Australian Music – Educate your class about various types of music using an Australian sound
- To learn about various Australian music styles.
- To interpret music using rhythm, movement and sound.
- To listen to music for enjoyment.
MATERIALS: CDs of Australian music
- Aboriginal music (e.g. Yothu Yindi)
- country music (e.g. John Williamson)
- pop music (any current popular Australian band)
- examples of musical instruments used in such music e.g. Aboriginal tapping sticks, bush instruments, guitars.
- Discuss how different types of music can make us feel e.g. calm, happy, excited, and what type of music might suit different occasions and situations.
- Play excerpts from CDs, and brainstorm the feelings the class comes up with. Stress that there are no right or wrong answers. Blackboard the answers under the title of each piece.
Rhythm and movement
- Play each piece of music and ask children to think of movements that show how the music makes them feel. The movements must be well-defined, and in time to the music.
- Gather the children in a circle, and ask each child, one at a time, to show a movement he/she thought of to show the class. Everyone copies that movement. Move around the group to the next child.
- As the class becomes more confident, ask them to add a sound that goes with their movement (not singing). The sound should also indicate the feelings they have about the music. They can do this on their own as they move around the room. (This can be rather noisy – so be prepared!)
- In small groups, the children now make up a dance or movement piece to the music of their choice, using movements they created. Ask them to choose six movements only. After practising, the children then present their dances to the class with the appropriate music playing.
- Look at and discuss the instruments that have been brought in. Listen again to the music, and see if children can hear the instruments being played on the different tracks. Discuss the effect the instruments have.
- A good way to conclude such activities is to have the children lie down, close their eyes and listen to a piece of soft Australian new-age or classical music (e.g. Tony O’Connor). Avoid asking questions about the children’s interpretation for this activity. Some children rarely just relax and enjoy music.
- Make bush instruments such as lager phones.
- Children could draw patterns or pictures to represent the sounds they made.
- Use their experiences as a springboard for creative writing.
- Further study of music styles.
- Invite musicians to visit the class