Saturday, November 19, 2011

Creating Music - Block Game

image via www.creatingmusic.com

Click here to go to The Block Game

This game comes from the Morton Subotnick website Creating Music.  Use blocks to create simple melodies.  Memorize your composition, and then try to find it again by listening to it.  I used this game with my students when we were working on songs with Do, Re, and Mi.  Here is a description of each difficulty and level setting:

Easy - Level 1 - 3 beats with 3 pitches (Do, Re, Mi)
Easy - Level 2 - 3 beats with 6 pitches (Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La)
Easy - Level 3 - 3 beats with 8 pitches (Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti, Do - full Major scale)

Medium - Level 1 - 5 beats with 3 pitches (Do, Re, Mi)
Medium - Level 2 - 5 beats with 6 pitches (Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La)
Medium - Level 3 - 5 beats with 8 pitches (Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti, Do - full Major scale)

Hard - Level 1 - 8 beats with 3 pitches (Do, Re, Mi)
Hard - Level 2 - 8 beats with 6 pitches (Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La)
Hard - Level 3 - 8 beats with 8 pitches (Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti, Do - full Major scale)

Sample Lesson Plan by Will Braune:


Objectives:
  • Students will compose melodies using the notes Do, Re, and Mi.
  • Students will sing and/or perform their composed melodies.
  • Students will identify their melody from a group of three melodies.
National Standards for Music Education used in this lesson:

     1. Singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
     2. Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
     4. Composing and arranging music within specified guidelines.
     6. Listening to, analyzing, and describing music.
     8. Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts. (Math)

Procedures:
  • Open the website to Easy Level 1.
  • Explain that each column is a steady beat.
    • How many beats are there? (Answer: 3)
  • Explain that each row is a pitch.
    • How many beats are there? (Answer: 3)
  • Some students may recognize the 3x3 square as a multiplication array.
    • Explain there are three rows of three squares.
    • This is the same as 3+3+3
  • Write an example song with Do, Re, and Mi.
    • Ask if they students recognize the pitches.
    • Practice singing Do, Re, and Mi in a few ways to help establish the pitches and tonal center.
  • Have students come to the board and add a pitch to each beat.
    • After they add a note, ask them to tell you which pitch it is.
  • Sing or play through the song they have composed, and press "play" to listen to it.
  • Press "Ready" to go to the quiz.
    • Play all three examples.
    • Have students either come up one at a time to pick the correct answer or vote on which one they think it is.
  • Repeat Easy Level 1 a few times, and then move on the Medium Level 1 to play a song with five beats.
Assessment:
  • Can students correctly identify the pitches Do, Re, Mi when they add them to the column?
  • Can students sing or play the melody correctly?
  • Can students correctly identify their melody from the three choices at the end?
  • If using a laptop/computer lab, students can print the screen after reaching a certain number of correct answers.