How does the Common Core relate to the beginning ensemble music class? This lesson demonstrates how to use Reading for Meaning, a proven strategy from The Core Six, in a sample lesson. Click here for the first post in the series, which includes a summary of Reading for Meaning.
First Duet in Beginning Band – Reading for Meaning
Course: Beginning Band or Beginning String Orchestra
Common Core Anchor Standards:
RA.R.5 Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text relate to each other and the whole.
RA.R.1 Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly
Core Music Standards – Ensemble Strand:
MU:Pr6.1.E.5a Demonstrate attention to technical accuracy and expressive qualities in prepared and improvised performances of a varied repertoire of music.
Students will be able to:
- Define duet.
- Perform a duet.
- Analyze written music and infer if the music is a duet prior to instruction.
- Identify a duet in a listening selection.
- Support statements with evidence from the text.
- Have fun!
- Simple eight measure duet. For example, “#22 Split Decision” in Essential Elements 2000.
- Post-it and pencil for each student on stands.
What to say to your administrator:
Students in today’s lesson will develop reading comprehension skills through reading for meaning, a research based common core strategy. Students will make predictions, gather evidence, and support a claim using music as our text.
- Choose a short piece.
- “#22 Split Decision” in Essential Elements 2000.
- Create statements about the text to focus student attention.
- There is one part in a duet.
- First you play line A, then you play line B.
- The two lines at the end mean to stop playing.
Before taking instruments out, hook the students in with a fun hand clapping duet. Develop a call and response pattern with you clapping and the whole class responding. Add in some stomps for variation. I’m in a portable and stomps give a really cool echo in my room. Settle in on two simple rhythms and go back and forth between them. Then loop one for a while, then the other. Start the duet by having half the class do one pattern and the other half the other.
Lead into the topic for today, duets! Read your prepared statements together as a class. Have students make predictions about whether the statements are true or false. Begin to gather evidence. Read the definition of a duet in Essential Elements (or another source of your choosing) and model finding the evidence in the text about the first statement. Have students practice finishing the sentence, “The statement ‘there is one part in a duet’ is false because…”
Take instruments out and have rehearsal. Make sure to talk about the parts of the written music that help us know it is a duet.
After the lesson, students write down a piece of evidence from the rehearsal that supports or refutes the last two statements. Have students have a minute to write by themselves, a minute to share and talk with their neighbor, and a few seconds to edit. Then students put their post-it on the evidence for or evidence against side. Have brief class discussion on results.
What I learned:
The statements really focused students’ attention on what makes a duet. It would be really great if the students already knew this strategy before coming into music class. If the whole school was using this, the students would already know how to use it and would get more out of it. However, it still was a beneficial lesson in the music room.
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