

Away, I'm bound away,

'Cross the wide Missouri.

Oh Shenandoah, she's bound to leave you,

Away, you rolling river,

Oh Shenandoah, I'll not deceive you,

Away, I'm bound away,

'Cross the wide Missouri.

BCP DRAFT MUS 32

Second Grade - Music - Lesson 12 - Percussion (cont. From Lesson 10)

Objectives

Review information about percussion instruments.

Listen to some traditional West African drumming.

Participate in a drumming activity.

Materials

Pictures of percussion instruments

Recording of Drums of Passion by Babatunde Olatunji, another of his recordings, or any recording of West African "talking drums"

Recording of gamelan music (optional)

Pictures of gamelan orchestra players and instruments (see Suggested Books, below)

A few sets of bongo drums, homemade drums, or simply a few pairs of sticks for tapping on floor or desk

Classroom size world map

Suggested Recording

Babatunde Olatunji's Olatunji! Drums of Passion (Columbia CK 8210).

This is a very exciting recording of traditional Nigerian drumming, each piece revised and adapted by Olatunji. His more recent recordings are also available on CD, but this recording is especially good and also inexpensive (approximately $10.)

Suggested Books

Sharma, Elizabeth. Percussion. New York: Thomson Learning, 1993.

This is part of a whole series, collectively called Live Music! and written by the same author. They cover all four families of instruments, plus the voice, so there are five in all. These are not at all confined to Western music. They have good photographs, are truly multicultural, and include some beginning theory and notation practices that are well presented for young children.

In addition, the following books have good pictures of percussion instruments and at least one picture of gamelan players. (Some of these titles have been listed before.)

Ardley, Neil. Music. Eyewitness Books. New York: Knopf, 1989.

Barber, Nicola and Mary Mure. The World of Music. Parsippany, NJ: Silver Burdett Press, 1995.

Not very good for brass instruments, but excellent for showing and describing a whole range of percussion instruments, including several different families of drums.

Danes, Emma. The Usborne First Book of Music. London: Usborne, 1993.

Doney, Meryl. Musical Instruments: New York, Franklin Watts, 1995.

Procedure

Begin the lesson by reviewing the percussion family of instruments with the children. You might show them pictures and ask them to identify the various percussion instruments as you write them on the chalkboard; or, you could create a chart that would hang in the classroom with names and pictures of the instruments.

BCP DRAFT MUS 33

Second Grade - Music - Lesson 12 - Percussion (cont. From Lesson 10)

Next, remind the children about the piece of classical music they heard by the Mexican composer Carlos Chavez, which he wrote entirely for percussion instruments. Talk a little about the various percussion instruments included in that piece (listed in Lesson 10), and if you have pictures of any of them, show them to the children as they name the instruments.

Tell the children that in some countries, the traditional instrumental music is written for nothing but percussion instruments. (Have the children name the other three families of instruments--strings, woodwinds, and brass.) Ask: What special characteristic do all percussion instruments have? (They make their sound by being struck. They could be struck with sticks,

with hands, or by hitting one part of an instrument against another.)

Say: One of the places whose traditional music is played only by percussion instruments is on the continent of Asia--actually in Southeast Asia. Have someone point out Southeast Asia on the world map. Make sure that everyone understands why that is south and east in terms of the entire continent of Asia. Then tell the children that the places you are looking for are two little islands whose names are four letters each. (Write _ _ _ _ on the board for each one.) Say: If you go just about as far south and as far east as you can before running into the continent of Australia, you may find them. (When someone finds them, write the names Java and Bali on the board.) Say: In Bali and Java all of the traditional music is played by a gamelan orchestra (Write on board and say it a few times.)

If you have the Sharma book suggested above, show the children the picture on p. 23. (If you don't have access to that book, show the children a picture of a typical gamelan (GAM uh lon) orchestra in one of the other suggested books. The Sharma book has the clearest picture of the characteristic way the instruments are played and what the various instruments look like.) Otherwise, describe the instruments to the children: all different sizes of instruments that look like wooden xylophones (sometimes metallophones) that are struck with things that look like hammers, many different sizes of gongs struck with mallets with soft heads, many different sizes of drums played on either end with the hands.

If the children have seen a picture, Ask: Does this look like the kind of symphony orchestra we've talked about before, with four families of instruments? Why or why not? When the children have made some observations, say: Unlike a classical Western symphony orchestra, everyone sits on the ground in a gamelan orchestra. It is traditionally played outside because of the climate of Java and Bali. (You may want to ask why it is warm all year in these two places and have someone discover how close to the equator they are.)

Say: The way they play together seems very mysterious to us, because they don't use written music nor do they have a conductor. If you have a recording of gamelan music, play some of it for the children, and ask for their responses.

Next, tell the children the other place whose music they will hear today is on the continent of Africa. Have someone find Africa on the world map. Then say: It is in West Africa, and have someone point out West Africa. Say: In West Africa, there is a wonderful tradition of something called "talking drums." Why do you think they are called "talking drums"? (Several answers are possible--the most obvious, that the drums imitate the rhythms and sounds of a human voice talking or calling in their language; another, that the drums kind of carry the voices of spirits that we can call or hear when the drums play. Let the children do some imagining about the reason for this term.)

BCP DRAFT MUS 34

Second Grade - Music - Lesson 12 - Percussion (cont. From Lesson 10)

Say: Several West African countries have traditional music of "talking drums," but the music we are going to hear today comes from a West African country called Nigeria. Show the

children Nigeria on the map and put the name on the board. If you have picture of "talking drums," show them to the children. They should notice the strings on the sides that are for changing the pitches (to make a higher or lower sound) of the notes being played.

Tell the children that the music they will hear is arranged by a Nigerian man named Babatunde Olatunji who remembers the songs from his childhood and plays them with a few other drummers, and sometimes some singers. The best choices from the CD mentioned above would be Oya (Primitive Fire), Jin--Go-Lo-Ba (Drums of Passion), or Shango (Chant to the God

of Thunder). Ask the children for responses after they have heard one or two of the pieces, and--if they also heard some gamelan music--ask them to describe the differences and similarities they hear between the two kinds of music. (Make a chart if they seem enthusiastic about the comparison.)

Activity

Say: In Africa, sometimes talking drums are used to send messages to people, to play complicated rhythms for dancing, and also just for enjoyment. Tell them that some of the African

languages have words and phrases with wonderfully rich rhythms in them, so the drums can imitate those rhythms. Say: Our English language may not have so many rich patterns, but we can still experiment with our words and names. For example, "barbecued potato chips," say: BAR-be-cued po-TA-to chips. Say it several times together, very rhymically, with clear accents on the syllables that are capitalized.

Have the children tap out the rhythm with whatever percussion implements they have at hand. When they have the idea, have them all sit in a circle and each child stand and recite their full name (the more, the better--if they have middle names or extra, nick names, include those as well) followed by tapping out the rhythm. Have the rest of the group repeat the name as a response, then tap out the rhythm.