Music Math: Creating a Clapping Symphony
Students read simple music to create a symphony of clapping (all grades). Plus fraction math for grades 5-up. Work sheet included. Objectives
- understand how musical notes relate to fractions.
- identify a variety of musical notes (for example, whole, half, and quarter notes).
- read and clap a measure of music, assigning appropriate values to notes.
- solve fraction math problems that use musical notes in place of the fractions.
fraction, music, notes, value
Introduce to students, or present a refresher course in, the value of musical notes. Each note represents a specific value. In this lesson, students in grades 3 and up will read note values/simple music to create a symphony of clapping.
Note: The extension activity in this lesson is for students in grades 5 and up; it assumes students know how to add fractions. Start the lesson by sharing a simple Note Values Chart. Print out the chart, photocopy it onto a sheet of transparency film, and use an overhead projector to display the chart for students. If you do not intend to introduce the value of different musical rests to students, cover the RESTS column with a piece of paper.
Alternate idea: Recreate the chart on a large sheet of poster board; display the poster so all students can see it clearly. Discuss the value of different notes (and rests, if appropriate). To help students "hear" the value of those notes, tap your foot to a 4-beat measure -- tap, tap, tap, tap -- and have students join in. Then
- Introduce the whole note. The whole note is an oval (it looks like an egg on its side) with no color inside and no vertical line attached. Introduce the concept of the whole note by clapping its value. Clap once for each 4-beat measure you tap: clap, tap, tap, tap. As you clap, hum the note and hold it over all four beats (hum-mm-mm-mm). Have students clap, tap, and hum with you.
- Introduce the half note. The half note looks like a whole note, but it has a vertical line attached. Draw a half note for students to see, and write the fraction 1/2 next to it. Clap (clap, tap, clap, tap) and hum (hum-mm, hum-mm) to represent the half note for students as you tap your foot to the four beats of the measure. Have students clap, tap, and hum with you.
- Introduce the quarter note. The quarter note looks like a half note, but the oval is filled in with solid black. Draw a quarter note for students, and write the fraction 1/4 next to it. Clap (clap, clap, clap, clap) to represent the quarter note as you tap your foot to a four-beat measure. Have students clap and tap with you.
- Introduce the eighth note. The eight note looks like a quarter note, except it has a curly line (like a flag blowing in the wind) at the end of the vertical line. Draw an eighth note for students, and write the fraction 1/8 next to it. Clap twice for each beat (clap-clap, clap-clap, clap-clap, clap-clap) to represent the eighth note to students as you tap your foot to the four-beat measure. Have students clap and tap with you.
- Introduce the sixteenth note. The sixteenth note looks like a quarter note, except it has two curly lines at the top (or bottom) of the vertical line. Draw a sixteenth note for students, and write the fraction 1/16 next to it. Clap four times for each beat (clap-clap-clap-clap, clap-clap-clap-clap, clap-clap-clap-clap, clap-clap-clap-clap) as you tap your foot to the four beats of the measure. Have students clap and tap with you.
This is a good time to review the idea that each note is represented by a fraction.
- A four-beat measure represents 1 whole. A whole note is held for the entire four beats.
- That same four-beat measure might include 2 half notes. Each half note is held for 1/2 of the measure, or two beats.
- That same four-beat measure might include 4 quarter notes. Each note is held for 1/4 of the measure, or one beat.
- That same four-beat measure might include 8 eighth notes. Each note is held for 1/8 of the measure. Students clap two quick claps for each tap of the foot (each beat).
- That same four-beat measure can include 16 sixteenth notes. Each note is held for 1/16 of the measure. Students clap four rapid-fire claps for each tap of the foot (each beat).
Take the activity one more step: Arrange the class into two or more groups. Present each group with a four-beat measure that includes a combination of notes (and rests, if appropriate). Start by having the first group clap out their measure in repetitive fashion. Then practice with the other group. Finally, start the first group off and -- once they are comfortably performing their rhythm -- add in the other group(s) to create a symphony of clapping.
Extension Activity: Music and Fraction Math (for Grades 5-up only)
Review again the concept of each note representing a fraction of a measure. Then provide students with some sample math problems using notes to represent fractions. For example,
- [an eight note] + [an eighth note] = __________ (Answer: 2/8 or 1/4)
- [an eighth note] + [a quarter note] = __________ (Answer: 3/8)
- [a quarter note] - [an eighth note] = __________ (Answer: 1/8)
- [4 eight notes] + [2 eighth notes] = __________ (Answer: 6/8 or 3/4)
- [3 sixteenth notes] + [1 sixteenth note] = __________ (Answer: 4/16 or 2/8 or 1/4)
Test students' knowledge of the value of notes. Present a board work or work sheet assignment that presents different types of notes in random order. Students will identify those notes as whole, half, quarter, eighth, or sixteenth notes.
Given a measure of notes, students will be able to clap out the measure.
Extension Activity: Music Math Answer Key:
1. 1-3/4; 2. 1/2; 3. 3/4 or 6/8; 4. 2-1/2; 5. 3/8; 6. 1/2 or 2/4 or 4/8; 7. 13/16; 8. 0; 9. 1-5/8; 10. 3/16.
- See more at: http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/03/lp303-05.shtml#sthash.dpUkWoAe.dpuf
Lesson Plan: Integrating Music with the Teaching of Multiplication Facts
Grade Level: Grades 2-4
Lesson Objectives: To memorize multiplication facts 7×3 through 7×8 and 8×3 through 8×8. To make up a rhyming couplet using one of the facts. To enjoy singing a silly song.
Materials: Auto-harp (or any instrument that can play chords), multiplication flashcards for above facts, overhead transparency of words to song, copies of words to song for each student, overhead projector.
Motivation: The teacher holds up a set of flashcards and begins to elicit answers to the facts from the class. She/he stops and says: “We can try to memorize our sevens and eights this way, but I have a better idea. I know a song that can help you learn these facts.”
Activities in order of presentation:
1. The teacher sings the chorus to the song “Times Facts” (see below) once by herself with the Autoharp accompaniment.
2. She puts the words to the chorus on the overhead for the whole class to read together. (The teacher leads and says the words in rhythm.)
3. The teacher teaches each phrase of the song a capella using the echo method.
4. Add the Autoharp and sing through twice.
5. Pass out song sheets to each student. Have them find the “Chorus” at the top of the sheet. Then draw the class’ attention to the first verse. Have them follow along while the teacher sings and plays the first verse. Encourage the students to join in the second time through the first verse.
6. Repeat step 5 by slowly singing and playing each verse with the whole class. Sing the chorus each time.
7. When the teacher and class get to verse five, point out that this verse is incomplete Encourage the class to say the verse with you, and when you get to the blank, solicit a word that would rhyme and make sense. Now sing that verse and the chorus.
8. Before beginning verse six, point out to the students that two whole lines of words have been left out. If they can think of some words that would fit the music and rhyme, they would be writing a “rhyming couplet.” Tell them to take three minutes to think and write. Then the teacher should call on volunteers and fill in the new words on the overhead for the entire class to see. Sing the new verse and the chorus.
Closure: Sing through the entire song once with Auto-harp.
Song: “Times Facts” (Words by Karen Meese. Tune: “Skip to My Lou”)
Chorus: Times facts, they’re a breeze;
Learn a few, then work on speed.
Times facts, you’ll be surprised
By just how fast you can memorize.
Verses: 3 times 7 is 21
Now, at last, we’ve all begun.
4 times 7 is 28
Let’s sing what we appreciate. (Chorus)
5 times 7 is 35.
Yes, by gosh, we’re still alive.
6 times 7 is 42.
I forgot what we’re supposed to do. (Chorus)
7 times 7 is 49.
Hey, Bud, can you spare a dime?
8 times 7 is 56.
Please tell me how I got in this fix. (Chorus)
3 times 8 is 24.
Go and throw the cat out the door.
4 times 8 is 32.
Now, please don’t try to bite my shoe. (Chorus)
5 times 8 is for—ty.
Will you please stop tickling me?
6 times 8 is 48.
Hurry up or we’ll be ___________. (Chorus)
7 times 8 is 56.
8 times 8 is 64.
Lesson Plan by Karen Meese