Fourth Grade - Music - Lesson 3 - White Coral Bells

Sing the syllables and pitches of the C major scale.
"Play" the C major scale on the student keyboards with correct fingering.
Sing "Do - Re - Mi" in two-part harmony.
Sing the melody in unison for the round "White Coral Bells."
Hear a definition for round or canon.

Personal keyboards from Lesson 1
Schematic notation of  "Do - Re - Mi" in 2-part harmony below, projected as transparency
Copies of "White Coral Bells,"

Start the lesson by reviewing with the students the material presented in Lesson 1. Have them sing up and down the C major scale with you several times, and make sure they know what they're singing. Review the concept of higher and lower, going "up" and "down" in music. (You may need to show them the musical notation of the scale they did in the first lesson to reinforce the notion of higher and lower and up and down in music.) Then pass out their personal keyboards, review the way to find middle C on a keyboard, review the correct fingering of the scale, then have them play the scale ascending and descending with the correct fingering while singing the music syllables as you circulate around the room to check their use of their fingers. Congratulate them when they have finished the review.

Next, have the students sing "Do - Re - Mi" with you. Tell them: First we will sing it in unison. What does that mean? (Everyone sings exactly the same thing at exactly the same time.) Sing it that way at least twice. Then say to the students: Now let's see whether we can sing the song with some two-part harmony. Harmony means two or more different notes sounding at the same time and making sense together. Will we all be singing the same thing? (no)

Say to the students: That's right. We will divide into two groups. One group will sing "Do - Re - Mi" just the way we've sung it together each time. The other group will sing the C-major scale, going up the scale with its proper syllables, waiting to change the pitch and syllable until they hear its name called in the song. If we were to write out a kind of notation for the way this goes, it might look something like this:

Be sure to use the schematic "notation" as a transparency, and follow it with a pointer as the song moves along, so the students can visualize the way the two parts are moving and see clearly that the two parts are not singing the same thing. The group that has the actual "Do - Re - Mi" melody actually has the easier part. The group that has to sustain their note as the song moves around them has the harder job. It would be a good idea for you to sing with that group until the students become comfortable with "holding their own" in two-part harmony. When they have sung this successfully, be sure to congratulate them, and ask: Were you singing that song in unison? (no) What does unison mean? (Everyone sings exactly the same music or notes at exactly the same time.) What were you singing? (in two parts, two-part harmony)

Pass out copies of "White Coral Bells." Tell the students that this song looks as though it should be sung in unison, but actually it is designed as a round or canon. This means that everyone sings exactly the same music but not at the same time. This is another way to make harmony. What did we say harmony was? (2 or more different notes sounding at the same time and making sense together) Say to them: Today you'll learn the melody and words together, and learn to sing it in unison. What does unison mean? (Everyone sings exactly the same music at exactly the same time.) Next time, we'll divide into groups, and you'll hear how you can make harmony with a round or canon.

Have the students stand as you prepare to teach them the song. First ask them what the subject of the song is (some lily of the valley flowers).

Ask: What are the rhyming words in the song? (stalk, walk; ring, sing)

Why does the poet call the flowers bells? (The flowers are shaped like bells.)

Ask whether anyone in the class has seen lily of the valley in bloom; if so, how do they smell and what color are they? (very sweet and fresh; white)

Ask whether anyone in the class has ever seen a piece of white coral. If so, let the student describe it for the others; otherwise, tell them what it looks like, especially the kind of "matte white" finish that white coral has, which is similar to the appearance of the flowers of the lily of the valley.

Draw a simple sketch on the board of a few stalks of lily of the valley showing the multitude of bell-like flowers that bloom on each stalk.

Have the students sing each line back to you after you have sung it to them. You might show them with your arm how the melody first moves down in scale-like steps, then indicate with your hand and arm how the notes begin to skip a step and even more, then end up at the same note the melody began on. (You don't need to spell these things out, but indicating them with your hand and body language can help familiarize the students with the way melodies move.)

Fourth Grade - Music - Lesson 4 - Haydn Symphony

Listen carefully to a movement of a symphony by Haydn.
Identify a musical surprise in the symphony.

Recording of Haydn's Symphony no. 94, "The Surprise," see Suggested Recording
Second movement, Andante, takes 8-10 minutes depending on the performance.
Material for reviewing instruments of the orchestra, see Suggested Books
Classroom-size world map or globe

Suggested Recording
Haydn Symphonies Nos. 83 "The Hen," 94 "Surprise," and 101 "The Clock," Naxos CD 8.55014. (Haydn's "Surprise" Symphony No. 94 is one of his most popular symphonies and is available on many other recordings. This one happens to be good and also inexpensive.)

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. Students can browse these books independently.

Background for Teacher
Franz Joseph Haydn was an Austrian who lived from 1732 to 1809. He was a choirboy in St. Stephen's Church in Vienna until he was seventeen, when he was dismissed because his voice broke and he could no longer sing the high soprano part he had held. He became a court musician for the wealthy patron of the arts, Count Esterhazy in Eisenstadt, and in this capacity composed music and directed concerts for some 25 years. He made two very successful trips to London in 1791 and in 1794, where he wrote and performed his compositions.

Haydn has been called the "father of the symphony," because he developed the orchestral form of the symphony on which later composers such as Beethoven depended. Haydn wrote a great deal of chamber music--especially string quartets--oratorios, and solo sonatas in addition to his 108 symphonies. "The Surprise" symphony, whose second movement the class will hear today, is one of Haydn's 12 so-called London Symphonies, which were written for much larger instrumental forces than the ones he wrote for the Esterhazy court, where he was limited to two oboes, two horns, and stringed instruments.

Write the names of the four families of instruments on the board (strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion), and suggest that the students do some research in the books you have assembled to find the names of the principal instruments in each family. Allow them to work independently or in small groups for 5-10 minutes, and then ask for the results of their research.

Write the names of principal instruments for each family, by way of review of this material they have had many times before. Tell the students they will today listen to part of a classical symphony that utilizes all four families, but in such a well blended and balanced way that they will have to listen very carefully to hear the four kinds of instruments clearly.

Tell the class a little bit about Haydn--when he lived and where. Have someone go to a world map or globe and find the country of Austria on the continent of Europe. Tell them that when Haydn was born we were only a group of colonies of England, and when he died we had won our independence, were called the United States of America, and had a constitution. Say to them: In Austria and Germany, all during this time, there were still dukes and princes who ruled over large numbers of people and lands. They kept courts that were very elegant, and they employed painters and musicians for their entertainment. Haydn was for 25 years employed by one of these wealthy men, whose name was Duke Esterhazy. Haydn wrote church music for worship, chamber music for small groups of string players, and many other instrumental pieces for the entertainment of the court. He also made two trips to London (have someone find that on the map as well) with the duke's permission, and produced many symphonies there.

Symphony is the name we give to a piece composed for a classical orchestra and usually has several parts or movements, Many of Haydn's symphonies have short nicknames that give clues to what they are about musically. One of the symphonies he wrote when working for the duke is called The "Farewell" Symphony (No. 45). Towards the end of the symphony, the players, one by one, stop playing and say "farewell" to the conductor as they leave for home. Even today, if you listen to some recordings or performances of that symphony, you will hear the musicians and the conductor saying good-bye to one another as the players leave the stage one by one (usually in German--they say, "Auf wiedersehn!").

The symphony by Haydn that you will hear today, number 94 of his symphonys, also has a nickname. It is called "Surprise" Symphony. You are going to listen to just the second part--the second movement, called Andante, which just tells us that the movement is to be played moderately slow; that is, slow, but not too slow, just a comfortable kind of walking tempo or speed. The "surprise" is in that second movement, and it will be up to you to find and identify the musical "surprise" after you've listened.

Have the students close their eyes as you play the second movement for them. Some of them may hear the "surprise" right away. You will probably see them jump or "start" a bit. Others will need some coaching to hear it. When they have all listened once, have them open their eyes and tell them: There is really just one melody in this movement, and it is repeated in different ways three more times. We call that a theme and variations, because each time it is played, it is varied a little bit to make it sound a little different.

Make a list on the board:





and tell the students you want them to listen again and tell you afterwards what they hear especially in each of the four sections--what kinds of instruments, whether it is primarily loud or soft, anything they notice that makes one a little different from the other. In addition, they are to tell you which section has the "surprise."

As they listen once or twice and you point out at the blackboard each of the four sections as it is playing, have them give you their feedback. The four sections could be described in a number of ways. One possibility would be:

Theme. Soft strings play the melody the first time. The "surprise" comes right in the middle of the first section. You could ask the class why it doesn't come back and point out that it wouldn't be a surprise anymore, since we'd be expecting it in the same place in the melody after we've heard it once. (The "surprise" itself is a very dramatic pause in the soft melody with a very loud and unexpected entrance following the pause.)

1. The melody plays again with violins doodling and noodling around as a kind of elaborate decoration to the melody.

2. The sound gets louder and broader with different members of the string family playing the melody in unison (remind them that unison is when everyone sings or plays exactly the same thing at the same time). Some of them may hear the addition of the woodwind family--at one point there is an oboe playing the melody as solo; at another, an oboe and flute duet playing the melody together while the string family accompanies them.

3. The full orchestra plays, brass and percussion families included. Even though it is not so easy to hear individual brass and percussion instruments, it is clear that the sound is much fuller and louder.

When you have finished writing the differences between the four sections on the board, congratulate the students on their good listening and say: I'll bet that if you listened once more, you could probably sing the theme, or melody, for me. I'll play the movement one more time, and this time I want you to jump to your feet when you hear the "surprise" and then sing the melody from there on every time you hear it. Just sing along with the orchestra on the syllables "da da da da da da da." You may be surprised at how simple that melody is and what a wonderful piece Haydn made out of it.