Music resources

The following websites may be useful resources for Stages 4 and 5 music.

  • BBC music is an interactive site including music radio and television programs on demand.
  • Big ears: the original online ear trainer is an online aural drill for practising interval recognition. Suitable for Stages 4 to 6.
  • Five interactive music projects includes background information, worksheets, composition activities and links. Covers a range of styles including hip-hop and west African drumming. Uses streaming audio. Suitable for Stages 4 to 6.
  • The kidszone of the New York Philharmonic website is an interactive and comprehensive introduction to the instruments of the New York Philharmonic through the instrument storage room and musicians lounge. It also contains composition activities, musical games, quizzes and an online lab for making and learning about making musical instruments. Suitable for Stages 2 to 4.
  • Finale Notepad is a free download which provides an easy introduction to computer music notation. It is available for Windows and Apple and easy to use – notes are dragged and dropped onto the staff, lyrics can be added, the music played back, printed and saved. Suitable for Stages 3 to 6.

KASCA (knowledge and skills creative arts) music framework

The KASCA music framework breaks down the core components of the concepts of music, learning experiences and music contexts into a series of lesson sequences. All lesson sequences come with ready-to-use differentiated learning and teaching resources and are available in an online format through the tabs below and an e-book (PDF 9.41MB) version that can be downloaded to your smart device.

Exploring tempo (speed)

Duration: 3 lessons

Focus

Internalising a beat.

Overview

There are many different Italian terms used to describe speed in music. So as not to overwhelm students, focus on 5. In this lesson sequence we will focus on Lento, Andante, Moderato, Allegro and Presto.

Stage 4 outcomes

Stage 5 outcomes

A student:

A student:

4.1 performs in a range of musical styles demonstrating an understanding of musical concepts

5.1 performs repertoire with increasing levels of complexity in a range of musical styles demonstrating an understanding of the musical concepts

4.4 demonstrates an understanding of musical concepts through exploring, experimenting, improvising

5.12 demonstrates a developing confidence and willingness

4.12 demonstrates a developing confidence and willingness to engage in performing, composing and listening experiences

N/A

Music 7-10 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2003.

Content

Students will research the definition of the 5 core Italian duration terms. They will then learn to internalise the beat and identify these terms, by:

  • walking in time to the beat of 5 different tempos (life skills activity)
  • playing a game that identifies 5 different tempos
  • performing the first 8 bars of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy in time with a metronome, using 5 different tempos
  • completing a worksheet of real-life scenarios and relating them to Italian words describing tempo (extension activity).

Cross-curriculum content and key competencies

Information and communication technology

Literacy

Numeracy

Assessment

All activities require students to demonstrate their learning and are all assessment for learning activities.

Teaching and learning activities

Literacy and numeracy

Students will:

  • research the definition and approximate bpm (beats per minute) of each of the 5 core Italian terms.

Italian term

Definition

Beats per minute (bpm)

Lento

slowly

45 - 60bpm

Andante

at a walking pace

76 - 108bpm

Moderato

at a moderate speed

108 - 120bpm

Allegro

fast and lively

120 - 168bpm

Presto

very fast

128 - 200bpm

Movement

Students will:

Game

Students will:

Scenarios

Students will:

  • relate given scenarios to Italian terms for tempo. The terms on the tempo worksheet (PDF 4.27MB) include expressive techniques that manipulate the concept of duration (in this case, tempo).

Performing skills activity

Students will:

  • perform the first 8 bars of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy in the different tempos, using a metronome as an indicator of speed.

A metronome may be accessible on keyboards, as a free app, a website or on YouTube. This task can also be done as a whole class activity with the pulse amplified through speakers. The music for this exercise can be downloaded for keyboard (PDF 4.44 MB) and tablature for guitar (PDF 4.35MB) and bass guitar (PDF 4.35MB).

Differentiation

Extension

Students could:

Life skills

Life skills outcomes

A student:

LS.1 a student uses movement, vocalisation or instruments to respond to a range of music.

Music 7-10 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2003.

Students could:

  • participate in the movement activity by physically moving all or part of the body
  • hit a drum or other percussion instrument in response to different tempos.
Evaluate

Feedback is formative during the lessons. Students will successfully internalise the beat by moving or playing in time with different tempos and use correct Italian terms to identify tempos.

Reference list and resources
Tempo example videos -

Duration: 1 lesson

Overview

Through movement and maths, students will kinaesthetically reinforce their knowledge of note values and note names. Notes to be covered: semibreves/whole notes, minims/half notes, crotchets/quarter notes and quavers/eighth notes.

Stage 4 outcomes

A student:

4.4 demonstrates an understanding of musical concepts through exploring, experimenting, improvising

4.7 demonstrates an understanding of musical concepts through listening, observing, responding, discriminating, analysing, discussing and recording musical ideas

Music 7-10 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2003.

Content

Students will participate in two music games based on note values and terms.

Cross-curriculum content and key competencies

Literacy

Numeracy

Assessment

All activities require students to demonstrate their learning and are all assessment for learning activities.

Teaching and learning activities

Literacy and numeracy

Students will:

  • associate note values with fractions and addition.
  • learn metalanguage – English and American terms are allocated to each note. Having the American term helps to relate note values to maths and assists in learning time signatures.

English term

American term

Note value

Semibreve

Whole note

4 beats

Minim

Half note

2 beats

Crotchet

Quarter note

1 beat

Quaver

Eighth note

½ beat

Suggested student learning activities include:

  • completing the note names worksheet (PDF 4.32MB) labelling the pictures of a semibreve, minim, crotchet and semiquaver
  • researching the equivalent American terms and discussing how this relates to maths and fractions.

Numeracy games

Physical numbers

  1. Divide the class into two equal groups.
  2. Group one stand at the front of the room and group two sit down to watch.
  3. Draw four labelled stick figures on the board. Standing stick figure = semibreve/whole note, four beats. Kneeling stick figure = minim/half note, two beats. Sitting stick figure = crotchet/quarter note, one beat. Lying stick figure = quaver/eighth note, ½ a beat.
  4. Call a number (4, 2, 1 or ½) and students quickly move to the matching position (standing, kneeling, sitting or lying). The last student to move to the correct position and those who are incorrect, are out.
  5. Swap groups and repeat the activity. The last students left in each group compete with each other.
  6. Make the activity harder by doing extra rounds using either the English term or the American term.

Sticky numbers

  1. Have students gather in a large open space.
  2. Call out a random number (e.g. thirteen). Students then form groups to add up to the number thirteen by standing/kneeling/sitting/lying (or combinations of these).
  3. Everyone in the class must be included. Therefore, what might have been one person sitting (1 beat), has to become two people lying (2 x ½ beat).

Differentiation

Extension

Students could:

  • use the English and or American terms in both numeracy games.

Life skills

Life skills outcomes

A student:

LS.1 a student uses movement, vocalisation or instruments to respond to a range of music.

Music 7-10 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2003.

Students could:

  • complete maths activity one but are limited to note values only.
Evaluate

Feedback is formative during the lessons. Students move to the corresponding position for each note value or note name.

Reference list and resources

Duration: 5 - 6 lessons

Focus

How music is used in film to enhance a scene.

Overview

These lessons explore the use and characteristics of music within seven identifiable functions in film.

  1. Credits
  2. Mood and atmosphere
  3. Dramatic effect
  4. Sense of locale
  5. Character emotion or identification
  6. Pace and action
  7. Foreshadowing

Stage 4 outcomes

Stage 5 outcomes

A student:

A student:

4.7 demonstrates an understanding of musical concepts through listening, observing, responding, discriminating, analysing, discussing and recording musical ideas.

5.7 demonstrates an understanding of musical concepts through the analysis, comparison, and critical discussion of music from different stylistic, social, cultural and historical contexts

4.8 demonstrates an understanding of musical concepts through aural identification and discussion of the features of a range of repertoire

5.8 demonstrates an understanding of musical concepts through aural identification, discrimination, memorisation and notation in the music selected for study

Music 7-10 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2003.

Content

Students will engage in visual and aural activities that explore the characteristics of music in film. They will compare functions based on a critical analysis of similarities and differences present in the concepts of music. Stage 5 students will be expected to go into greater detail regarding the concepts of music and associated terminology.

Cross-curriculum content and key competencies

Information and communication technology

Literacy

Aboriginal and Indigenous (in suggested film scenes)

Difference and diversity (in suggested film scenes)

Assessment

All activities require students to demonstrate their learning and are all assessment for learning activities.

Teaching and learning activities

Students will:

  • brainstorm the types of scenes that music can enhance
  • observe the presentation - functions of music in film
  • consider the possible use of duration, pitch and dynamics in each function (in a basic sense for Stage 4, more detailed for Stage 5). Students could draw up a table like the one below and fill in what they expect will happen
  • discuss as a class
  • watch scenes to ascertain whether they were correct.

Function

Performing media (instruments/voices)

Pitch

High/low notes?

Major/minor?

Duration

Fast/slow tempo?

Long/short notes?

Dynamics (volume)

Mood/atmosphere

Student data here

N/A

N/A

N/A

Credits

Student data here

N/A

N/A

N/A

Dramatic effect

Student data here

N/A

N/A

N/A

Sense of locale

Student data here

N/A

N/A

N/A

Character emotion/identification

Student data here

N/A

N/A

N/A

Pace and action

Student data here

N/A

N/A

N/A

Foreshadowing

Student data here

N/A

N/A

N/A

  • Try and use Italian terms when discussing tempo:
    • Lento – very slow
    • Andante – at a walking pace
    • Moderato – at a moderate speed
    • Allegro – fast and lively
    • Presto – very fast
  • Try and use Italian terms when discussing dynamics:
    • pianissimo – very soft
    • piano – soft
    • mezzo piano – moderately soft
    • mezzo forte – moderately loud
    • forte – loud
    • fortissimo – very loud
  • focusing on one function at a time, watch several scenes related to that function. Look for similarities and differences in the use of musical concepts by working in pairs to complete a table. Some suggested film scenes can be found in the accompanying document Suggested film scenes (PDF 4.27MB)
  • what conclusions can be drawn from this analysis? Information relating to the different functions and their musical characteristics can be found in the accompanying document Music in film (PDF 4.28MB).

Literacy and numeracy

Students will:

  • learn and use metalanguage associated with the concepts of music.

Differentiation

Extension

Students could:

  • explore duration, pitch and dynamics in greater depth
  • add texture, tone colour and expressive techniques, with associated terminology
  • research their own film scene to match each function, based on conclusions drawn from the similarities and differences activity.

Life skills

Life skills outcomes

A student:

LS.5 a student experiments in organising musical sounds.

Music 7-10 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2003.

Students could:

  • create a simplified version of the table provided above
  • employ a tick box type of table for the similarities and differences activity.
Evaluate

Formative feedback: students will contribute to class discussion

Summative feedback: this information can form the basis of an exam where students identify the functions of music in selected scenes and justify their opinions using the concepts of music

Reference list and resources

Duration: 5-6 lessons

Focus

Exploring varied sound sources of the four families of instruments within the western symphony orchestra.

Overview

Students will explore the instruments of the orchestra through a Prezi containing a series of videos. They will develop deep knowledge of the instruments, their families, expressive techniques and the role of a professional musician.

Stage 4 outcomes

A student:

4.8 demonstrates an understanding of musical concepts through aural identification and discussion of the features of a range of repertoire

Music 7-10 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2003.

Content

The four families of the western symphony orchestra are:

  • strings
  • woodwinds
  • brass
  • percussion.

The Orchestra sway and accompanying prompt sheet (PDF 4.28MB) will assist in the introduction of the orchestra families and their sound sources for Stage 4 students.

Cross-curriculum content and key competencies

Information and communication technology

Work, employment and enterprise

Literacy

Gender

Environment (life-skills)

Assessment

All activities require students to demonstrate their learning and are all assessment for learning activities.

Teaching and learning activities

Students will:

  • discuss the layout of the families. Ask students:
    • Who do you think sits in each colour?
    • Why do you think they are that size?
    • Why do you think they sit in that position?
  • observe and discuss:
    • the roles and responsibilities of the conductor
    • the roles and responsibilities of professional musicians
    • the instruments of the string family, including associated expressive techniques-
      • pizzicato (featured in the first violin sway video)
      • arco (featured in the first violin sway video)
      • vibrato (featured in the first violin sway video)
      • glissando (featured in second cello sway video).
      • the instruments of the woodwind family
      • the instruments of the brass family
      • the instruments of the percussion family.

Literacy and numeracy

Students will:

  • learn the names of the instruments of each orchestral family
  • learn the metalanguage associated with expressive techniques on string instruments.

Differentiation

Extension

Students could:

  • investigate and explore how orchestras and their layouts have changed over the centuries
  • investigate and explore the expressive techniques possible on woodwind and brass instruments

Life skills

Life skills outcomes

A student:

LS.4 a student experiments in making musical sounds.

Music 7-10 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2003.

Students could:

  • complete a mind map of the instrument families and members of the families:
    • strings
      • violin
      • viola
      • cello
      • double Bass
      • harp and piano are visitors – not regular members
    • woodwinds
      • flute and piccolo
      • oboe
      • clarinet
      • bassoon
    • brass
      • trumpet
      • french horn
      • trombone
      • tuba
    • percussion
      • timpani
      • castanets, triangle, snare drum, bass drum, gong, chimes, xylophone (to name a few)
  • read through the information sheet in the resource section on the layout of the orchestra (PDF 4.38MB). Turn it into a cloze passage if desired.
  • watch the YouTube clip on The Vegetable Orchestra Literally Plays with Their Food (00:02:45) discuss, and make instruments.
Evaluate

Formative feedback - students will contribute to class discussion

Summative feedback - create an account and sign in to Kahoot. Students will participate in a Kahoot about the instruments of the orchestra.

Reference list and resources

Duration: 4 - 5 lessons

Focus

Exploring varied sound sources of instruments from around the world.

Overview

Students will categorise instruments form other countries according to their source of sound production.

Stage 4 outcomes

A student:

4.8 demonstrates an understanding of musical concepts through aural identification and discussion of the features of a range of repertoire

Music 7-10 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2003.

Content

There are five categories to which any instrument in the world can belong. This is different to the four instrument families to which only instruments of the orchestra can belong. The five categories are: chordophone, aerophone, membranophone, idiophone and electrophone.

Cross-curriculum content and key competencies

Information and communication technology

Literacy

Environment

Difference and Diversity

Aboriginal and Indigenous

Assessment

All activities require students to demonstrate their learning and are all assessment for learning activities.

Teaching and learning activities

Students will

  • discuss the differences between the five categories and brainstorm instruments that belong to each category.
    • Aerophones – instruments that use the vibration of air to generate sound. This can be air that is blown or pumped. E.g. flute, shakuhachi, bagpipes, pipe organ, harmonica, piano accordion, recorder, saxophone etc.
    • Chordophones – instruments that use the vibration of strings to generate sound. These strings can be plucked, hammered, bowed or strummed. E.g. koto, bouzouki, acoustic guitar, cello, banjo, ukelele etc.
    • Membranophones – instruments that use the vibration of a skin (membrane) to generate sound. E.g. bass drum, timpani, djembe, bodhran, snare drum, tambor etc.
    • Idiophones – instruments that use the vibration of their own body to generate sound (i.e. all percussion instruments except drums). These instruments can be struck, scraped, shaken or rattled. E.g. anklung, xylophone, triangle, cymbals, cabassa, maracas, claves. A tambourine with a skin can fit into membranophones and idiophones, as can the Persian, daf.
    • Electrophones – instruments that use the vibration of electricity to generate sound. E.g. electric guitar, bass guitar, synthesiser, theremin.

The teacher can make a list of all the different nationalities present in the class. Each student can then investigate instruments of their culture that belong to one or more of the five categories.

Try to emphasise the first four categories and instruments indigenous to particular countries or areas, rather than the more recent introduction of electrophones. This allows students to explore the heritage of instruments and their cultural background.

  • Observe the Sway Music of the World. Students could create a table of the area/country and the name of the instrument and whilst watching the Sway, identify the category from which each instrument comes.

Literacy and numeracy

Students will:

  • learn the categories and their differences
  • create a mind map of categories of instruments from around the world with examples.

Differentiation

Extension

Students will:

  • investigate and explore instruments and their categories from a specific or student chosen culture.

Life skills

Life skills outcomes

A student:

LS.7 experiences music from a variety of social, cultural and historical contexts

LS.8 communicates responses to a variety of music

Music 7-10 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2003.

Students could:

  • identify the settings of some of these instruments. Eg. personal enjoyment, a concert or ceremony, a formal occasion, quiet reflection etc.
  • indicate, physically or verbally, their like or dislike of different instruments sounds.
Evaluate

Formative feedback: students will contribute to class discussion.

Summative feedback: students can complete a KAHOOT on instruments from around the world.

Reference list and resources

Duration: 4 – 5 lessons

Focus

Group performance and composition on non-melodic percussion instruments.

Overview

Students will develop 21st century skills of collaboration, communication and creativity through simple rhythmic compositions and group performance.

Stage 4 outcomes

A student:

4.1 performs in a range of musical styles demonstrating an understanding of musical concepts

4.2 performs music using different forms of notation and different types of technology across a broad range of musical styles

4.3 performs music demonstrating solo and/or ensemble awareness

4.4 demonstrates an understanding of musical concepts through exploring, experimenting, improvising, organising, arranging and composing

4.5 notates compositions using traditional and/or non-traditional notation

4.9 demonstrates musical literacy through the use of notation, terminology and the reading and interpreting of scores used in the music selected for study

Music 7-10 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2003.

Content

Using available non-melodic percussion instruments, students will learn to perform rhythmic ostinatos (repeated patterns), following a score in groups of like instruments. They will then compose and notate their rhythmic ostinatos to perform in small groups containing different instruments. Instruments may include triangle, cabassa, tambourine, claves, bongos, egg shaker or body percussion such as clapping, thigh-slapping or stamping.

Cross-curriculum content and key competencies

Numeracy

Literacy

Assessment

All activities require students to demonstrate their learning and are all assessment for learning activities.

Students will demonstrate:

  • ensemble awareness: the ability to maintain a steady tempo and perform a rhythmic ostinato,
  • the ability to compose and notate their own 2 bar rhythmic ostinato,
  • collaboration and communication with peers,
  • performance and audience etiquette.

Teaching and learning activities

Class percussion activity

Display a rhythmic ostinato score for available non-melodic percussion instruments at the front of the room for all students to see. Write the score in order from softest instrument to loudest. Samples percussion scores are available for download (PDF 4.4MB).

Place like instruments in horizontal rows in front of the score (on the floor if possible), with softer instruments at the front. For example:

  • row 1 = egg shaker
  • row 2 = claves
  • row 3 = triangle
  • row 4 = cabassa
  • row 5 = tambourine
  • row 6 = bongos

Students will:

  • learn each ostinato one at a time, by clapping the rhythms. If there is difficulty learning the rhythms, invent silly sayings or words where the syllables match the rhythm. This makes it easier for students to remember the rhythm. Examples of this have been provided in the Sample rhythm sayings handout (PDF 4.69MB).
  • play and hold the instruments using the correct technique. Go through each ostinato with its matching rhythm on the score.
  • perform ostinatos as a class ensemble. Count students in so they know the tempo then direct them to start either one row at a time, several rows at once or everyone at once. Once students begin to play their ostinato, they continue until directed to stop. Varying when students begin, and end can allow for changes in texture and dynamics to be highlighted.
  • swap rows (instruments/ostinatos) to perform all ostinatos on all instruments.

Small group activity 1

Using the same score as the class percussion activity, students can be placed into small groups around the room to engage in student-directed performance of the ostinatos.

Notation activity

Students will:

  • individually notate their own 2 bar rhythmic ostinatos. Each bar should be different, and the two bars should end with a repeat sign.
  • learn and practise (clapping or playing a non-melodic percussion instrument) their composition.

Small group activity 2

In groups of various non-melodic percussion instruments, students will:

  • practise their individually composed ostinatos together
  • discuss the order of instruments playing (especially regarding their dynamics) and how the piece will start and end
  • perform their pieces for the rest of the class.

Remind students how to behave when watching a performance and how performers are to acknowledge their audience.

Performances can be filmed for self and peer reflection and for assessment purposes.

Literacy and numeracy

Students will:

  • understand note values and their groupings for composition
  • follow a beat and given tempo (speed)
  • read and interpret musical scores
  • break words into syllables to match rhythmic patterns
  • metalanguage:
    • ostinato – a repeated pattern
    • texture – layers of sound.

Differentiation

Extension

Students could:

  • create complex ostinatos that include syncopation with rests and/or ties
  • compose a rhythmic ostinato score for 2 or more instruments.

Life skills

Life skills outcomes

A student:

LS.2 vocalise, sings or plays an instrument

LS.3 vocalises, sings or plays an instrument as part of a group

LS.5 experiments in organising musical sounds

Music 7-10 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2003.

Students could:

  • use untuned percussion instruments to keep the beat of the music
  • play an individual part within a musical piece
  • reproduce a sound at determined intervals when playing in a group
  • compose (but not notate) an ostinato for performance in a group.

Evaluate

Formative feedback

Observation of group collaboration and teacher monitoring of notation.

Summative feedback

This unit can culminate in the assessment of the notation and final performance.

Reference list and resources

Duration: 4-5 lessons

Focus

Learning notes of the treble clef and the C Major scale.

Overview

Pitch refers to highness and lowness of sound. There are seven letters (pitch names) in the musical alphabet. Students will learn how to read these on the staff and write short, simple compositions in the treble clef.

Stage 4 outcomes

A student:

4.5 notates compositions using traditional and/or non-traditional notation

4.9 demonstrates musical literacy through the use of notation, terminology and the reading and interpreting of scores used in the music selected for study

Music 7-10 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2003.

Content

Music is a language that involves reading notation. Using traditional notation, students will use critical thinking skills to interpret and compose music written for instruments such as the keyboard (right hand) and melodic percussion such as the xylophone or glockenspiel.

Music written in the treble clef refers to notes located to the right of middle C on the keyboard.

Musical score

The following sites can be referred to for better understanding.

  • 8 notes.com allows you to view the staff, clefs and ledger lines as separate slides. It includes the bass clef (which can be omitted from this lesson sequence).
  • How to read music - Tim Hansen (00:05:23) is a short film that explains clefs and time signatures. Please note that this video uses American terminology for note values.

Cross-curriculum content and key competencies

Numeracy

Literacy

Assessment

All activities require students to demonstrate their learning and are all assessment for learning activities.

Teaching and learning activities

There are only seven letters in the musical alphabet: a, b, c, d, e, f and g. There are more than seven different pitches used in many pieces and songs, so once we get to G, we go back to A and start the cycle again.

The five lines upon which music is written is called the staff.

Musical score

Middle C and the high A are written on a ledger line. This is a small line that extends the staff so that more notes can be included.

The pitch name of a note is determined by where the note head (round part of the note) sits; either on a line or in a space (between two lines). It does not matter which direction the stem goes or what the note value is.

Musical score

Activity one

  • Have students watch introductory videos on the treble clef and write down three dot points of information. Some videos include
  • In pairs or small groups establish five different dot points of information based on everyone’s points.
  • As a class, come up with six to eight different points of information regarding notes in the treble clef. Students can write these into their books.

Activity two

  • Divide the class in two. Team A and team B.
  • Somewhere on the board have treble clef notes drawn, with their pitch names underneath for reference.
  • Draw eight different treble clef notes on the board. One at a time, each student from team A has to name the pitch of the note. Keep a tally of correct answers. If someone is incorrect, a person from team B may answer (and is eligible for that point). Team A continues to name notes until all eight are finished.
  • Draw eight new notes and repeat the process with team B.
  • Once team B’s eight notes are complete, draw a new set of eight and begin where team A left off.
  • Repeat this process until everyone on each team has had a chance to name a note.
  • This activity can be extended by:
    • removing the reference notes on the board
    • changing the note values of the notes you draw.

Activity three

Students will:

Activity four

Students will:

Activity five

Students will:

  1. draw the following treble clef, time signature and bar lines on manuscript paper (staff) in their book, in pencil.

Musical score

  1. above the staff, notate the two bar ostinato they composed for the non-melodic percussion task. Alternatively, the teacher can write a two bar rhythm on the board for the class to copy.
  2. copy their rhythm onto the staff, as notes of the C Major scale
  • the C Major scale is eight notes in alphabetical order from middle C to the next C.
  • start and end on any C. Notes can be used in any order or repeated.
  • try and move in steps (pitches close together) rather than leaps (pitches far apart), as this will sound nicer.
  • ensure that the rhythm of the pitches on the staff matches the rhythm written above (including the addition of any rests).
  • the end result should look similar to below (with students’ own rhythm and pitch). Musical score

Literacy and numeracy

Students will:

  • understand note values and their groupings for composition
  • learn how to read notation in the treble clef
  • learn and utilise metalanguage
    • treble clef – the sign at the beginning of each line of staff that indicates notes to be played from middle C and up
    • staff/manuscript – the five parallel lines upon which notes are written
    • scale – series of seven letter names in alphabetical order upon which pieces and songs are based.

Differentiation

Extension

Students could:

  • compose four or six bar compositions
  • create complex rhythms upon which to base their C Major piece
  • play their composition on the keyboard or a melodic percussion instrument
  • transcribe their composition into a music software program such as Finale or Sibelius.

Life skills

Life skills outcomes

A student:

LS.6 a student experiments in representing and recording musical sounds

Music 7-10 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2003.

Students could:

  • insert notes onto a pre-written two bar score with rhythm above
  • complete the gap fill exercise based on notes of the treble clef.
Evaluate

Formative feedback - student participation in class activities.

Students can assess their level of understanding by playing the following online games

  • Treble Clef game - Players have two minutes to name as many treble clef notes as they can. Sign in to save results.
  • Whack a note - a game where players click on the matching note as fast as they can.
  • Word Warrior Treble Clef Music Quiz a game that requires players to read notes on the treble clef and identify the word they spell.

Summative feedback - this unit can conclude with an extended version of activity five, for assessment.

Reference list and resources

Duration: 4 - 5 lessons

Focus

Learning notes of the bass clef and composing in C Major.

Overview

Pitch refers to highness and lowness of sound. There are seven letters (pitch names) in the musical alphabet. Students will learn how to read these on the staff and write short, simple compositions in the bass clef.

Stage 4 outcomes

A student:

4.5 notates compositions using traditional and/or non-traditional notation

4.9 demonstrates musical literacy through the use of notation, terminology and the reading and interpreting of scores used in the music selected for study

Music 7-10 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2003.

Content

Music is a language that involves reading notation. Using traditional notation, students will use critical thinking skills to interpret and compose music written for instruments such as the keyboard (left hand) and melodic percussion such as the xylophone or glockenspiel.

Music written in the bass clef refers to notes located to the left of middle C on the keyboard. Instruments that use the bass clef include cello, tuba, double bass, bassoon and bass guitar.

Musical scores

The following sites can be referred to for better understanding.

  • 8 notes.com allows you to view the staff, clefs and ledger lines as separate slides. It includes the treble clef (which can be omitted from this lesson sequence).
  • How to read music - Tim Hansen (00:05:23) is a short film that explains clefs and time signatures. Please note that this video uses American terminology for note values.

Cross-curriculum content and key competencies

Numeracy

Literacy

Assessment

All activities require students to demonstrate their learning and are all assessment for learning activities.

Teaching and learning activities

There are only seven letters in the musical alphabet: a, b, c, d, e, f and g. There are more than seven different pitches used in many pieces and songs, so once we get to G, we go back to A and start the cycle again.

The five lines upon which music is written is called the staff.

Musical scores

Low E and middle C are written on a ledger line. This is a small line that extends the staff so that more notes can be included.

The pitch name of a note is determined by where the note head (round part of the note) sits; either on a line or in a space (between two lines). It does not matter which direction the stem goes or what the note value is.

Musical scores

Activity one

  • Have students watch introductory videos on the bass clef and write down three dot points of information. Some videos include:
  • In pairs or small groups establish four different dot points of information based on each individuals’ points.
  • As a class, come up with five to six different points of information regarding notes in the bass clef. Students can write these into their books.

Activity two

  • Divide the class in two. Team A and team B.
  • Somewhere on the board have bass clef notes drawn, with their pitch names underneath for reference.
  • Draw eight different bass clef notes on the board. One at a time, each student from team A has to name the pitch of the note. Keep a tally of correct answers. If someone is incorrect, a person from team B may answer (and is eligible for that point). Team A continues to name notes until all eight are finished.
  • Draw eight new notes and repeat the process with team B.
  • Once team B’s eight notes are complete, draw a new set of eight and begin where team A left off.
  • Repeat this process until everyone on each team has had a chance to name a note.
  • This activity can be extended by:
    • removing the reference notes on the board
    • changing the note values of the notes you draw.

Activity three

Students will:

Activity four

Students will:

Activity five

Students will:

  1. draw the following bass clef, time signature and bar lines on manuscript paper (staff) in their book, in pencil.

Musical scores

  1. notate the two bar ostinato (above the staff) that they composed for the non-melodic percussion sequence. Alternatively, the teacher can write a two bar rhythm on the board for the class to copy.
  2. copy their rhythm onto the staff, as notes of the C Major scale:
  • the C Major scale is eight notes in alphabetical order from one C up to the next C.
  • start and end on either low C or middle C. Notes can be used in any order or repeated.
  • try and move in steps (pitches close together) rather than leaps (pitches far apart), as this will sound nicer.
  • ensure that the rhythm of the pitches on the staff matches the rhythm written above (including the addition of any rests).
  • the end result should look similar to below (with students’ own rhythm and pitch).Musical scores

Literacy and numeracy

Students will:

  • understand note values and their groupings for composition
  • learn how to read notation in the bass clef
  • learn and utilise metalanguage
    • bass clef – the sign at the beginning of each line of staff that indicates notes to be played from middle C and below (to the left)
    • staff/manuscript – the five parallel lines upon which notes are written
    • scale – series of seven letter names in alphabetical order upon which pieces and songs are based.

Differentiation

Extension

Students could:

  • compose four or six bar compositions
  • create complex rhythms upon which to base their C Major piece
  • play their composition on the keyboard or a melodic percussion instrument
  • transcribe their composition into a music software program such as Finale or Sibelius.

Life skills

Life skills outcomes

A student:

LS.6 a student experiments in representing and recording musical sounds

Music 7-10 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2003.

Students could:

  • insert notes onto a pre-written two bar score with rhythm above
  • complete the gap fill exercise - bass based on notes of the bass clef.

Evaluate

Formative feedback - student participation in class activities.

Students can assess their level of understanding by playing the following online games

Summative feedback - this unit can conclude with an extended version of activity five, for assessment.

Reference list and resources

Duration: 9 – 10 lessons

Focus

Many cultures base their music on pentatonic scales. As part of a unit of instruments of the world, students research, compose, improvise and perform music based on pentatonic scales.

Overview

Group/individual composition and performance of pentatonic tunes on melodic percussion instruments. Instruments may include treble, alto or bass xylophones, glockenspiels or marimbas. This sequence can also be completed using keyboards.

Stage 4 outcomes

A student:

4.1 performs in a range of musical styles demonstrating an understanding of musical concepts

4.2 performs music using different forms of notation and different types of technology across a broad range of musical styles

4.3 performs music demonstrating solo and/or ensemble awareness

4.4 demonstrates an understanding of musical concepts through exploring, experimenting, improvising, organising, arranging and composing

4.5 notates compositions using traditional and/or non-traditional notation

4.9 demonstrates musical literacy through the use of notation, terminology and the reading and interpreting of scores used in the music selected for study

Music 7-10 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2003.

Content

Using available melodic percussion instruments (or keyboards if necessary), students will learn to compose, improvise and perform their own short tunes based on the C pentatonic scale. This task can utilise previously composed rhythmic ostinatos.

Further information on pentatonic scales can be found through the following links:

Cross-curriculum content and key competencies

Numeracy

Literacy

Difference and diversity (looking at different cultures that use these scales)

Assessment

All activities require students to demonstrate their learning and are all assessment for learning activities.

Students will demonstrate

  • the ability to compose and notate their own pentatonic pieces,
  • ensemble awareness: the ability to maintain a steady tempo and improvise over a beat or rhythmic ostinato,
  • collaboration and communication with peers,
  • turn taking
  • ability to interpret and follow a score.

Teaching and learning activities

Activity one

  • Use the Bobby McFerrin video (00:02:41) as an entry event. Students can engage in the viewing by singing along as McFerrin moves.
  • Draw a series of five large dots in the same pattern as the one below. Title: dots representing pentatonic scale - Description: K:\KASCA\pitch\pentadots.jpg
  • Point to the first dot of the series and sing a starting note. Have students repeat this note.
  • Students follow along and sing ‘la’ or the corresponding scale degree number (1, 2, 3, 5 or 6) as the teacher points to different dots (in much the same way as the audience followed and sang as Bobby McFerrin jumped to different ‘notes’).

Activity two

  • Divide the class into two teams. Have two large sets of five dots (the same pattern as above) marked on the ground.
  • One student from each team stands on the first dot on the left and a starting note is given (sung or played on an instrument).
  • As the teacher (slowly and steadily) plays or sings different notes of the pentatonic scale, students move to the corresponding dot. The first incorrect answer has that student replaced by the next person in their team.
  • The game is over when all students from one team have been used. The winning team is the one with the least number of incorrect moves.

Activity three

The following information can be explained to students.

In a ‘normal’ (diatonic) scale there are 7 notes (8, when the first note is repeated). Each note of a scale is in alphabetical order and is given a scale degree number from 1 to 8.

For example

G Major scale

Title: G major scale - Description: K:\KASCA\pitch\GM.jpg

D Major scale

Title: D major scale - Description: K:\KASCA\pitch\DM.jpg

In a pentatonic scale, only 5 notes are used. They are always scale degrees 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6, no matter what the first note is.

For example

In a G pentatonic scale, the 4th scale degree (C) and the 7th (F#) are removed. Only the remaining notes are used in a piece based on the G pentatonic.

Title: G pentatonic scale - Description: K:\KASCA\pitch\G pentatonic scale.jpg

In a D pentatonic scale, the 4th scale degree (G) and the 7th (C#) are removed.

Title: D pentatonic scale, 4th scale - Description: K:\KASCA\pitch\D pentatonic.jpg

Activity four

Students complete the Pentatonic worksheet (PDF 4.53MB) (or a similar teacher-devised worksheet).

Activity five

In pairs or small groups

  • discuss and write the meaning of pentatonic
  • research and document different cultures that use pentatonic scales

Activity six

  • Students write the notation for a C pentatonic scale of two octaves, on manuscript (staff), in pencil. Alternatively, the teacher can have these written on the board. This is the pentatonic scale to be used for the following composition, improvisation and performance tasks.Title: Cpentatonic scale - Description: K:\KASCA\pitch\cpenta2oct.jpg
  • Students then draw the following treble clef, time signature and bar lines on staff in their book, in pencil.Title: blank music score - Description: K:\KASCA\pitch\2bars.jpg
  • Above the staff, students can notate the two bar ostinato they composed for the non-melodic percussion task. Alternatively, the teacher can write a two bar rhythm on the board for the class to copy.
  • Students then copy their rhythm onto the staff, as notes of the C pentatonic scale.
    • Start and end on any C. Notes can be used in any order or repeated.
    • Try and move in steps (pitches close together) rather than leaps (pitches far apart), as this will sound nicer.
    • Ensure that the rhythm of the pitches on the staff matches the rhythm written above (including the addition of any rests).
    • The end result should look similar to below (with students’ own rhythm and pitch).