Music inspires thoughts and emotions. Listening to music is a great way to develop oracy discussions in the classroom, giving your young learners a chance to express their opinions with reasons.
Using specific vocabulary that relates to each aspects of the piece of music gives an opportunity to analyse further how and why the piece is so effective at creating images in the mind and evoking feelings.
With links to visual art and using oracy for a reason, this activity involves linking images and music with themes and ideas, calling for lateral thinking and the imagination.
A lovely idea for developing your learners’ understanding and confidence in analysing and appreciating music is to allocate 5 minutes a week to listening to music and discussing it- say just after lunch on ‘Funky Friday’ or ‘Musical Monday’. Start with your own favourite piece of music and then invite your learners to bring their favourite piece in to share with the class. Keep a display wall in your class with all the musical elements on it (as below). Listening and discussing gives the opportunity to use this vocabulary in context and discuss why the musical composers have chosen to express their ideas in this way. Let your positive attitude and enjoyment shine through!
Pitch – How high or low the music sounds.
Duration – the length of the sounds that make up the music, are they short and sharp or long and drawn out?
Dynamics – is the music loud or quiet? How does change its volume?
Pace – The speed or tempo of the music- is it slow and relaxed or does it sound like it is in a hurry!
Timbre – The tone of the music, is it twinkling or crashing? This is great to get your pupils using ambitious adjectives.
Texture – Does the music have a single sound, like a violin solo, or lots of sounds together like an orchestra?
Structure – Does the music fit into different sections, like a verse and a chorus in a song? Does the composer use repetition, surprising elements or turning points? Do some different sounds get laid over one another, and if so do they contrast or complement one another?
Silence – Does the music use silent moments?
LINKS: More activities for you and your pupils
This is a series of 15 ‘Skills not Frills’ resource sheets, each accompanying a short video.
This is no #1 of 3 music resource sheets and accompanying film.
A2 Connect Arts Champions are teachers who work with us to share their practice and expertise with other schools/teachers in the region.
Whether you’re a teacher looking for a creative person to share skills and inspiration with your pupils … or a creative person looking for teachers and pupils who can benefit from your input: make sure to CREATE as well as SEARCH for opportunities on Plwg.