What’s After Snare and Bass Drums

What’s after snare & bass drums?

Dana Sylvander
[email protected]
Tenafly (NJ) School District

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:

Electronic Musical Instruments
Notation
Sequencing
Information Processing

Level:

Elementary

Class:

Instrumental

Equipment:

Computer with MIDI keyboard. Sibelius.

Duration:

30 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

In third grade the percussionists learned to play simple snare & bass drum parts in their lesson book. They briefly tried some accessory parts (tambourine, sleigh bells, triangle, rim) but snare & bass were concentrated on the most. (This lesson is for 2nd. year percussioists.)

MENC Standards Addressed:

MENC 2: Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
MENC 4: Composing and Arranging Music within specified guidelines.
MENC 5: Reading and notating music.
MENC 6: Listening to, analyzing and describing music.
MENC 7: Evaluating music and music performances.

Materials:

Standard of Excellence – book one for percussion

Objectives:

At the conclusion of this lesson: Students will understand how other percussion parts are notated.

Procedures:

5 minutes: review what was learned last year (e.g. how to play & read music for snare & bass drums. “What other kinds of percussion instruments are there?” “How do you know which printed notes are for which instrument?” 10 min.: Sound using Sibelius. “The computer can also play percussion sounds.” The teacher sets up a percussion ensemble composition. Through the MIDI keyboard the students play different keys. We listen to the sounds & compare them to the ‘real’ thing. “If the computer doesn’t sound real, is this a bad thing?” “Why?” “Where does the sound come from?” 15 min.: Notation. “Notice how the computer writes the notes.” “Different lines & spaces mean different instruments.” “How does this differ from notes the violin or piano play?”

Evaluation:

We look through the pages near the end of the book. “Find a triangle part.” “Find something written for suspended cymbal.” “Are these notes written the same way the computer wrote them?” Students are evaluated on their answers & on questions they may have raised.

Follow Up:

Every orchestra piece we play offers challenges in reading & performance. Throughout the year we will learn how pitched instruments are notated as we learn timpani, marimba, temple blocks, etc.

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