Lesson Plan : Finding the beat

Teacher Name:
 Nicole Walker
 Grade 7-8

 This activity may be integrated into music unit on rhythm in popular music or a social studies unit on the modern music various countries
 The student will locate music books and recordings related to the rhythm of music from various countries
 This activity requires access to modern popular recordings. The public library may be helpful in locating appropriate records
 The students may be introduced to this activity using Paul Simon's album, "Graceland." The students may be asked to listen to the rhythm and beat of the songs. They may discuss the instruments that they hear. Information from the album may be shared. Students may be asked to consider the roots of the music they listen to on the radio and see on MTV. They will concentrate on rhythm in this activity, but they may be told that they could examine harmony, melody, tone, styles, etc. in a similar way. Students may discuss the role of popular music in the lives of people in the United States and its role in other countries. The classroom teacher may divide the students into teams of three or four members. The team assignment is to listen to popular music and to collect examples of rhythms originating in other countries. Samples may be set up in a listening station in the classroom or library media center. Music reference sources may also be placed in the listening center, so that students can develop a "rhythm database." In the library media center, the students will listen to many of the popular recordings and identify the origins of the rhythms. The library media specialist may introduce students to music reference sources and recordings. The sources may be placed near the listening center for use in developing the database. The database (AppleWorks, etc.) may be developed to include a description of the rhythm, country of origin, name of musicians, music titles, producer of recording, etc. At the end of the two weeks, a list of the categories, countries, and examples will be printed before a team play-off contest. Additionally, if local experts are available, they may be asked to speak to the music class. After the students complete their listening research, they will study the lists and listen to examples of the identified rhythms. The library media specialist, music teacher, and classroom teacher may prepare sets of questions and musical excerpts for the students playing as teams in a "Name The Origin of That Rhythm" Contest Play-Off.
 The student will locate music from various countries and identify rhythms. Each student will find at least one example of a rhythm from another country and enter that information in a database

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