Orchestra Teacher Resources

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Trey from Phish and Dave from the Dave Mathews Band took a trip to Africa to explore music, culture, and history. Your class watches this episode from VH1's Music Studio to understand how African culture and music have influenced modern American artists. Background information on Senegal, the musicians, web links, and critical-thinking questions accent this well-thought-out lesson that blends pop culture, social studies, and music.
Students observe the sounds of different brass instruments in order to understand how to create different pitches. In this musical lesson, students create a "brass" instrument from everyday household objects. The students discuss the relationship between pitch and the way their instrument is shaped.
Students react to a series of statements about Beethoven, then read a news article about the sale of a 179-year-old manuscript by the musical genius. In this current events instructional activity, the teacher introduces the article with a discussion and vocabulary activity, then students read the news report and participate in a class discussion. Lesson includes interdisciplinary follow-up activities.
Students discover about the form and function of traditional musical instruments, then use this knowledge to create non-traditional instruments that replicate the sounds of traditional instruments. They use vegetables to create their instruments!
Turn the class into a percussive orchestra and let the kids take over as conductor. You'll explain a few ins and outs of what a conductor does. Then you hand over the baton and let your budding Beethovens conduct each other as they play percussive instruments. The procedure for four activities is included.
Students play instruments in math class to learn the interconnectedness between math and music. For this math lesson, students subdivide a piece of music, clapping rhythms and charting rhythm patterns in the song. A guided discussion concludes the lesson.
There are many new words to learn in Iza Trapani's I'm a Little Teapot, which builds on the familiar nursery rhyme. Learners are acquainted with new in-text words before listening to you read. Suggested terms are: company, mighty, orchestra, patient, and stout. Help them utilize context clues by asking kids to raise their hands when they hear one. The comprehension questions solidify meaning by prompting connections to familiar concepts. Use the graphic organizers to help visual learners.
Music and poetry are vehicles that can tell many stories. Learners read the poem "The Song of the Murdered Jewish People" by Itzhak Katzenelson, then listen to the requiem it inspired; composed by Zlata Razdolina. Excellent background information provides the basis for a meaningful look at the portrayal of life and death through art.
Students explore percussion instruments. In this music lesson, students use water bottles, water, and spoons to create percussion sounds and to identify the change in pitch.
Students play string instruments to discover how the pitch changes on various string instruments.  In this pitch lesson, students listen to video clips and play an online music game.  Students become familiar with music vocabulary.
Young scholars explore musical pitch. In this cross curriculum musical instruments and "sound" physics lesson, students identify and describe common traits of woodwind instruments. Young scholars research "pitch" and what causes pitch fluctuation by viewing a number of web sites. Students perform a "pitch" experiment and make an original woodwind instrument.
Students read and discuss 'Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra: Mixing Treasures by Duke Ellington and Edvard Grieg,' exploring how jazz transformed European music and the influence jazz has had on modern music. They write musical reviews.
Fourth graders study Sergei Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf." They explore the characters and the instruments that represent the characters. They create their own version of "Peter and the Wolf" for the purpose of introducing the kindergartners to the classroom instruments and developing a love for music (much like the purpose that Prokofiev wrote his).
Classical period music is defined by its characteristics and distinctive sound. A set of notes assists upper graders in recalling and analyzing music from the classical period based on musical terminology. An example analysis of Eine Kline Nachtmusik also helps learners along.
Students discover music that was inspired by the spooky and bizarre. In this music of Hector Berlioz and Camille Saint-Saens lesson, students identify elements of music and listen to the Symphonie Fantastique and Danse Macabre. Students write a short story based on their interpretation of the music and create a group mural based on their visual interpretation of the music.
Sixth graders read a poem.  In this figurative language lesson, 6th graders identify figurative language in sentences, read the poem Winter Dark and identify the figurative language, and meet with their literature circle groups.
Sixth graders examine the basic elements of an opera in a three part lesson. Part one includes listening to opera excerpts and analyzing the excerpts in writing; part 2 includes recognizing the elements of a quatrain, identifying and creating rhyme schemes, and writing their own quatrains based on Greek or Roman myths. The unit is culminated in part three where students compose and perform an opera based on a Greek or Roman literary source.
Students read about White House events at which music is an important feature and study about three well known patriotic songs sung and played on some of these important occasions.
Students encounter and study "Mambo" from "West Side Story," by Leonard Bernstein. They practice utilizing musical elements (instrumentation, tempo, and dynamics) to create a certain mood for a scene with music. Each student interprets or imitate various experiences through pantomime, dramatization, role playing, etc.
Students explore Western and Chinese instruments. In this cross-curricular music and history instructional activity, students identify and classify instruments. Students view websites that include Chinese cultural history, and write a paragraph based on research done. Students create an instrument using recycled materials.

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