Peter Albertelli

July 15, 2004


PROJECT#3:  Elementary Lesson Plan






Students will compose and perform polyrhythms in small groups using non-pitched percussion instruments.




This lesson reinforces 4th grade curriculum that incorporates the performance, reading, and composition of polyrhythms, as well as the concept of working in small groups.




1.     Recording of Igor Stravinsky¹s, ³The Rite of Spring²

2.     CD player

3.     A variety of non-pitched percussion instruments (i.e. rhythm sticks, tambourines, cymbals, etcŠ)

4.     Worksheets with a four measure rhythm grid (see below) and pencils

5.     10 computers installed with the application ³Thinkin¹ Things²

6.     Teacher¹s computer station with projector

7.     Black or white board with chalk or dry erase markers




The students will walk in to the classroom with the recording of ³The Rite of Spring² playing on the CD player.




1.     Ask the students to describe the rhythms that they hear in the music.

2.     Define polyrhthm as ³the use of two or more rhythms that do not grow out one another² and write the definition on the board

3.     In groups of two, assign each student a computer station. Using the projector, the teacher will demonstrate the game ³Aranga Banga¹s Band² within the software ³Thinkin¹ Things.²

4.     Allow the students to take turns playing the game at their stations.

5.     Divide the students into small groups, and using the parameters defined below, ask them to compose simple polyrhythm pieces using the techniques reinforced by ³Aranga Banga¹s Band.²

-       Pieces will be four measures in length.

-       Each student will have an instrument of differing timbre.

-       No parts will be the same.

-       Each student will write down their rhythm on their rhythm grid.

6.     The students will be given time to compose and practice their pieces in small groups.



            Students will perform their pieces in front of the class.



Ask students to define and describe polyrhythms and what they experienced during their performances.




            1. Students may perform the compositions of other groups.

            2. Students may compose/perform a piece as a large group.






NAME:                                                                       CLASS:







* Place small dots in the beats where you are to play. There are three grids if you make an error or wish to compose another polyrhythm.



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