The four styles of music within the Mexican culture are the backdrop for this lesson which provides students an opportunity to create percussion instruments and recognize the difference while playing each style. Lucha Libre masks are also part of the culture and students gain a deeper understanding of it by creating their own masks.
This lesson shows students where rock music really began! Students will create musical instruments with objects from nature. Using their created instruments, students compose and perform a musical arrangement, while making connects with their knowledge of life during the Stone Age.
Students will complete two language arts activities for this lesson. In the first activity, students use folk songs from the era of the California Gold Rush, which are introduced in the early chapters of By the Great Horn Spoon! by Sid Fleishman, to identify folk song motifs in the classical music of Antonín Dvořák. This will be explored by the students' creation of a labeled line drawing of one of Dvořák 's compositions.
Students will practice and perform a Reader's Theater entitled Salt, a Russian folktale. They will hear a story about the Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky, and listen to four of his compositions: Swan Lake, Serenade for Strings, Marche Slave, and 1812 Overture. Finally, in groups of five to eight students, they will choose a musical score from these pieces to accompany their section of the Reader's Theater.
This lesson is a small part of a larger unit on the science of sound. The unit has several sections, including: how sound is made, the elements of sound, how sounds travel, and how we hear sounds. This particular lesson is part of the section in which we distinguish the difference between musical sound and noise. We examine the different ways in which musical instruments make sound - or the different way each one creates vibrations of air.