Middle/High School Lesson Plan
PURPOSE Students will be able to recognize and use canons in order to gain a better understanding of the canons that appear in their current and future repertoire.
MATERIALS NEEDED Written and audio examples of canons and pieces without canons, stereo, notation software, music technology lab, overhead projector with prepared musical examples of canons, instruments.
ANTICIPATORY SET Students will be asked to look at their repertoire (piece should be canonic) and identify the main theme and secondary theme, tertiary theme (if there is one).
v Show overhead projection of the score for the studentsą piece.
v As a group, identify the themes in the piece and identify structure
v Have students identify where the different themes begin within the instrumentation. Is there a pattern?
v Identify the pattern and describe the function of a canon.
v Listen to several musical examples have students identify the ones that have canons and those that do not
v Listen to a recording of their piece and have students raise their hands when their section plays each theme.
v On the overhead, show written examples of music in the context of other pieces. Have the students identify the canons and explain why each example is a canon.
v In music technology lab Have students prepare two four measure phrases/themes using notation software
v Have students create a simple canon for three or more instruments using the two phrases/themes they created.
v Have students print out and distribute parts to other students who play the instruments written for.
v Perform in small groups for the class and offer critique.
o A critique sheet maybe prepared for each student to make written comments for each composer
o If the resources are available, record each performance
STUDENT UNDERSTANDING Student understanding can be seen in their response to the audio examples, identification of written examples of canon, the canons they compose, performances of their canons, and performance of the large group repertoire.
CLOSURE - Perform the repertoire used for class and use different performance techniques (dynamics, ornaments, accentuation) in order to better reflect the canon in the large group performance.
EXTENSIONS - Students can be asked to combine their simple canons with other studentsą in order to create larger works. Students can also be assigned the composition of a canon for the whole performing group they may be in (orchestra, band chorus, etc.). A written quiz or exam may also be given. In the exam students can be asked to identify audio and written examples of canon as well as write their own.