Unit 4 – Rhythm Names

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Unit 4.1 – Unit 4 Songs (p.14)

Purpose – Learning more complex songs

  • More practise with so-mi songs
  • Introducing more rhythms
  • Introducing soft and loud voices

Activities

Bye-lo Baby-o and Goodnight are both lullabies. Discuss what a lullaby is. The student should choose a favourite soft toy or puppet to hold and sing to. You could ask the student to bring in a toy from home. Stroke the toy in time with the pulse of the song. Discuss whether you would use a loud voice or a soft voice and practise using it. Explain that a soft voice isn’t a whisper. No Robbers Out Today is not a lullaby. Imagine marching around the town, celebrating the lack of naughty robbers. March around the room while you sing. This time you will practise using a loud voice. Explain that a loud voice is not a shouting voice.

Homework

  • Teach someone at home the songs

Unit 4.2 – Rhythm Names

Purpose – Learning rhythm names

  • The way the words go is the rhythm
  • We have special rhythm names (ta and titi) to perform the rhythm

Preparation Activities

Repeat the See Saw Rhythm Picture activities from Unit 3.6 so that you end up with hearts showing the pulse and crosses showing the rhythm. Sing See Saw while tapping either the pulse or the rhythm. See if the student clap or tap one, while you clap or tap the other. Only proceed if this Unit is understood.

Activities

Explain that when we have one sound in a beat it has a rhythm name of “ta”. Write “ta” underneath each heart with one sound. When we have two sounds in a beat we need a rhythm name with two sounds and that is “titi”. Write “titi” underneath each heart with two sounds. Now, instead of singing the song, we can clap and say the rhythm names.
Repeat this activity with the other Unit 3 songs. Hey Hey and Cobbler Cobbler have two syllable words so you will need to explain that although a beat may have one word, it may have two sounds. Cobb-ler or sing-ing.

Homework

  • Practise clapping and saying the rhythm names for the Unit 3 songs

Extension

Students who pick up this concept quickly can cover Unit 4.3 in the same session

Unit 4.3 – Stick Notation

Purpose – Learning stick notation

  • We can represent the rhythm with sticks

Preparation Activities

Revise the rhythm names from Unit 4.2. Clap and say the rhythm names of the Unit 3 songs.

Activities

Take one of the rhythm pictures already produced, or quickly create a new one. Explain that instead of crosses we use vertical lines or sticks to represent the sounds. Underneath each heartbeat ask the student to draw some sticks. One under a “ta” where there’s one sound and two under a “titi” where there are two sounds.
Take a new piece of paper or rub out the whiteboard and draw the vertical lines equally spaced as you sing See Saw. Ask them if it’s clear which are “ta” and which are “titi”. They will say no, you can’t see which are which. Explain that we need a way to show that the “titi” belong to the same beat and we do this by drawing a beam between the two at the top.
So the first line of See Saw becomes

ta ta ti ti ta

That the blobs on the scores show the pitches of each sound, “so” and “mi“. The sticks show the rhythm, “ta” and “titi”. If we hold the sticks over the blobs we have everything we need to know.
Show the student how to draw the sticks onto the blobs on See Saw (page 12). When they are ready they can also add the sticks (or stems) to the other Unit 3 songs.

Homework

  • Add the stems to the other Unit 3 songs if they are confident

Extension

Use the rhythm flashcards, available to download. Show the student each card and ask them to clap and say the rhythm names.

Unit 4.4 – Bye-lo Baby-o (p.15)

Purpose – Learn the dynamic piano

  • We can sing and play music softly
  • The special musical term (Italian term) for soft is piano
  • p in music instructs the performer to play or sing softly

Preparation Activities

Clap and say rhythm echoes. Sign and sing so-mi echoes. If the student doesn’t match the hand sign to the singing name and pitch, explain that they go together. Ask the student to create some patterns for you to echo. If they’re not correct then break them down slowly. Don’t upset the student, this is an ongoing activity repeated in every lesson.

Activities

Repeat the activities from Unit 4.1. Explain that for a lullaby we can sing softly without whispering. Practise singing the song to a toy. Explain that in music we have a special musical word for softly and that is piano. Practise saying piano in a soft voice.
Guide the student through line one of this song to work out the rhythm. Depending on the confidence of the student you may wish to draw the hearts, tap the sponge hearts, or just echo clap the rhythm and translate into rhythm names.
Lay out three or four of the flashcards and ask them to choose the correct ones for the song.

With the book

Look at the score. Does this song use line notes or space notes. Repeat the singing names chant. When “so” is a line note, “mi” is the line note below. When “so” is a space note, “mi” is the space note below. Add the stems to the blobs in the book.
Show the student that the score has a fancy p to tell us to play piano. The phonic action they may have learnt in school for p is holding their finger near their lips and softly whispering p-p-p as if blowing out a candle. This is a great action to know because it can help prompt the student.
Clap and say the rhythm names softly
Sign and sing the singing names softly
Play and sing the singing names softly with the middle fingers and then repeat softly with the index fingers.
Some students will be routinely transposing to white keys by now. However this is not essential if lesson time is needed for the other learning outcomes.

Homework

  • Using correct dynamics – clap and say the rhythm names, sign and sing the singing names, play and sing the singing names. This homework will be a standard. It will be worth turning the instruction into a chant to help the student remember.

Extension

Cover Unit 4.4 in the same session or as independent homework.

Unit 4.4 – Goodnight (p.16)

Purpose – More work on piano

  • p tells us to play piano which means soft
  • Practise playing softly

Activities

This piece can either be used to reinforce the objectives from Unit 4.3 or for independent learning. Depending on the confidence and abilities of the student you can select the activities to suit. This is the first song that splits a word across two beats “to-mor-row” so watch out for that with the less confident student.

Unit 4.4 – No Robbers Out Today (p.17)

Purpose – Learn the dynamic forte

  • We can sing and play music loudly
  • The special musical term (Italian term) for loud is forte
  • f in music instructs the performer to play or sing loudly

Preparation Activities

Clap and say rhythm echoes. Ensure you cover the rhythms from the song. Lines 1 and 2 are new rhythm patterns that haven’t appeared in the previous units. Sign and sing so-mi echoes. Ensure you cover the melodic elements from the song.

Activities

March around the room, celebrating the lack of robbers. Use a loud voice to sing this song, but make sure the student does not shout. Compare this song to the lullabies from Units 4.2 and 4.3. This one is loud, the lullabies were soft. Remember p for piano instructs us to play or sing softly. The special musical term for loud is forte. Practise saying forte in a loud Italian voice and piano in a soft voice. Ask the student to guess which letter we might use in music.
Guide the student through line one of this song to work out the rhythm. Depending on the confidence of the student you may wish to draw the hearts, tap the sponge hearts, or just echo clap the rhythm and translate into rhythm names. Watch out for “to-day”, which is split across two beats. Also in line two the unexpected “for” can throw some students. Don’t expect all students to be able to analyse these rhythms with no help.
Lay out three or four of the flashcards and ask them to choose the correct ones for the song.

With the book

Look at the score. Does this song use line notes or space notes. Repeat the singing names chant. When “so” is a line note, “mi” is the line note below. When “so” is a space note, “mi” is the space note below. Add the stems to the blobs in the book.
Clap and say the rhythm names loudly
Sign and sing the singing names loudly
Play and sing the singing names loudly with the middle fingers and then repeat loudly with the index fingers.
Transpose onto white keys if ready.

Homework

Standard homework (Using correct dynamics – clap and say the rhythm names, sign and sing the singing names, play and sing the singing names). Unless otherwise stated, this should be the homework for all further pieces.

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