This lesson is intended for a middle school first
clarinet lesson. They have a
fundamental knowledge of pitch, intonation, and harmonic theory.
will further their ability to discern when pitches are in tune, flat, or sharp,
by reviewing intonation, practicing and taking an exam with Aurelia, and then
assessing intonation on live instruments playing set examples of unison
pitches. Our final goal is to play a section in the band music that needs the
most attention to intonation.
Purpose: This lesson
begins a new segment in a unit on Intonation. Students previously have learned how to tune their own
instruments to a tuner. Now, they
will practice to hear and correct intonation issues in performance with other
and band music
to a music computer lab with ample computers for each student. The computers have Aurelia with
D major scale notated
Anticipatory Set: Individually,
students tune each instrument with tuner.
Each student demonstrates flat and sharp extremes, before honing in on
central, correct pitch.
What does it mean to be in tune?
Why is it important to be in tune? Why does it sound better? Conclusions: pitch is perfected; unisons and harmonic
intervals are in perfect relation.
When pitches are in tune, the frequency waves are matching in accordance
with the harmonic spectrum and create what sounds as Śmost beautifulą and
Śrightą to our ear. This
contrasts music that is out of tune, which can sound displeasing, muddy,
or even painful to the artistically sensitive ear. Mention that all musicians,
including rock stars, tune up.
instruments play unison concert Bb pitch.
- Open ears to beats in sound
waves. Have two clarinets
demonstrate unison concert Bb.
Instruct one player to lip sharp. All listen to beats in the sound waves as they
clash. The student then
corrects the pitch and beats disappear.
the students to the computer stations and open Aurelia. Instruct students to practice
levels one and two of the pitch training category.
students take prepared exam on level two after fifteen minutes of
practice. Discuss results.
to instruments. Remind students
of embouchure technique to attain perfect intonation in all registers.
two-octave D major scale, one note at a time. Begin with one player to a tuner. When in tune, add a second player,
and continue until all are playing one note without beats in the sound
wave. Make sure to draw
student attention to listening for the beats. Then, continue to the next note.
the entire scale, conducting each note.
excerpt from band music in which first clarinets have phrases including
the high D. Practice this
unison section in the same pattern as the scale. When finished, play as close to tempo and with musical
inflection as perfect intonation allows.
Check for Student Understanding: In each section of the lesson, there is constant
opportunity to assess student learning.
They will have to correctly tune their instrument and assess whether
instruments are in tune, sharp, or flat.
Next, they will take an exam after practicing on Aurelia and discuss
results. Finally, the teacher
assesses how each student performs the D major scale and band music while
Closure: Pose guided questions to the
- Q: Why
play in tune? A: The correct
placement of each pitch makes music beautiful
What is a pitch called when it is below center? A: flat Q:
High from center? A: sharp
happens when pitches are out of tune? A: You can hear the beats
- Q: How
can you improve pitch? A:
Listen for beats, train ear by practicing with tuner, other musicians, and
programs such as Aurelia
on unison intonation in other keys, until finally focusing on the entire
and intervallic intonation lessons, including chord progressions and