Third Grade - Music - Lesson 3 - C major scale, Part 2, Notation

Sing "Do - Re - Mi" in unison, then with 2 parts as in Lesson 2.
Locate C major scale on the white notes of the personal keyboard.
Observe the letter names of the pitches of the C major scale.
Observe the C major scale notated on a music staff.
Note the definition of singing in unison.

Personal keyboards, made in Lesson 1
Recording of "Do - Re - Mi" from The Sound of Music (optional)
Schematic rendering of song sung in two parts, from Lesson 2 (optional)
5-line music staff written on chalkboard w/ G clef
Copies of 5-line music staff labeled "C Major Scale," attached, 1 for each student

Start the class by singing up and down a major scale using the music syllables do, re, mi, and asking the students: What am I singing? (C Major scale--you may in fact have started on a different note, but the intervals are the same in all major scales, and the students have learned the C major scale on the keyboard, so they should continue working with that scale so as not to be confused with the sharps and flats that are a necessary part of other major scales) Have the students join you singing, using the same syllables.
Next, pass out their personal keyboards and have them play up and down the C major scale while singing the syllables. Circulate among them in case someone needs help with the fingering. You may need to remind the class of the fingering order: Going up the scale, they use thumb, pointer, third finger, then pass the thumb under the third finger and continue the fingers in order. Coming down, it is pinkie, fourth finger, third finger, pointer, and thumb, then passing third finger over the thumb, then pointer and thumb again. Have them practice that a few times while singing the scale and tell them: It's just like practicing the piano. That's how you do it. (If you have any xylophones or other percussion instruments with pitches in the room, let them see that the scale is just the same when played on any keyboard instrument.)
Tell the students you are going to put this same scale in its musical notation on a staff to look at. Tell them that this is the way all composers write their music. Put the following on the board:

Then have the children sing the scale with its pitches again, this time having them watch the notation on the chalkboard as they do. Point out that there are both lines and spaces on this staff, and that this C major scale moves up its ladder one step at a time, including both lines and spaces. Ask in which direction the scale goes on the staff? (left to right) Ask: How do you think it would look if we went in the opposite direction? (Let a volunteer come up and make the notes going in the opposite direction.)
Have everyone sing the scale in both directions as you point to each note with a pointer. Quickly pass out the music paper pattern provided below, marked C major scale and with middle C & D (do & re) written in notes and syllables to get them started. Tell them to notate the C major scale on their music staffs, first going up, then going down. Leave the completed scale notated on the board. The students should not be expected to have memorized any of this. Have everyone sing the scale again in each direction using the do, re, mi syllables as you circulate around the room to check that each person has notated the scale correctly. Ask: Can you see how clear it seems that the notes are going up and going higher on the staff as we sing it, then going back down again, getting lower as we sing in the opposite direction?
Congratulate them. Tell them that now they are actually reading music as well as singing it, and tell them this year they will be learning a lot more about reading music, singing it, and playing it on a keyboard. Collect the keyboards and store them for future use.
Finally, either play or sing the "Do - Re - Mi" song for them that they learned in Lesson 2. Have them recall the name of the song and join you, singing it in unison. (Tell them that when you all sing exactly the same pitches at the same time, you are singing in unison.) Ask the students: In addition to singing this song all together in unison, how else did we try it last time? (in two groups; one sings the song, the other sings the music syllables, holding each one until the next is mentioned in the song--help the students as they try to explain the process) It may be helpful to use the schematic rendering of this version, attached to Lesson 2, and give a copy to each student once again to refresh their visual memories. Then divide the group into two sections and sing the song several times. At the end, ask the students: Do you think we all sang "Do - Re - Mi" in unison that time? (no) Tell them they are correct, this time they sang it with harmonies, which means that not everyone was singing the same thing, but the two different melodies made good musical sense together.


Third Grade - Music - Lesson 4 - Listening to Brass Instruments

Recall the names of four major brass instruments.
See pictures of trumpet, French horn, trombone, and tuba.
Listen to pieces of classical music featuring particular brass instruments.

Recording of finale from Rossini's William Tell Overture
Recording of 1st movement from Mozart's Horn Concerto #1 in D Major
Recording of Meredith Wilson's "76 Trombones" from The Music Man
Recording of John Philip Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever"
Illustrations of trumpet, French horn, trombone, and tuba

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 brass family and descriptions that can be read aloud.

Suggested Recordings
Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever," Sony cassette MLT 66710, Greatest Hits: Marches.
Finale from Rossini's Overture from William Tell, Naxos CD 8.550236.
Mozart's Horn Concerto No. 1, Dennis Brain soloist, Emd/Emi Classics #6103.

Background for the Teacher
Students following the Core Knowledge Curriculum will have been introduced to the four families of orchestral instruments (strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion) in First Grade. In Second Grade they will have spent one full lesson listening to the music of each family of instruments plus a lesson on keyboard music (piano and organ). In addition, they will have listened to Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever" in Lesson 4, as one of several patriotic songs.
In this lesson the students will listen to a well-known piece of music that features a particular member of the brass family of instruments. Because there is so much listening required in this lesson, there will be a minimum of biographical information given about the composers.
Meredith Wilson's "76 Trombones" may be difficult to find. If you can borrow the original cast recording of The Music Man, that would be the best; otherwise, the piece is sometimes included in anthologies or collections of older musical comedy tunes.

Using any one of the books listed above, review the four families of orchestral instruments with the class, showing illustrations that are clear, and reminding the students of the differences in the way each family produces its characteristic sound. Then turn to the four principal members of the brass family that will be featured in the music they listen to today. Make a list on the board:
French horn
Tell the students that they are going to help you compare the four brass instruments whose names are on the board. Using one or two books you have chosen, read about each instrument and show pictures of it. Then have the students select characteristics for comparison. If you know the names of outstanding players of these instruments whose names might mean something to the students (such as Wynton Marsalis or Louie Armstrong for the trumpet), be sure to mention them.
The comparisons may have to do with characteristic size and shape (tuba the largest, French horn the most rounded, etc.), number of valves or "keys" to change pitches, or loud or soft sound. The trumpet, loudest and brightest, can be softened with a mute--show pictures of the mute, which looks like and originally was a toilet plunger; the French horn is muted with its player's left hand.
Leaving your chart on the board, play the first selection for the class, the finale from Rossini's Overture to the opera William Tell, which was first performed in 1829. (For a definition and discussion of opera, see the Extra Listening Lesson on Wagner for this month.) The finale comes at the end of the overture and takes less than 5 minutes to hear. It is extremely clear when the trumpets come in with their theme. Start the overture in the middle and ask the students to raise their hands as soon as they hear the trumpets start, then let them listen to the end. Put a check in front of the word Trumpet on the board.
Next play the first movement of Mozart's Horn Concerto #1, which also takes about 5 minutes. Say to the students: This piece was written in Europe by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at about the time our constitution was being written. A concerto is a piece written for a special solo instrument with an orchestra accompanying it. When you hear this concerto, you'll hear that Mozart wrote it for one of the brass instruments, and that the orchestra accompanying it includes only one family instead of having four families of instruments. Listen carefully, and tell me which of the three remaining brass instruments on the board is playing the solo, and which family of instruments make up the orchestra. (French horn solo, with string orchestra accompanying) When they have listened once or twice and answered the two questions, put a check in front of French horn.
Remind them there are only two choices left. Then play Meredith Wilson's "76 Trombones" for them. Tell them they should imagine lots and lots of people playing the particular kind of brass instrument they will hear, all marching and playing the melody together, dressed in bright uniforms. If you have the cast recording, they will hear the words, beginning with "76 trombones," which will be a definite clue. If they hear a strictly instrumental version, it will be a little more of a challenge. When they have identified the trombone, check it off, and have the class stand and get ready to march for the last piece.
Ask: What brass instrument will you listen for especially in the next piece? (tuba, the only one left unchecked) Say to them: You may have heard this piece in Second Grade, when we were talking about patriotic songs (Second Grade, Lesson 2). It was written for a full marching band by a composer and bandleader named John Philip Sousa. Ask: Who remembers which family of instruments is missing from a marching band? (strings) Has anyone watched a marching band in a parade? How do they hold their music? (clipped onto their instruments on little metal stands; lots of the music is also memorized) How could a 'cello or stringed bass player march in a band? (couldn't; maybe that's one reason strings don't play in marching bands)
Say to the students: Sousa's parents came to America from two different European countries, but Sousa was born an American citizen shortly before the Civil War. He grew up to become the leader of the United States Marine Corps Band, which is one of the best marching bands in the United States. He wrote lots and lots of marches, and this one is called "Stars and Stripes Forever." Do you think that is a good name for a patriotic song? Why? (Accept any reasonable answer.) In addition to the low, Aoom-pah, oom-pah" sound of the big tubas, listen while you're marching for a very special member of the woodwind family called the piccolo. You'll hear when the piccolos come in, because they play the tune so very high, like birds.