Lesson Plan for nursery school, 30 – 50 month old, by Rania
Duration: approx 20 minutes
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Aim of Session: exercise the imagination of the children Skill: following, leading, responding to stimulus, imitating from memory and imitating someone directly, motor skills, listening, coordination, musical skills (pulse, rhythm, melody, form) Knowledge: body parts, keeping a pulse, using a musical instrument, difference between sound and silence / movement and stopping
Description of Session
A form of “Pied the Piper” session, where through musical activities the children will follow your lead. It is a theatrical session where you become a different character and take the children on a magical musical journey.
(consider reading this, my thoughts between being a music entertainer or being yourself, if the thought on becoming another character is at least unpleasant)
1. Warm up – combine movements 2. Calming music and sway like trees 3a. March around the room and shake or tap the instrument when you make a step. 3b. Pretend to be ants marching in the forest [create movement sequences where you move and stop. 4. Leaders take turns 5. Nursery rhyme (Walking through the Jungle) 6. Goodbye song
Lesson Plan for nursery school, 16 – 26 month old, by Rania
“When in doubt,” a mentor of mine once told me, “talk about animals, sing about animals, just use animals, or food, or nature. I don’t know why but children love them!” So, here is a lesson plan that can be focused around ainmals or nature. I would suggest focusing on one of these for the age group I am recommending here. This lesson plan can easily be used for older children but of course your expectations will be a little bit different.
and on Google Docs. Also check my previous lesson plan here
Duration: approx 20 minutes
Aim of Session: Listen and move to the music, follow directions and trigger imagination Skill: observation, memory, imitation, being social, listening, gross motor skills Knowledge: Learn about the outdoors, nature, natural sounds, animals and animal sounds, observation and imitation
Description of the Session
Sing 2 songs about nature / animals
Show pictures of animals — moves and make sound inspired by the picture
With a hand drum: name animals and children move according to that. Hit the drum rhythmically, mimicking the animal’s or plant’s march, behaviour, posture etc…
Music on: Musical statues with music that is about nature or animals. Move with the children. Ask the children to represent a specific animal when they move (check tips)
Sing 2 songs
Warm down music
Resources music source (tablet, iPad), music*, books/pictures of nature and animals, drum (and a mallet)
(not this envelope🠁!) Read the article and find out games about Duration here The Envelope of a sound, or a note in our instance.
People interested in sound, when they talk about the Envelope of a sound they refer to the shape or contour of the sound as it evolves over time. A simple envelope consists of three parts: Attack | Sustain | Decay. Or as used in music production: Attack | Decay | Sustain | Release
As always with these posts, we will examine the instruments in their most basic form. If a typical student that has been learning an instrument for two months was asked to describe the three parts of a sound, of a note they produce on their instrument what would they say?
Produce a note with minimal and adequate effort in the middle (or easiest) register of each instrument. Also, imagining we’re in a very dry room, no reverb / echo. If you have a piano, do not use the pedal and instead try to hear the natural shape of the sound coming from your keys.
An acoustic guitar has a sharp attack, little sustain and a rapid decay. A piano has a sharp attack, medium sustain, and medium decay. Voice, wind, and string instruments can shape the individual attack, sustain, and decay portions of the sound (here). We know that we can manipulate the ASD of all instruments but it takes effort and practice. For now, familiarise yourself with the most basic form of the envelope of your instrument.
Game 1: The lottery of the animals’ walk
Write on pieces of paper different animals (giraffe, antilope, snake, frog, and so on…). Put those papers in a hat. Draw an animal at a time and just by using your instrument try to mimic their walk while the other person tries to guess what animal it is.
By adjusting the quality of your playing to better describe each animal you were playing with articulation. When classical musicians talk about the envelope of a note they will use the word articulation: staccato and legato, and all that is in between and beyond.
Another thing to notice about the envelope of the notes on your instrument is that notes in the extreme registers have a significantly (using the word very generously) different envelope. On the guitar, a very high note on the high E string will have a smaller decay than playing the lowest E string.
Game 2 It will never happen(?)
Find the differences between the registers on your instrument going from high to low. Then try to match the envelope of a high note with the envelope of a low note. Use anything you have available (still no electronics until you hear all the faint sub-sounds your instrument makes naturally).
Game 3 Story in the Envelope
Articulation defines the character of a melody. Play the same melody with different articulation. Play 5 consecutive notes of equal length on your instrument and try to create a story through articulating each note differently than the one before it and after it.
Add some more characters now, people you know, feelings, and add chords as well as individual notes. Once you start experimenting with this you’ll hear some accents, sharp brutally cut off sounds, mellow intertwined sounds, merging different articulation effects and even creating ones never used before!
I encourage you (and you, your students) to play using their whole body and face. Make grimace faces, move around as the character might to get a good feeling of articulating musical sentences. I like how nerdy this exercise is as it also awakens the desire to look up other styles of music and their characteristics. And I think it’s a fun way to do a bit of conditioning and technique.
I think playing around with the envelope – articulation – of a melody is like punctuation. It needs to be convincing to make sense. So play with courage!