Lesson Plan 2

Jason Kennedy

July 19, 2004


Ear Training 8th Graders with Practica Musica


Objectives: Students will learn how to hear the difference between Major, Minor, Augmented, and Diminished chords. Students will compose a song using two of these 4 chords.


Purpose: This lesson helps students compare and contrast the four basic chords types in an effort to increase their ear training abilities.


Materials: A computer lab running either Windows 95+ with 32MB+ RAM, a soundcard, and a MIDI keyboard or MAC OS6+, 32+MB Ram, and a Midi keyboard. One computer is required for each student and a projector for teaching the class using the teacheršs computer. The program Practica Musica by ARS NOVA installed legally on all computers. Headphones are required for each computer station.

Anticipatory Set: Using a common popular songs, play the first chord and ask if it is major or minor. Encourage the students to be as descriptive as possible using colors and emotions to describe what they hear. Review chord structures and fingerings.


Procedure: Make sure every student has started the program and is in the recognizing triads exercise. Students will be tested on their identification of basic chord sounds and structures on the midi keyboard. Practica Musica will record the results.


Demonstration of Student Understanding: Students will have their scores recorded. As the teacher walks around the room it will be apparent who has an easy time with basic chords and who is struggling. After the exercise play songs on the piano and question students at random what chord you played. It is important that the students hear the chords on a real piano, and outside of a testing exercise situation.


Closure: The teacher will ask what chords they like and which one they did not. Why? Why does a major triad sound happier than an Augmented? Why are their four basic chord structures?


Extensions: Students should be encouraged to spend as much time with Practica Musica as they can. A song list should be available showcasing specific chords. Students can also try to compose a song using at least two of the four chords. Introduction of 7th chords can be added.