Friday, February 5, 2010

Fifth Grade Lesson

MU.C.1.2 states that "The student understands music in relation to culture and history." (Sunshine State Standards; Music 3-5)

Because we live in a global community, it is important for students to become acquainted with different genres of music from various countries and cultures. They should be able to describe how the basic elements of music (rhythm, melody, timbre, texture and dynamics) are used in different types of music around the world. They should also understand the roles that regions, events and historical contexts have in generating various types of music. In my classroom, I use a song from South Africa entitled "Kalimba" to teach the concept of form in music.

A kalimba is a percussion instrument (also called an mbira). At the beginning of the lesson, we talk about the kalimba and I play a sound file on my laptop so my students can actually hear one being played.

The lesson you are about to see gives you a peek into my classroom as I teach "Kalimba" to a group of 5th graders. The lesson was originally written by Mary Beth Yoder-White (Appalachian State University) and I have adapted it to fit my purposes here. My lesson synthesizes many things - music from other cultures, unfamiliar music vocabulary, directionality on a compass, rhythmic reading, body percussion, improvisation, form and structure. It is taught to the individual; the learning is then applied in a group setting. The lesson ends with a group performance in the back of the classroom.

My heartfelt "thanks!!" goes out to Mr. Trey Vollmer of Vollmer Video for his assistance with this project.

Until next time...