Third Grade - Music - Lesson 17 - "In the Good Old Summertime"

Sing a 2-part canon, "The Alphabet Canon," to review part singing.
Sing a 3-part round, "The Donkey," to review part singing.
Sing "In the Good Old Summertime."

Music for "The Alphabet Canon" (Music Lesson 11)
Music for "The Donkey" (Music Lesson 14)
Words and music for "In the Good Old Summertime" (copies for each student, master attached)

Background for the Teacher
"In the Good Old Summertime" was written by Ren Shields (words) and George Evans (music) in 1902. The song was introduced by a vaudeville singer named Blanche Ring in a show called The Defender. Some years later, "In the Good Old Summertime" was featured in a movie named for the song starring Judy Garland and Van Johnson. It was apparently inspired originally when Shields, Evans, and Ring spent a summer afternoon's outing at Brighton Beach, in Brooklyn, New York.

Since this is the last class of the year planned for learning songs, tell the students they will have a chance to sing a 2-part canon or round that they learned earlier in the year; then a 3-part round that they also know. Ask them what a canon or round means in music. (Everyone sings the same music but at different times.) Ask them what kind of special music is produced when people sing the music in different parts, at different times (harmony).
If you think they know the "Alphabet Canon" by heart, simply have them sing it through once or twice in unison, then divide them into two groups to sing it as a canon. You could also make copies or a transparency of the song from Music Lesson 11 so that they can see it as they sing it. Next, have them do the same thing with "The Donkey," reminding them to wiggle their "donkey's ears" at the appropriate time. If you use the music for these songs, you could also review note values, meter signs, measure bars, and other musical signs they have learned throughout this year.
Finally, tell them they are going to learn an easy song to sing in unison that will help them look forward to the next season. Pass out copies of "In the Good Old Summertime," and ask them what the meter or time signature says (3/4). Ask them what that means (3 beats to the measure, quarter note gets 1 beat). Tell them to clap out 3/4 time with you at a pretty brisk pace and let their bodies sway to emphasize each first beat. Let them feel that this is a song with a swing to it that they can feel. Have the students read the words together, marking the rhythmic swing as they say it. Then teach the song, line by line with the words, dividing it into four phrases. Try singing the whole song, keeping it swinging as much as possible.

Third Grade - Music - Lesson 18 - Rimsky-Korsakov, Scheherezade

Note to the Teacher
The students should have completed at least one of the two stories they study this month from The Arabian Nights before attempting this music lesson. The story of the origin for these tales is in the Literature section; you may want to review it for the students in order to "set the stage" for the story of Sinbad that inspires the music they will hear.

Listen to "The Sea and Sinbad's Ship" from Nicholas Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherezade.
Recall the overall theme of The Arabian Nights (from Literature lessons).
Hear the story of Sinbad the Sailor, in outline or excerpts.
Listen for two themes played by the orchestra, one the demanding voice of the Sultan; the other, the voice of the storyteller, Scheherezade.
Complete at least one sea sketch while listening to the music.

Classroom-size map of the world or of Europe and Asia
Recording of Scheherazade, Part I, "The Sea and Sinbad's Ship," see Suggested Recording (takes about 10 minutes to play Part I)
The story of Sinbad the Sailor, see Suggested Books
Drawing paper and crayons for each student

Suggested Books
Any version of Arabian Nights that includes the story of Sinbad the sailor; for example
The Arabian Nights, illustrated by Earle Goodenow. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1976.
The illustrations, both color and black and white, are especially good and the telling of the Sinbad tale should be very exciting for third graders.

Suggested Recording
Rimsky-Korsakov, Scheherazade and Tsar Saltan, Naxos CD 8. 550726.

Background For Teacher
Russian composer Nicholas Rimsky-Korsakov was born in 1844 to an aristocratic family. Although he had music lessons from the time he was six, his overwhelming ambition was to be a sailor. (His entire family was filled with admirals and other naval officers, including a brother 22 years his senior.) At age 12, Nicholas entered the Corps of Naval Cadets in St. Petersburg. There he continued piano lessons and attended his first operas and symphony concerts. Between 1862 and 1865, Nicholas was aboard a clipper ship in foreign waters. When he returned, he began serious music composition, spending a lot of his time with several other Russian nationalist composers. Eventually, Rimsky-Korsakov became teacher of Composition and Orchestration at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. In the course of his teaching, he was able to learn the music theory--harmony, counterpoint, and composition--that he had never studied. He went on to write symphonies, chamber music, and several operas. He died near St. Petersburg in 1908.
Scheherezade was written as a Suite for Orchestra in 1888. It is based on six episodes from The Arabian Nights: The Sea and Sinbad's Ship, the narrative of the Prince Kalendar, the Young Prince and the Young Princess, and the Baghdad festival. The students will listen to just the first episode, about Sinbad.

If you have a version of the story of Sinbad the Sailor, read it aloud to the students before they hear Rimsky-Korsakov's music. Otherwise, if you don't have access to the tale itself, tell them some of the following information about the tale.
Students need to know that Sinbad is a sailor in one of the long tales from The Arabian Nights. He is a merchant of Baghdad who has inherited some money. As a young man, Sinbad goes on seven voyages, always involving a shipwreck that brings him to strange islands and other exotic places. He has amazing adventures involving huge birds, jewels, and dangerous men. In an adventure from one of these voyages, there is a fabulous and enormous white bird called a roc, so large and strong it can "truss elephants in its talons," carry them off to a nest high on a mountain and then devour them. Sinbad, with the use of good reasoning power, figures a way to use the roc as an agent of rescue for himself. Sinbad's clever thinking leads to his rescue in each of the seven voyages, and years later he ends up at home, even wealthier than when he started out.
Tell the students that the piece of music they are going to hear today is called Scheherezade. Ask them: Who is Scheherezade? (storyteller in the court of Sultan Schahriar who saves her life by feeding the Sultan's curiosity with one adventure story after another) Tell them that the music was written by a Russian composer named Rimsky-Korsakov towards the end of the previous century (1888). Have someone find Russia on a map and tell them a little bit about the composer's life, especially that he came from a family of navy officers. Tell them the names of the other sections of Scheherezade and that they will hear just the section called "The Sea and Sinbad's Ship." Ask them: Why do you think Rimsky-Korsakov chose that story as the first one in his group of pieces about Scheherezade? (was himself a sailor, spent three years on a long sea voyage, went to a naval academy, was trained to be a sailor)
Since the three themes all appear within the first few minutes of the piece, plan to play the first 2 minutes and then stop the recording. Tell them they should listen very carefully to the opening of the piece so they can tell you what it sounded like to them. After they have listened for the brief time, ask the students: What did the very beginning sound like? (Accept all answers; the theme is scary, demanding, ominous, etc. and played by deep strings and horns.) Write on the board and read for them
1. Voice of Sultan Schahriar
Ask them what they heard next (sweet-voice solo violin spinning a melody with a harp; its main sound is sweet and enchanting). Write on the board and read to them
2. Voice of the woman storyteller, Scheherezade
Remind them that this piece is about a sailor, and ask what they heard next (sounds like the rolling of the sea, building in swells over and over again, by the whole orchestra). Write and read to them
3. Voice of the rolling sea
Tell the students that you will now play the whole piece about Sinbad's ship and the sea while they draw whatever the music suggests to them. Say to them: If you finish one drawing before the piece is finished and want to do another, raise your hand for another piece of paper.
As you pass out the paper and crayons, have them stand, think about the rolling motion of the sea, and make large circling motions with their arms in preparation for their drawings. Remind them to let the shapes and lines get bigger as the sound increases so that the music can really move through their ears and into their whole bodies. Tell them to listen to the way the music melodies 1, 2, and 3 weave in and out together like the several strands of the story itself.
Play the whole of Part I, which takes about 10 minutes, as they listen and make their
drawings. Have extra paper ready for anyone who runs out and wants to continue on another piece. When they have finished listening and drawing, hang their pictures under a heading that identifies them as "The Sea and Sinbad's Ship" from Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherezade.


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