William Tell Overture (Rossini)
Listen to William Tell Overture - what happened? (Loud parts and quiet parts). Play again, and have
students gallop like horses to loud parts, and tiptoe during quiet parts. Sit down, and introduce signs for loud
& quiet. I used a picture of a dog with the letter "f" beside it for forte, and a picture of a mouse with the
letter "p" beside it for piano. Discuss more animals and objects that are "piano" or "forte". Give each student
a forte sign and a piano sign. Play William Tell Overture again, asking students to hold up the piano sign
for quiet parts and the forte sign for loud parts (good assessment...)
Teach Starlight, Starbright song. Practice singing it quietly, and loudly (make sure to distinguish between
a shouting voice and a loud singing voice). Sit in a circle. Chose one student to be the detective who hides his/her
eyes. Give a plastic star to another student to hide in his/her hands. All students pretend they have the
star. The detective walks around the outside of the circle while students sing Starlight, Starbright.
When the detective is near the star, students sing loud, when the detective is far from the star, students sing quiet.
The detective gets 3 guesses at who has the star. Then the star holder is the new detective, and the old detective
picks the new star holder. (Or the teacher can pick students if this proves to be a problem).
O Fortuna (from Orff's Carmina Burana)
Play O Fortuna - what happens in this song? (Some parts are quiet and some are loud). Give students 2 different
coloured pieces of paper, one colour marked with the "p" for piano and the other with the "f" for forte. Students listen
to O Fortuna and draw on the "piano" paper when the music is quiet, and the "forte" paper when music is loud.
It helps if the teacher demonstrates on the board. When the song is finished, meet in a circle and share drawings.
**This lesson worked extremely well with end of the year kindergartens - they drew such neat things for loud & quiet,
and all pictures were different. Be sure to specify that they can draw whatever the music makes them feel like drawing
- ie. animals, scibbles, shapes, etc.
CONCEPT(S): Non-Pitched Percussion sounds, identification & playing technique
Classroom Instrument Detectives
This is fun with "end of the year" kindergartens or early grade 1 students.
After students have become familiar with some of the NPP in the classroom, play this game:
Pick 3 NPP (to make it easier for little ones, pick 3 very different sounds - ie. triangle, hand drum, & rhythm sticks)
and draw them on the board. Number each instrument (1, 2 & 3). Play each one to remind students how they sound.
Set up some sort of border (I've seen someone use 2 music stands with a big blanket draped over it). Play one of the
instruments - ask students to think about which instrument it could be...after students have had a chance to decide, ask them
to close their eyes and hold up 1, 2, or 3 fingers, depending on which instrument they think they've heard. After voting,
play it again behind the blanket, and then pull it out and show (play again with students watching so that those who had difficulties
can associate the sound with the appearance and playing technique). Then give students a chance to play the instruments
behind the blanket for their classmates to guess!
For a challenge, pick instruments that are closely related (ie. temple blocks, claves, and tic-toc block, or triangle,
finger cymbals, and chimes, etc.)