Week 5 manifesto

I advocate an approach to learning music that incorporates listening, playing, creating and using technology to record  / notate.

Here is a sample of a beginner lesson using tuned percussion:

  1. Begin with having the pupils play a C major scale and arpeggio – explain the concept of steps and leaps.
  2. Demonstrate a simple four note pattern using ascending steps: CDEF, ask the pupils to repeat this several times until they are comfortable
  3. Then ‘take the pattern for a walk’, by playing it as a sequence: CDEF, DEFG, EFGA etc.
  4. Repeat steps 2 & 3 with the Frere Jacques pattern – CDEC.
  5. Experiment with having the pupils play ascending and descending sequences and using steps or leaps for the starting notes of each repetition.
  6. Ask the students to spend 2-3 minutes inventing their own pattern and deciding on how to sequence it – ascending or descending, by steps or leaps.
  7. Ask them to teach their pattern to a peer and for their peer to say what they like / don’t like, find difficult / easy.
  8. The teacher can listen into the pairs to check the pupils are actually playing what they meant to, and make helpful suggestions if required.
  9. The patterns can be combined to make a short melodic phrase.
  10. Demonstrate examples of famous melodic seqences, such as Bach’s Toaccata in D minor.
  11. After adapting or revising their patterns, the pupils can either record their patterns (perhaps on their phones) or write down the simple instructions, e.g. Note 1, up a step, up a step, down a leap, or, if they feel able to, write them on manuscript.

This links in with Bloom’s (revised) taxonomy of learning.

  1. Remember
  2. Understand
  3. Apply
  4. Analyze
  5. Evaluate
  6. Create


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