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THE ULTIMATE INSTRUMENT!

Subject: Music

Grade Level: 3

Materials: 30 lap tops with wireless internet, 1 Smart Board presentation station with projection unit,1 computer presentation station, Macromedia Flash Player, Instrument Families worksheets, Instrument Summary worksheets, pencils.

About: “The Ultimate Instrument” is an interactive unit in which students design, create, and learn about the instrument families of the symphony orchestra through the use of technology. This unit is designed for students in a 3rd grade general music class, and it is taught in five, forty minute lessons. This unit is taught in three sections; the instrument demonstrations, the webquest, and the final presentations. In the beginning of “The Ultimate Instrument” unit, students learn about the four instrument families of the symphony orchestra by singing a song titled, “Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion, Strings”. After the students have learned the song, 5th grade students demonstrate their instruments for the class through discussion and performances. The 3rd grade students act as the audience, and are encouraged to ask questions about the instruments at the conclusion of the performances. The second section of the “Ultimate Instrument” unit is the webquest. The teacher uses an interactive SmartBoard to introduce the webquest, as well as to review basic internet and computer procedures, to the students. The students are also introduced to the task of the webquest, which is to create a unique instrument for the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in order to increase concert attendance. After the teacher demonstrates internet, computer, and webquest procedures, the students independently explore the webquest through the use of wireless laptops. In the first step of the webquest, students research and record basic information about the four instrument families of the orchestra using the New York Philharmonic Kidzone Storage Room website and a given worksheet. The webquest directs the students to the Instrument Storage Room which contains four instrument family sections; the woodwinds, the brass, the strings, and the percussion sections. The students research information about each instrument family by clicking on the instrument cases, reading the texts, and listening to the audio clips through the headsets. The students list the instruments of each family, the common traits that each family possesses, and an interesting fact about each family on a given worksheet. In the second step of the webquest, students design and create a unique instrument to be played in the orchestra using the New York Philharmonic Kidzone Laboratory website and a given worksheet. The webquest directs the students to the Instrument Laboratory which contains common objects such as; paper towel rolls, soda bottles, pencils, and many other objects that can be found in the students’ homes. In the Instrument Laboratory, students create, name, save, and print their unique instruments. The students answer questions regarding their instrument’s family, its unique qualities, and its construction on a given worksheet. The students use the information from the worksheet to write a letter to the conductor, describing their ultimate instrument. At the conclusion of the “Ultimate Instrument” unit, students construct their instruments at home and present them at the following music class. During the presentations, the students describe, explain, and perform their instruments to the class. The students also perform the song that was taught at the beginning of the unit, “Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion, Strings” with the use of their created instruments and singing. Students are evaluated through the use of a teacher checklist. The teacher checklist evaluates the students’ abilities to complete the given worksheets, to create unique instruments, and to present their constructed instruments to the class.

Upon completing “The Ultimate Instrument” unit, students are required to design, create, and present a unique instrument. The instrument must belong to a specific instrument family, it must make a sound, and it must have a name relevant to its design. Students are evaluated on their instruments through the use of a teacher checklist.

The “Ultimate Instrument” provides students with an interactive approach to learning musical concepts through the use of technology. Through the use of the internet, students are able to listen to professional recordings of every instrument in the symphony orchestra, and learn interesting facts about each instrument by reading the texts. Students are also given the opportunity to design, create, and present a unique instrument. It is the goal of the project for students to gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the instruments of the symphony orchestra. The understanding and appreciation that is gained from the project encourages the students to participate in the school band and string programs, and to become excited about choosing an instrument at the end of the school year.

“The Ultimate Instrument” is designed for students in a 3rd grade general music class who are learning about the instrument families of the symphony orchestra. In the beginning of the instrument family unit, it is beneficial for students to learn the procedures for completing a webquest through an interactive SmartBoard presentation. The large screen presentation gives students the opportunity to practice navigating the webquest and the internet in a group setting before attempting independent webquest work. Students with special needs may have difficulty completing the given worksheets. Therefore, alternate worksheets have been developed to address the needs of the students. The worksheets provide students with an alternative method of demonstrating their understandings of the families of the symphony orchestra. The worksheets are posted on the “teacher page” of the “Ultimate Instrument” webquest.

http://ccsd.edu/woodglen/specials/music/julie/webquest/ultimate_instrument.htm

 Objectives
-The student will identify the four instrument families of the symphony orchestra.
-The student will identify and compare the similarities and differences of each of the four families of the symphony orchestra.
-The student will listen to the instruments of the symphony orchestra
-The student will design and create an instrument that belongs to a specific family of the symphony orchestra
-The student will compare the qualities of a created instrument to the qualities of traditional instruments in the symphony orchestra.
-The student will navigate the internet through the use of a webquest and laptops.
-The student will use the computer as a tool for generating and drawing ideas.

Websites
Woodglen's Music Website
http://ccsd.edu/woodglen/specials/music/music.htm
The Ultimate Instrument Webquest
http://ccsd.edu/woodglen/specials/music/julie/webquest/ultimate_instrument.htm
NY Philharmonic Kidzone Instrument Storage Room
http://nyphilkids.org/lockerroom/main.phtml?
NY Philharmonic Kidzone Instrument Laboratory
http://nyphilkids.org/lab/main.phtml?

Standards
Standard 1: Creating, Performing, and Participating in the Arts: *Students will actively engage in the processes that constitute creation and performance in the arts (dance, music, theatre, and visual arts) and participate in various roles in the arts.
Elementary
Music
Standard 2: Knowing and Using Arts Materials and Resources: *Students will be knowledgeable about and make use of the materials and resources available for participation in the arts in various roles.
Elementary
Music
Standard 3: Responding to and Analyzing Works of Art: *Students will respond critically to a variety of works in the arts, connecting the individual work to other works and to other aspects of human endeavor and thought.
Elementary
Music
Standard 4: Understanding the Cultural Contributions of the Arts: *Students will develop an understanding of the personal and cultural forces that shape artistic communication and how the arts in turn shape the diverse cultures of past and present society.
Elementary
Music
Standard 2: Information Systems: *Students will access, generate, process, and transfer information using appropriate technologies.
Elementary
Technology
Standard 5: Technology *Students will apply technological knowledge and skills to design, construct, use, and evaluate products and systems to satisfy human and environmental needs.
Elementary
Technology

Day 1: Instrument Demonstrations
Objectives
The student will identify the four instrument families of the symphony orchestra through discussion, listening, and singing.
The student will demonstrate appropriate audience behavior through attentive listening of student instrument demonstrations.
Materials
"Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion, Strings" PowerPoint Presentation
5th grade instrumentalists
instrument mouthpieces
piano
Procedures
The teacher states that students will have the opportunity to choose an instrument to play in order to participate in the school band and strings programs.
The teacher describes the four instrument families and the common trait of each family through class discussion, examples, and playing on various mouthpieces for the students.
The students learn the song, "Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion, Strings" through the use of a PowerPoint presentation, singing, and a piano.
The teacher reviews "concert etiquette" (previously taught) through class discussion and examples.
The teacher inroduces the 5th grade instrumentalists, and allows time for each 5th grade student to perform.
Allow time for 3rd grade questions and comments.
Review the four instrument families through discussion. The students sit in 4 rows. Assign an instrument family to each row. When the teacher names an instrument belonging to a row's family. The assigned row may line up at the door for dismissal.
Homework
Students are assigned to practice singing the song, "Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion, Strings".
Assessment
Students will be informally assessed through teacher observation of their abilities to identify the instrument families and demonstrate appropriate concert etiquette through singing the song, listening to the 5th grade instrument demonstrations, and responding to class discussions.

Day 2: Introduction to the ULTIMATE INSTRUMENT Webquest
Objectives
The student will identify the four instrument families of the symphony orchestra through discussion, listening, singing, and researching the internet.
The student will navigate the internet through the use of a webquest and laptops.
Materials
SmartBoard Presentation Station
Laptops (approx. 1 for each student)
headsets (1 for each laptop)
Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion, Strings" PowerPoint Presentation
Procedures
The teacher reviews the four instrument families of the symphony orchestra through class discussion and singing the song, "Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion, Strings" with the students. (use ppt.)
The teacher demonstrates basic computer procedures for the students through the use of the SmartBoard presentation station. (log-on, log-off, shut down, headset volume)
The teacher demonstrates basic interent procedures for the students through the use of the SmartBoard presentation station. (back, forward, refresh, close, scroll)
The teacher demonstrates basic webquest procedures for the students through the use of the SmartBoard presentation station. (introduction, task, process, conclusion, evaluation)
The teacher directs the class to find the webquest once they have their laptops. (Quick review)
Distribute laptops and headsets. The teacher waits for students to find the webquest.
The teacher and students read the "Letter from the Conductor" in the introduction of the webquest. The teacher asks the students, "Are you up to the challenge?" The teacher directs students to explore the instrument storage room, and to listen to the instruments.
Allow time for student exploration.
The teacher quickly reviews log-off and shut down procedures. Students log off and shut their laptops down.
The teacher reviews the instrument families, and computer, internet, and wequest procedures with the students through class discussion.
Homework
*OPTIONAL* Students may log on to the Ultimate Instrument" webquest at home in order to practice navigating the websites.
Assessment
The students will be informally assessed through teacher observation of their abilities to demonstrate appropriate computer, internet, and webquest procedures through the use of the laptops.

Day 3: The Instrument Storage Room
Objectives
The student will access needed information from the internet through the use of laptops and headsets.
The student will identify and compare the similarities and differences of each of the four families of the symphony orchestra through the use of the internet and completing a given worksheet. .
Materials
1 Presentation station
Laptops with headsets (approx. 1 for each student)
Worksheets #1, #1a, #1b: Instrument Families Pencils
Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion, Strings" PowerPoint Presentation
Procedures
The teacher reviews the four instrument families through class discussion and singing, "Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion, Strings" with the students.
The teacher reviews computer, internet, and webquest procedures through discussion and demonstration on a presentation station. The teacher directs students to find the webquest once they have received their laptops.
Distribute laptops and allow time for students to find the webquest.
Once students have found the webquest. The teacher demonstrates the procedure for finding information on the internet in order to complete the given worksheet #1: Instrument Families.
Allow time for students to complete the worksheet.
The teacher directs students to log off and shut down their laptops.
The teacher reviews the four instrument families through discussion. The teacher leads a class discussion on the commonalities of instruments in each family, and the students' favorite listening examples.
Homework
Worksheet #1 is assigned for homework if it is not finished during class time.
Assessment
Students will be formally assessed by a teacher checklist on their written responses to the Instrument Families worksheet.

Day 4: Designing the ULTIMATE INSTRUMENT!
Objectives
The student will design and create an instrument that belongs to a specific family of the symphony orchestra through the use of the Shockwave and household materials.
The student will compare the qualities of a created instrument to the qualities of traditional instruments in the symphony orchestra through completing a given worksheet.
The student will use the computer as a tool for generating and drawing ideas.
Materials
Laptops (approx. 1 for each student)
Worksheet #2, #2a: Instrument Summary Pencils
Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion, Strings" PowerPoint Presentation
Letter to the Conductor
Procedures
The teacher reviews the four instrument families through class discussion and singing, "Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion, Strings" with the students.
The teacher reviews instrument commonalities through class discussion and by playing on various mouthpieces for the students.
The teacher reviews computer, internet, and webquest procedures through discussion and demonstration on a presentation station. The teacher directs students to find the webquest once they have received their laptops.
Distribute laptops and allow time for students to find the webquest.
Once students have found the webquest. The teacher demonstrates the procedure for designing and saving an instrument using Shockwave. The teacher also demonstrates the procedure for completing worksheet #2: Instrument Summary worksheet.
Allow time for students to design their instruments and complete worksheet #2.
The teacher directs the students to log off and shut down their laptops.
The teacher reviews instrument family traits and the traits of various created instruments through class discussion.
Homework
Students are given a printed copy of their created instruments to take home and to create. The students must bring their created instruments to the following music class. (1 week) Students must also use in the information from worksheet #2 to write a letter to the conductor describing their instrument. If students have not completed worksheet #2, they will receive it for homework.
Assessment
Students will be formally assessed by a teacher checklist on their written responses to the Instrument Summary worksheet.

Day 5: Presentations
Objectives
The student will describe and present an instrument that belongs to a specific family of the symphony orchestra through discussion and a written letter to the conductor.
The student will compare the qualities of a created instrument to the qualities of traditional instruments in the symphony orchestra through the presentation of a created instrument.
The student will demonstrate appropriate audience behavior through attentive listening of student instrument presentations.
Materials
Created Instruments
"Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion, Strings" PowerPoint Presentation
Procedures
The teacher reviews the commonalities of each of the instrument families through class discussion and examples.
The teacher reviews "concert etiquette" (previously taught) through class discussion.
The teacher outlines the points that each student must cover in their presentations: the name of their instrument, the family that it belongs to, the reason that their instrument belongs to the family, the uniqueness of the instrument, and the sound that it makes
Allow time for students to present their instruments to the class.
At the conclusion of the presentations, the students sing and perform, "Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion, Strings" using their created instruments!
Homework
Assessment
The students will be formally assessed by a teacher checklist of their "Letter to the Conductor" and their instrument constructions and presentations.

Julie Reksc

jreksc@ccsd.edu

Woodglen Elementary School, Clarkstown CSD
121 Phillips Hill Rd
New City, NY 10956

Julie Reksc is in her fourth year of teaching general music and chorus to students in kindergarten through fifth grades in the Clarkstown Central School District, located in New City, New York. Julie has developed two grants for the Clarkstown Central School District, and she enjoys developing innovative methods of teaching general music concepts to her students. Julie is a current member of the New York State Schools Music Association, the Music Educators National Conference, and the Rockland County Music Educator’s Association.

 

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