Unit 6 – Time Signatures

Posted on

Hard copy for sale in the shop for £4.99
Back to index
Back to Unit 5 – Note la

Unit 6.1 – Unit 6 Songs (p.26)

Purpose – Learn harder la-so-mi Songs

  • Practising the mi-la and la-mi motifs needed for Unit 6

Activities

Rain Rain Go Away Most students will already know the first part of this song. Sing the first section loud, you are telling off the naughty rain. Sing the second section softly, you are singing to the little children. Change “children” to the name of the student, or their younger sibling or pet.

Plainie Clappie Stand opposite the student holding a bouncy ball. Bounce the ball on the first beat of each phrase and the student catches on the second beat. Each following phrase has a different action that the receiving player should do before catching the ball; clappie – clap, rolling pin – roll arms, backie – clap behind back. The remainder are self-explanatory. (Source: Singing Games and Rhymes for Middle Years by Lucinda Geoghegan published by National Youth Choir of Scotland)

Mrs White Sing the first part of this song loud, with hands on cheeks in fright. Sing the second part soft, with fingers wriggling in front of the face in a creepy way! Sing the song as a duet, each person taking a different half of the song. Then switch on each line, after two beats or even after one beat. Ask the student if they can create their own version of the song. Change the second part; saw a mouse, heard a bump etc. Change the name of the woman for even more fun.

Homework

  • Teach someone at home the songs.

Unit 6.2 – Rain Rain Go Away (p.27)

Purpose – Time Signatures

  • Introducing time signatures and bars
  • Introducing the mi-la interval

Preparation Activities

Sign and sing la-so-mi echoes including mi-la intervals.

Activities

Sing Rain Rain Go Away with the activities from Unit 6.1.
Use a piece of paper or a whiteboard to work out and record the rhythm of the first line. Explain that in music it’s sometimes hard to read a long line of notes so we break them up into groups. Count how many beats we have for the first line (4). Draw a box around the four beats and show we can make a four beat box. Draw the same rhythm underneath and ask the student to draw two beat boxes. Draw four empty boxes and write a number 2 on the left. Ask the student to fill them with two-beat rhythms. Draw four longer boxes and write a number 4 on the left. Ask the student to fill them with four-beat rhythms. Explain that in music we call these boxes “bars”.
With the book Can they see the boxes or bars on the score? Can they work out how many beats are in each bar? Explain that the answer is already on the page, the top number on the left tells us how many beats in each bar. The bottom number is a special code that stands for “ta”. There are two “ta” beats in each bar.
Using correct dynamics – clap and say the rhythm names, sign and sing the singing names, play and sing the singing names. Change the finger pairs.
Transpose the song onto white keys.

Homework

  • Standard homework. Some students may start work on Unit 6.4 Finger Numbers.

Extension

Explain the terms time signature, bar lines and double bar lines.

Unit 6.3 – Plainie Clappie (p.28)

Purpose – Time Signatures

  • Understanding time signatures, bars, bar lines and double bar lines
  • More work on the mi-la interval
  • The special musical term (Italian term) for moderately loud is mezzo-forte in music mf instructs the performer to play or sing moderately loudly

Preparation Activities

Sign and sing la-so-mi echoes including mi-la intervals.
Remind the student that we break notes into groups of beats called bars. We can have two-beat bars or four-beat bars. Draw some empty boxes on paper or a whiteboard with either a 2 or a 4 on the left. Ask the student to fill them correctly.

Activities

Sing Plainie Clappie with the activities from Unit 6.1.

With the book

Can they see the boxes or bars on the score? Can they work out how many beats are in each bar? Remember the answer is already on the page. The top number on the left tells us how many beats in each bar. The bottom number is a special code that stands for “ta“. There are two “ta” beats in each bar. This pair of numbers is called the time signature. The lines that show the bars are called bar lines and at the end of the piece we have a double bar line to show that the piece has ended.
Explain that before we learnt piano and forte we just played normally, moderately loud. The Italian word for this is mezzo-forte because mezzo means moderately. mf stands for mezzo-forte. Ask the student to say piano softly, forte loudly and mezzo-forte moderately loud but in a good Italian accent!
Moderately loudly – clap and say the rhythm names, sign and sing the singing names, play and sing the singing names. Change the finger pairs.
Transpose the song onto white keys.

Homework

  • Standard homework. Some students may start or continue work on Unit 6.4 Finger Numbers.

Unit 6.4 – Finger Numbers (p.29)

Purpose – Finger numbers

  • Understanding that we need to label our fingers with numbers
  • Learning which numbers go with which fingers
  • Practising using fingertips and round fingers

Preparation Activities

If you have a tablet or smart phone, download a free drawing app. Ask the student to draw a swirly pattern on it. If you don’t have a device, close the lid of the piano and skate around on the lid. Hopefully they will use a relaxed hand, and their fingertips. If not, remind them how we play the piano with our fingertips and ask them to draw in the same way. Ask them to use a different finger.

Activities

Explain that it would be useful if each of our fingers had a number so we would always know which finger to use. Ask them if they would like to be number 1? Number 1 in a race, or the number 1 team. Hopefully they will say yes! When they do, give them the thumbs up with both hands! “Yeah!! You’re number 1!” Finger number 1 is the thumb!
Ask the student to touch the fingertips on both hands. Make sure their hands are relaxed and their is space between their palms and wrists. Can they tap finger 1 together? They should tap their thumbs. Can they guess which fingers are 2, 3 4 and 5?
There are three counting songs on page 29 songs to choose from. You can use all, one or none depending on the student. Each time, tap the correct finger numbers as you sing.
Repeat the activities tapping the fingers on the piano lid or a table.
Once the finger numbers are confidently learnt you can ask them to tap random fingers to check understanding.

Homework

  • Teach the songs and finger numbers to someone at home

Extension

Draw around the student’s hands and number their fingers. Using stickers or crayons, ask the student to find the fingers and mark them. For example right hand finger 4, left hand finger 3 etc

Unit 6.5 – Mrs White (p.30)

Purpose – Slurs

  • Introducing legato touch for two note slurs and recognise the symbol
  • Introducing the la-mi interval
  • More work on time signatures

Preparation Activities

Sign and sing la-so-mi echoes including la-mi intervals.
Repeat some of the finger number activities from Unit 6.4. Identify fingers 2 and 3. Demonstrate a two note slur on black or white keys going from 2 to 3. Explain that we lean on the first note, move smoothly to the second and only lift after the second note, not after every note. This is called a slur. Practise with the left hand too.
Remind the student that we break notes into groups of beats called bars. We can have two-beat bars or four-beat bars. Draw some empty boxes on paper or a whiteboard with either a 2 or a 4 on the left. Ask the student to fill them correctly.

Activities

Sing Mrs White with the activities from Unit 6.1.

With the book

How many beats are in each bar? Remember the time signature. The top number tells us how many beats in each bar. The bottom number is a special code that stands for “ta”. There are four “ta” beats in each bar.
There are some new lines on the page. Curved lines between pairs of notes. These lines are slurs and tell you to play those notes slurred.
Using correct dynamics – clap and say the rhythm names, sign and sing the singing names, play and sing the singing names with slurs.

Homework

  • Standard homework plus repetition of Unit 6.4

Extension

Use different finger pairs on each hand for the slur practice. Use fingers 3 and 4 to play the song.

Unit 6.6 – Five a Day (p.31)

Purpose – Sight Reading

  • Read unknown melodies from the score
  • Recognise repeat marks

With the book

For each melody the student must complete the standard homework sequence with the correct dynamics. Explain that the double dots by the double bar lines tell you to repeat from the beginning without a pause. This unit can be carried over a number of weeks until the Unit 7 Five a Day page is reached.

Homework

  • Complete the standard homework for each of these melodies every day (or every practice!)

Hard copy for sale in the shop for £4.99
Back to index
Go to Unit 7 – Rests