July 14, 2004
Introduction to New Technologies in Music Education
Elementary Lesson Plan
AN INTRODUCTION TO THE INSTRUMENTS OF THE ORCHESTRA
This is the introduction to a unit on musical groups and the instruments played in these groups. One of the goals is to introduce students to a variety of instruments so they can choose one to focus on. After lessons covering the orchestra, there will be units on other groups for the purpose of introducing instruments found in a variety of musical styles including jazz, rock, country, and blues.
DVD, Microsoft Musical Instruments, Power Point, computer and projector, index cards.
As students enter the classroom, they are each handed a card with a sound on it. This is their sound to create for an exercise using movement and/or their voice. Examples include, ³beep beep,² ³shhh!² ³clap² and ³march in place.² The students are lined up in front of the class and each is instructed to make his or her sound when I, like a conductor, point to him or her. I ³conduct² two or three students at a time, and eventually have all students making their sounds at once in an ³orchestra.²
1)After the vocal/movement exercise, students are asked questions about the exercise in preparation for introduction to the instruments.
2)Students are shown a DVD of an orchestra playing a short piece.
3)Next, using Microsoft Musical Instruments, students are introduced to the categories of woodwinds, brass, strings, and percussion. They are shown pictures of all the instruments in the orchestra and they listen to the accompanying sound clips while I offer additional information.
CHECK FOR STUDENT UNDERSTANDING
The class is divided into two teams. A PowerPoint presentation is shown within the context of a game in which questions are posed through audio and visual images. An example of one of the questions would be a slide with pictures of three instruments and a sound clip of one of the instruments. Students guess the instrument that matches the sound clip. When they guess it correctly, the teacher goes to the next slide, which has the sound clip with the correct instrument.
For homework, students are asked to create a poster collage of one of the instruments introduced in the lesson. Each student can do his poster using his computer and the internet, or with traditional materials. I will suggest that in creating their posters, the students reconsider the questions asked after the initial vocal/movement exercise, ³How would you describe your instrument with a color or colors?² ³How would you describe it with an adjective or adjectives? (strong, gentle, angry etc)² Each student should also think about expressing in the poster how the instrument relates to the other instruments in it¹s section, and how it relates to those in the other sections of the orchestra.
At the start of the next class, the students will hang their posters on the wall of the classroom. During the next few lessons that go into depth about each orchestral section, the students¹ learning will be reinforced by the surrounding images. Also, during the in-depth presentations, each student will be able to add information about the instrument he or she chose for the poster project. Students will hopefully begin to identify the instruments they are most interested in.