Lesson Plan for SoundTree

June 2004


Teaching Intonation in a SoundTree Lab with Auralia


National Standard:  2 ­ Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.

6 - Listening to, analyzing and describing music.

7 - Evaluating music and music performances.


Objective:    The students will demonstrate their understanding of intonation and their ability to discriminate between sharp and flat by responding to exercises within Auralia, and by creating their own examples for the class using the Tuning Function on the synthesizer.


Materials:     A networked keyboard lab with computers and headphones.

Auralia Ear-training software from Sibelius (at least one copy for

                  the teacher).



1.    Teacher introduces the students to the tuning facet of the Auralia Ear-training software (click on Pitch & Melody from the main menu, then click on Tuning).  *If the lab only has one copy of Auralia, use an LCD projector to allow the students to view the computer screen.*

2.    With the GEC3 in Lecture Mode, teacher discusses the difference between sharp and flat, and how they relate to matching a given pitch. 

3.    Teacher sets the level of the tuning exercises at 1, and then plays a few examples for the students.

4.    Using the Call feature of the Student Interface, students can respond by calling if they think the second given note is flat or sharp.  Teacher can determine which choice requires the students to press call.  For example: if you think the second note is flat ­ press call.  If you think it is sharp, do NOT press call.

5.    If the lab has individual copies of Auralia on each computer the teacher can then have the students complete the next set of exercises on their own (Set the GEC3 to Practice Mode ­ teacher can monitor student progress by utilizing the eavesdropping feature.)  If not, the teacher can go through the examples using the LCD projector in Lecture Mode.

6.    After sufficient time, the teacher will discuss the success of the student responses to the exercises.  If the students are very successful on Level 1, the teacher might consider having the students complete exercises in Level 2, 3 or 4.

7.    Next, the teacher will introduce the students to the tuning function of the synthesizers.  (The X5, X5D, N364, Triton, and Triton LE all have similar ways of accessing the tuning function ­ in the Global menu.  Consult the owner¹s manual for assistance.)

8.    Once the students understand how to affect the tuning on the synthesizers, the teacher will ask the students to put their synthesizers out of tune (either sharp or flat) in the Practice Mode.  Teacher will monitor student progress.

9.    After sufficient time, set the GEC3 to the Lecture Mode and ask individual students to play their ³out-of-tune² middle C after the teacher first plays an ³in-tune² middle C.

10. Students will respond whether the student note is sharp of flat in the same manner mentioned earlier in the lesson.

11. After each student example has been performed, the teacher will discuss the concept of intonation with the students to provide closure to the lesson.



Extensions:            Teacher could use the different scale tunings on the synthesizers to discuss the differences between each.


                           Students could create their own intonation exercises by recording themselves playing acoustic instruments with various intentional intonation errors. 


Students could use digital audio recording software to record themselves playing and then create their own intonation examples as sound files that could then be used on a website or CD.