Literacy in the Arts – Music
As a teacher, the main subject that I teach is Music. It is my passion. I enjoy all aspects of teaching this subject from the Music Theory, to the study of music history, to performance and listening activities. In my last blog post I discussed how my Faculty is currently overhauling our approach to the teaching of Literacy and writing in our classes. This focus has long been a priority for me, as I know how important it is to give students the opportunity to write in an academic fashion in all subjects.
This post is a lesson that I used with my Year 8 students when we were completing the Pioneers of Rock unit. The lesson started with a look at Elvis Presley, and why he became such an influence on Rock music, even to today. We discuss questions like— “If Elvis only sang and did not perform with wild gestures, do you think he would still be famous today?” or even “ If Elvis had died during his service in the Army, do you think his legend would have lived on?”. These questions always prove to get some very interesting answers! I like to play the Jailhouse Rock clip for them, and discuss the fact that this was before MTV and Music television stations and even YouTube, and again this provides for an interesting discussion.
Link to Pioneers of Rock here
Link to Jailhouse Rock by Elvis Presley here
After all of this, it is time to focus on our listening and writing skills. For this particular lesson the song we listen to is Hound Dog. I find that this works well as we have already performed the 12 Bar Blues and students can identify this structure/form easily. I also like to use this song as it has a really easy bass line that students can perform along with the song. The musical concept we focus on in this song is Pitch.
Link to Hound Dog by Elvis Presley here
As always, we answer the questions together, making sure that the students have the correct information. After the questions are answered, it is time to put the information into the P.E.E.L. Paragraph scaffold. I tend not to do this with students as this is something that they are already familiar doing independently. I like to walk around the room to keep students on track and check for understanding. After completing their paragraph planning, students move onto writing their own paragraph. Below are a couple of samples of some student work. You can see that they have the idea, this was not a top academic stream class, they were the middle of the road students, but they still did a good job!
P.E.E.L. Paragraph Writing—Music link here
In my next post I will have some samples form my current Year 10 Music class as they have just finished an analysis of a piece of music using the paragraph writing structure of T.X.X.X.C.
Until next time
Julia from Jooya