Third Grade - Music - Lesson 5 - More About Notation

Sing C major scale in 3/4 rhythm.
Identify sign for treble clef and meter signature.
Identify quarter notes.
Recall the instruments in the woodwind family.
Listen to a piece featuring flute as solo instrument.
Recall piccolos in Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever."
Identify flute and piccolo as woodwind instruments held horizontally.

Classroom-size world map
C major scale as notated below to make copies for students
Picture of flute and piccolo from Suggested Books, Lesson 4
Recording of Debussy, Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun
Recording of John Philip Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever' from Lesson 4

Suggested Recording
Debussy's Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, Naxos CD 8.550262
Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever," Sony cassette MLT 66710, Greatest Hits: Marches.

Have the class sing the C major scale in unison, using do, re, mi syllables. Next, have volunteers come to the board and notate the scale after you have drawn the staff. (It should look exactly like the scale notated in Lesson 3.)
Next, copy onto the board the version of the C major scale. Label the first version #1; the second, #2.

Ask the students: Are these two exactly the same? (no) Ask for volunteers to come and draw a circle around anything in #2 that is different from #1 anything at all. They should circle:
the treble clef sign
the meter signature of 3/4
the vertical lines between measures
notes are black with stems except for last note, which is white with stem
the quarter rest in the last measure
2 notes are repeated in #2
As they circle each item, identify what it is for the class, and have them repeat it after you.
Go over them again, and tell them:
The first sign, with a tail that curls around the second line of the staff, is a treble clef.
The 3/4 is a meter signature. This meter signature tells us there 3 beats in each measure, and a quarter note gets one beat.
The vertical lines divide the notes into measures. They show us where each measure begins and ends.
The black notes are quarter notes. There are 3 in each measure; we have repeated 2 notes to give us a melody.
The hollow note is a half note. A half note ' 2 quarter notes.
The funny sign in the last measure is a quarter rest. It makes the 3rd beat in the last measure. Have the students count 1, 2, 3, with you from beginning to end, so they see how the rhythm goes.

Next, ask the students how many notes there are in the scale in #1? (8)
How many in #2? (10)
How come? (2 notes are repeated)
Who can draw a circle around the 2 repeated notes? (so & la are repeated in the 3rd measure)
Congratulate the class on being such good detectives, and sing the little melody with syllables for the students as you point to the notes. Have them repeat the melody with you, using the syllables and singing it in the 1, 2, 3 rhythm indicated by the meter signature at the beginning.

Tell the class that, as a treat, you are going to play a little bit of a famous piece for them in which a member of the woodwind family has a wonderful solo Ask: What are the instruments in the woodwind family that we have identified? (flute, oboe, clarinet, and bassoon) Say: This piece was written by a French composer (find France on the map) named Debussy, who was born at the time of the beginning of our Civil War and died at the end of the First World War. Tell them: It is a very dreamy piece of music, and you'll hear the melody played by a member of the woodwind family that is held horizontally instead of vertically. Listen to the piece, and see whether you can tell me the name of the solo instrument that you hear singing the melody above the rest of the orchestra at the beginning.
Play the opening 3 minutes (?) Of Debussy's Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune for them. Play it until they have heard the flute melody twice: once at the very beginning, then again following the harp. Ask: Does anyone remember the name of this woodwind instrument? If no one does, show them a picture of it and have them repeat the name after you. Remind them that a flute today is made of metal, and the sound is produced by blowing air across the open mouthpiece, and the notes are changed with the various keys.
If time permits, tell them the flute has a little relative called the piccolo. Show them a picture and say: It looks just like a flute, and is played horizontally just like the flute, but it is smaller. Ask them: If it is smaller than a flute, do you think the sound will be lower or higher? (higher) Then play the Sousa march for them that they heard in Lesson 3, but skip to the very end of the piece where the piccolos play the main melody of the march. Ask them whether they remember the march, whether they can hear the steady beat of the march, and, if they can, to get up and march to the steady beat as they listen once more.

Third Grade - Music - Lesson 6 - Woodwinds with Reeds

Recall the instruments in the woodwind family.
Observe the function of reeds in clarinet, oboe, English horn, and bassoon.
Listen to classical pieces featuring reed instruments as soloists.
Differentiate between sounds of clarinet and bassoon.
Recall sound of the oboe in Peter and the Wolf (optional)

Pictures and descriptions of single and double-reed instruments, see Suggested Books
Recording of Mozart's Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra in A Major, 3rd movement (ca. 8 min.)
Recording of Vivaldi's Bassoon Concerto in a minor, 1st movement (ca. 4 min.)
Recording of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf (optional)

Suggested Books
Balet, Jan. What Makes an Orchestra. New York: Henry Walck, 1951.
Barber, Nicola and Mary Mure. The World of Music. Parsippany, NJ: Silver Burdett, 1995.
Bunche, Jane. An Introduction to Instruments of the Orchestra. New York: Golden Press, 1962.
Doney, Meryl. Musical Instruments. NY: Franklin Watts, 1995.
Hausherr, Rosmarie. What Instrument is This? NY: Scholastic, 1992.
Hayes, Ann. Meet the Orchestra. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1991.
Jeunesse, Gallimard and Claude Delafosse. Musical Instruments. NY: Scholastic, 1994.
Taylor, Barbara. Sound and Music. NY: Franklin Watts, 1991.
Weil, Lisl. The Magic of Music. New York: Holiday House, 1989.
These books are all inexpensive, available either in paperback or (the older ones) from the public library, and useful in the classroom primarily for the pictures that illustrate various instruments and families of instruments. All of them have good pictures of the members of the woodwind family and descriptions that can be read aloud.

Suggested Recordings
Mozart's Clarinet Concerto in A, Naxos CD 8.550345
Vivaldi's Bassoon Concerto in A minor, Electracord ELCD 128
Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, Cala CD 1022 (optional)

Note for the Teacher
The BCP Core Knowledge curriculum for First Grade includes a detailed lesson on Peter and the Wolf as Music Lesson 4. You might want simply to repeat or review that lesson, since there is a flute, an oboe, a clarinet, and a bassoon solo in the same piece. We have chosen for this Third Grade lesson to present sections of a clarinet and a bassoon concerto, in which the sound of each solo instrument is both very characteristic and virtuosic. We also include some information about the "nuts and bolts" of playing a double-reed instrument, so that students who want to learn to play them know that making reeds is an important, satisfying, but time-consuming part of the practice.

Start by asking the class what family of instruments they began talking about in the last class (woodwinds). Ask them which woodwinds (flute and piccolo) Ask whether anyone could describe what they look like (tube you blow into, hold horizontally; change the pitches by using fingers to press keys that close holes in the tube) Then ask: Can anyone describe what the flute and piccolo sound like? (Accept any reasonable answers. Someone will remember that the sound of a piccolo is much higher than the flute.)
Show the students some pictures of the other members of the woodwind family and tell a little about each, using one of the books listed above. Tell them that the oboe, English horn, clarinet, and bassoon all use mouthpieces that have reeds that the player has to fix in place each time he or she plays the instrument. Ask: Does anyone know what a reed is? (a piece of a special kind of cane or grass that is flat but flexible, so that it vibrates when you blow on it) Ask whether any of them have ever put a wide piece of fresh grass between the outsides of their two thumbs to blow hard on it and make a loud buzzing or squawking kind of music. Say to them: A reed behaves very much like that squeaky piece of grass. In fact, oboe and clarinet players have to watch out not to make squawks and buzzy squeaks that sound like your piece of grass.
As you show a picture or drawing from a book, say to the class: Clarinets use just one broad, single reed which they attach with clamps to the flat back of the mouthpiece each time they play. The mouthpiece, as you can see, looks a bit like the fat beak of a bird.The oboe, English horn, and bassoon are double-reed instruments, which means that two very slim reeds are put together with very thin string wound around them at one end, and then the reeds themselves become the mouthpiece. (Show them a picture of the oboe mouthpiece.) Tell them that almost all double-reed players make their own reeds, and it is very tricky work. After the two reeds are joined, they have to be shaved with a special cutting knife, making the tiniest, tiniest shavings until the reed feels and sounds perfect to the player. Often reeds get ruined by shaving just a little too far, and then the player has to start all over again. They spend many hours cutting reeds and storing them in special cases so they won't get broken. Even with good care, a reed only lasts for a certain number of hours of playing before it is worn out and has to be replaced.
Say to the class: Today you will hear one of the single reeds and one of the double-reed instruments. They sound quite different from one another. One is called a bassoon, and it's a double-reed instrument. (Show a picture. The one in Meet the Orchestra played by a polar bear is especially memorable and fun.) You may remember the grandfather in Peter and the Wolf was the bassoon. It has a special kind of sound that makes everybody smile when they hear it. Some people call it "the clown of the orchestra." Listen carefully to what I play, and raise your hand when you think you hear this "clown." First you'll hear an introduction by the string orchestra, then the bassoon will play his part.
Play the 1st movement of the Vivaldi Bassoon Concerto, which takes only 4 minutes. If you don't see hands go up when the bassoon solo first comes in, draw their attention to it by raising your own hand, and keep it raised until the bassoon stops and the orchestra continues without it. The sections are very brief, but you will hear orchestra, solo, orchestra, solo, orchestra, solo, orchestra. In other words, the bassoon solo music can be heard three different times. Raise hands each time.
Next, show the class a picture of a clarinet and tell them: This is the single-reed instrument. Who knows its name? (clarinet) Tell the students: The clarinet was the last of the woodwind family to become a regular part of a symphony orchestra, but one of the first to play in jazz bands. Sometimes, just for fun, the clarinet has the nickname "licorice stick." Can you guess why? (Show a color picture to reinforce this.)
Tell the students that a famous composer named Mozart was one of the first people to write music especially for the clarinet. That was a little over 200 years ago. Think about the sound of the bassoon in the piece you just heard. I think it sounds a little like a leapfrog hopping around. See if you can hear it in your ear. Now you're going to hear the last movement of a piece that Mozart called a Clarinet Concerto. It was the last instrumental piece that Mozart wrote before he died. I think you'll be able to hear the clarinet in this movement, playing melodies up and down the scale and trading places with the orchestra, back and forth. As you listen, see how different this instrument sounds from the bassoon--that "clown of the orchestra." Then tell me after you've listened what animal or creature the sound of the clarinet makes you think of.
Play the 3rd movement for the class. It is a rondo form, which the students don't need to know at this point, but it means that the structure is ABACA and so forth, so that the melody keeps returning again and again. It takes about 8 minutes to play and, for this piece, have the students stand when they hear the clarinet and sit down when they hear just the orchestra. When they have heard it, be sure to ask them (a) what the clarinet sounded like to them and (b) which they prefer, clarinet or bassoon. If time permits, you might want to let them listen to the bassoon so they have it clearly in their ears.