Core's guidelines and overall objectives for children in Third Grade
I. Expression (Guidelines for Elements of music and musical understanding
A. Recognize a steady beat, accents, & the downbeat; playing a steady beat
B. Move responsively to music
C. Recognize short and long sounds
D. Discriminate between fast and slow; gradually slowing down and getting faster
E. Discriminate between differences in pitch: high & low
F. Discriminate between loud & soft; gradually increasing & decreasing volume
G. Understand that the melody can move up & down
H. Hum the melody while listening to music
I. Echo short rhythms & melodic patterns
J. Play simple rhythms & melodies
K. Sing unaccompanied, accompanied, & in unison
L. Recognize harmony; sing simple rounds & canons
M. Recognize verse & refrain; also, introduction & coda
N. Continue work with timbre & phrasing
O. Recognize theme & variations
P. Review: names of musical notes; scale as a series of notes; singing C major scale using "do re mi" etc.
Q. Understanding the following notation:
names of lines & spaces in the treble clef
staff, bar line, double bar line, measure, repeat signs
quarter note & rest
half note & rest
Third Grade - Music - Overview
Whole note & rest
meter signature: 4/4; 2/4; 3/4
soft p; mp & loud mf; f
For Music Appreciation, we hope that you will often play music for the
children, using a tape player, CD or record player, whatever is available
to you. Don't forget that the Enoch Pratt libraries have good collections
of recorded music, and the librarians are eager to see teachers use their
resources. Since the students in Third Grade will be learning about ecology
and ecosystems in Science, one opportunity for music might be to play some
of the many good recordings of sounds in nature, including sounds of birds
and insects (From the Rain Forest, Thunderstorm, Ocean Surf, The Pond,
Science lessons for the month of February will focus on the basic physical phenomena of sound, including the terminology we use to describe sound (including pitch and intensity) as well
as the mechanisms in the human body for both hearing and producing sound. During that sequence, the music lessons will be designed specifically to supplement what the students are learning in science.
A few detailed and formal music lessons for music appreciation will be included and will center around particular pieces of classical music which we will identify by name and suggest a current and inexpensive CD recording. It is our hope that by next year we will be able to provide a cassette tape of the required pieces for music appreciation; meanwhile they are all popular classics, readily available in many different performances for purchase or for borrowing from public libraries.
Third Grade students will be reviewing what was introduced in First and Second Grades: the families of instruments of the orchestra. Many recent, inexpensive paperback books, also available at most branch libraries, have been published specifically for elementary school children to look at as they hear the sounds that particular instruments make. Below are some recommended titles.
Suggested Books about Instruments of the Orchestra
Barber, Nicola and Mary Mure. The World of Music. Parsippany, NJ: Silver Burdett, 1995.
Doney, Meryl. Musical Instruments. NY: Franklin Watts, 1995.
Hausherr, Rosmarie. What Instrument is This? NY: Scholastic, 1992.
Jeunesse, Gallimard and Claude Delafosse. Musical Instruments. NY: Scholastic, 1994.
Taylor, Barbara. Sound and Music. NY: Franklin Watts, 1991.
These books are all inexpensive, available in paperback, and useful in the classroom primarily for the pictures that illustrate various instruments and families of instruments.
Suggested Audio and Video Materials
The Classical Kids Collection. BMG #84207 (titles below also available individually)
Mr. Bach Comes to Call
Beethoven Lives Upstairs
Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery
Mozart's Magic Fantasy
Daydreams and Lullabies
Hallelujah Handel #84263 (CD)
Tchaikovsky Discovers America #8420 (CD), #84227 (cassette tape)
All of these titles are excellent for engaging children in an appreciation of classical music. They are audio only, so they force children to listen and use their imaginations. They each include a story line involving a youngster as well as the composer portrayed by an actor, so there is a combination of musical selections plus spoken word.
Marsalis on Music (four videos with good sound production for the audio)
Listening for Clues SHV 66489
Tackling the Monster SHV 66312
Why Toes Tap SHV 66488
Sousa to Satchmo SHV 66490
The thing that is so special about Winton Marsalis' videos is that they combine high quality classical and jazz selections together. This eliminates the artificial boundary between the two kinds of music that many books and instruction systems maintain. There is also a companion book now available in bookstores called Marsalis on Music (ISBN 0-393-03881-5).
Other useful titles, appropriate to specific lessons, will be listed and annotated in individual lessons throughout the year.
Third Grade - Music - Lesson 1 - C major scale
Locate C major scale on white notes of keyboard.
Sing pitches of major scale with correct intervals, naming them 1 to 8.
Sing down the C major scale, counting backwards from 8 to 1.
Be able to manipulate fingers on keyboard while singing C major pitches or notes.
Pattern of C major scale on keyboard (make one copy for each child)
Pieces of tagboard, 9 x 12" for each child
Scissors and glue
Danes, Emma. The Usborne First Book of Music. London: Usborne, 1994.
See pp. 40-43 for basic information about music notation with concrete illustrations consistent with the approach of our lessons.
Hirsch, E. D. Jr. What Your 3rd Grader Needs to Know. New York: Doubleday Dell, 1992.
The section on music notation, pp. 168-169, is a good basic reference for the classroom
teacher with no special music training.
Note to Teacher
In order to utilize the visual--as well as auditory--possibilities for learning to read music, the students will be using the keyboard provided as a pattern. If you have access to any kind of real keyboard, whether a piano or electric keyboard, to demonstrate and play for the children, so much the better; however, the lessons teaching the children some basic music theory in third through fifth grade, do not depend on a piano. If you are able to utilize a piano for these music lessons, simply demonstrate by playing all of the portions that instruct the children to sing the pitches while fingering their keyboards.
The children will be using these keyboards, mounted on tagboard, many times during the year, so at the end of the first less, each should have the child's name written clearly on the tagboard and stored in the classroom.
Tell the students that they will be learning three different ways to produce a C major scale. One is to sing the sounds or pitches in their proper order; the second is to find the same pitches with their fingers on a keyboard; the third, to write the pitches in a special music notation on a staff of five lines. Say to them: Today, we will learn the first two ways. Later on we'll learn the third. You will probably discover that you already have these pitches or notes of the scale in your ears and voice--you just didn't know their names!
Sing the eight pitches (of any major scale) for the class once or twice on the sound of la; then ask them to join in with you., Ask: How many different sounds are there in the scale we just sang? (If no one knows, sing it again and have them count from one to eight.)
Next have the student sing the same scale with numbers one through eight as they go up the scale (instead of singing on the syllable la). Tell them: I'll bet a lot of you recognize this scale and just didn't know you knew it! Now we're going to find the same scale on a keyboard.
Pass out copies of the keyboard and pieces of tagboard to the students. Tell them to center their keyboards horizontally on the tagboard, glue them, and sign their names so that each one has his or her own personal keyboard. Then say to them: You will be using your keyboards often in this year's music lessons, so be sure to take good care of them
Tell the students that this keyboard is exactly the same as the middle of any keyboard they will ever see or play on--piano, harpsichord, organ, electric keyboard, or synthesizer. Ask: What do you notice about your keyboard? First of all, what do you think the numbers mean? (Students should guess the numbers indicate keys that make the same sounds or pitches as the scale they have just sung.) What else do you notice about those eight notes on the keyboard? (all white keys--if someone notices letter names, tell them you'll deal with that next time) Say to the students: Not only are they all white keys, but the black keys in between have a very particular pattern. Who can name that pattern? (Two black notes together, three black notes together reading from left to right, just the way we read words)
Say to the class: There is a secret to playing the C major scale on a keyboard. The C major scale uses only the white keys of the keyboard; the only problem is figuring out which key to start on. Tell the students that C is always the key immediately to the left of the first of the two black notes and that middle C is the one right in the center of the whole keyboard. Have all of the students find middle C on their keyboards and put their right thumb on it, as you circulate around the room to check that they have found it. (They should each have a right thumb on the first note marked C on the keyboard.) Have them "play" the scale following the numbers 1, 2, 3, and on, placing their fingers in the order thumb, index, 3rd finger, thumb again--reaching under and to the right of the other fingers--then the rest of the fingers in order. Have them do it several more times as you call out the numbers from 1 to 8.
Finally, have everyone sing the eight numbers while moving their fingers as you again circulate among them. When you see and hear that everyone is able to do this, congratulate them all and tell them that they are now able to sing and play the pitches or notes of the C major scale. Tell them: Next time we'll learn some special musical names for these notes plus a song from a famous musical play that uses the same notes.
Third Grade - Music - Lesson 2 - C major scale, Part 2
Review pitches or notes of C major scale, using numbers 1 through 8.
Sing the C major scale in the opposite direction, using numbers 8 through 1.
Review "playing" pitches of C major scale on keyboard while singing the numbers.
Listen to "Do - Re - Mi" from The Sound of Music and sing it.
Identify musical syllables with the numbers and sounds of C major scale.
Hold sustained notes on musical syllables while others sing "Do - Re - Mi."
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, attached
Rogers & Hammerstein, Sound of Music, Columbia cassette #32601, (original cast recording).
The familiar song, "Do - Re - Mi" is on this cassette recording so that the children can hear it sung in a spirited way before they sing it themselves. If you are comfortable singing the song yourself for the children, the recording is not necessary.
Begin the class by singing the C major scale for the class using the numbers 1 to 8. Ask: What is it I'm singing? (C major scale) Then sing down the scale from 8 to 1 and ask them to repeat what you have just sung. Have them sing up and down the scale with the numbers 1 through 8 as you indicate with one hand a kind of ladder, up and down, moving on each separate pitch. Have the students stand and ask them to start on 8 and sing down the ladder, bending their knees and lowering their bodies at the same time. Next have them sing up the ladder, one pitch at a time as they gradually come from squatting to standing. Repeat this several times.
Ask: How would you describe the difference between where your bodies are at one end of the scale and where they are at the other? (higher and lower) Say to them: That's right; in music, we say the pitches in a melody (review from 2nd Grade, melody or tune) move up or down, higher or lower. In science, later on this year, you'll learn about other ways to describe differences we hear in sound, but in music we say that the pitches of a scale or melody move up or down, higher or what? (lower)
Next, have the students sit and take out their keyboards and review the fingering and location on the keyboard of the C major scale. You will need to help them with the fingering on the keyboard going down the scale: Start with the pinkie and go down to the thumb in order, then cross third finger over the thumb and "play" the last three keys with 3rd, pointer, and thumb again. Have them sing up and down with the numbers and then ask: Which way is up on the keyboard? (to the right) Which way do we say that the pitches get higher? (to the right, the way the numbers get higher) Which way is down? (to the left) So which way is lower (right to left)
Tell the students that you are going to play them a song from a famous musical play and movie called the Sound of Music. Say: The name of the song is "Do - Re - Mi." As you listen to this song, you'll hear those pitches of the scale you've been singing and "playing" on your keyboards, but you'll hear some special names for the pitches instead of the numbers we've been using. I'll play the song for you several times, and after that I want you to tell me what those special names are.
Play the song (or sing it for the students if you prefer) and, as the syllables are sung, hold up your fingers one after the other to indicate 1, 2, 3, 4, and so on, so that the students can equate the syllable sounds with the numbers and pitches they already know. When the students have identified the names of the scale syllables (do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, do), have them sing the song with you several times. Next, have them sing the syllables of the scale, then have them "play" the scale on their keyboards, both up and down, using the music syllables to sing as they "play." Write the syllables on the chalkboard, so the children can see that they have a particular spelling; e.g. that the first music syllable in the scale is spelled do, not doe; the second is re, not ray, etc.
Drill the students singing and "playing" the syllables, standing and moving their bodies up and down with the syllables of the scale, and marking off on their fingers from 1 to 8 as they sing the syllables as long as you can hold their interest.
Finally, divide the class into two sections. Practice the scale sung in syllables with both sections, then the song "Do - Re - Mi" with both sections. After you have practiced both, ask the students: Do you think the melody of the song is exactly the same as the melody of the scale? (no) If that is not immediately clear to all of them, ask questions such as: Does the scale melody move up the ladder, exactly and only one step at a time? (yes) Does "Do - Re - Mi?" (no--show with your hand how the melody skips steps up and down as it moves)
Tell the students that one group is going to sing the song they have learned as the other sings the syllables of the scale, but sings them very slowly. Say to the students who will be singing the scale: Don't move to the next pitch until you hear the others sing its name in the song. You will hear some wonderful harmonies as we sing this way! You may want to draw a representation on the chalkboard of what the students have just accomplished. It might look something like this:
Doe - a deer, a fe-male deer,
Ray-- a drop of golden sun,
Me - a name I call my-self,
Far - a long, long way to run,
Sew - a needle pulling thread,
La - a note to follow sew,
Tea - to drink with jam & bread,
That will bring us back to do.