Music Learning Activities
(Step-by-Step Lessons)

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Phase 1

1 Opening Event
Teacher shares a story about going to the ballet and listening to music while the dancers performed.

2 Brainstorm Ideas
Children brainstormed ideas about music.

3 Categorize Ideas
Teachers placed ideas into categories directly on the chart paper.

4 Label Categories
Students add to their ideas about music on the Student Music Topic Web 1.

5 Share Personal Stories
Students share stories and memories about music at large group meetings. Teacher typed dictated stories on the computer.


6 Illustrate Stories
Students used a variety of media to illustrate the memory stories. Students used plasticine and play dough to represent instruments from their memories. They also chose to paint their experiences.

7 Share Stories
Students shared stories and pictures at large group meetings.Teachers then displayed the stories and pictures on the wall.

8 Collect Data
One group decided to find out which instruments were found in most homes. They prepared a survey for parents to complete at home.

9 Represent Findings
During project/activity time, teachers facilitated analyzing data and helped students create a bar graph to display their findings.

10 Articulate Questions
Teachers and students wondered about music. Students dictated a list of questions that they had about music and instruments.

Phase 2

11 Group Planning
Teachers articulated researchable questions from students' list of questions. Students began exploring music in small groups according to their interests.

12 Make Predictions
Before each site visit or guest speaker, students brainstormed questions for the experts, and predicted their responses.

13 Engage in Field Work*
Students began collecting data to answer their music questions. Teachers planned field trips to a piano store, church, recording studio and a ballet academy. Students made observational drawings of many instruments. They explored expressing their feelings through music and movement.

*This may take weeks!

14 Debrief
Small groups shared their findings at large group meetings. Recording studio group brought back a video that they created. The class watched it several times.

15 Create Representations
Teachers placed clay, play dough, boxes and junk and paint in the art area for students to represent instruments.


16 Share
Each group shared at large group the progress they were making or new findings that they discovered.

17 Plans for Visiting Expert
Students formed ideas and opinions about sound and vibration before the sound expert came.

18 Expert Visitor
The physicist shared new knowledge about sound and how it travels. Children participated in feeling sound waves and chasing them. Other visitors included a violist, a hand chime expert, parents who shared their instruments, and music ensembles.

19 Debrief
Students share what they've learned from the physicist. They share ways that they explored sound using other materials such as straws, yarn and paper cups.

20 Continue Investigation
Students create sound experiments and share their findings. They make shakers with various items such as beans and rice. Students compare sounds between plastic and glass cups. They observe ripples that are created when they tap cups with a stick. Students composed songs by tapping the cups.

                                   Phase 3

21 Representations
Students made many 3-dimensional representations of instruments, including a pipe organ from PVC pipe and a cardboard box.

22 Articulate What Children Have Learned
Large group discussion centers on what students learned about music.

23 Brainstorm Second Topic Web
Students brainstorm ideas for the Student Topic Web 2, what they now know about instruments and music.

24 Label and Categorize Ideas
With the teachers, students categorize ideas and complete the second topic web.

25 Plan for Sharing
Students brainstorm ideas for the culminating activity. They decide to share the ensembles, ribbon dancing and echo songs. They plan to create a mural of instruments in an orchestra.


26 Project Highlights
Students practice with specific music for ribbon dance. Students choose songs that they want to share. Student conductors form ensembles to perform for parents.

27 Imaginative Activity
Students turn their dramatic playroom into an Instrument Museum. There they display their representations of their own instruments.

28 Display
Teachers and students complete items for the class displays and hang the murals on the window.
(Approximately 1 week of preparation).

29 Culmination
Parents gather in the classroom to hear the songs, see the ensembles perform as a student conductor leads them, and watch the ribbon dance. They tour the displays with their children.

30 Evaluation
Students record what they liked about music on a tape recorder. Parents respond to a survey about what they think their children have learned. Teachers evaluate students' progress by examining documentation in student portfolios.

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University Primary School.
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