Music

Key Stage 2

Lesson One

Lesson One

Share the Glyndebourne website for Agreed. Then ask the children to read the synopsis and identify some of the key themes.

Teacher notes:

  • Casting out - outcasts, bible stories (casting out demons), exile, division.
  • Forbidden boundary - prohibited barrier, border and frontier. Ask children to name as many boundaries as possible: physical, emotional/psychological and geographical.
  • Unrest spirals – disturbance, agitation, name any public demonstrations. How might they escalate?
  • Conscience – sense of right and wrong, moral compass.

A key theme to be explored in these teacher resources is conflict.

Starter Activity

Play the children Ride of the Valkyries (Wagner). Ask each of them to write down five adjectives to describe the piece.

 

Play the children Dido’s Lament (Purcell). Ask each of them to write down five adjectives to describe the piece.

 

Main Activity

Explain that Valkyries are warriors and this piece is a build up to war, and that a lament is a piece of music about loss. Discuss how conflict can inspire music both about war itself as well as the sadness that follows.

Now play them the The Rumble from West Side Story by Bernstein and explain that this is a piece about a fight. Guide a discussion on how this is shown in the music (e.g. loud, sharp, jagged representing punching).

Ask each child to imagine their own story, and write a creative story board that ties together all three pieces, with the build up to war, the fight itself, and then loss.

Lesson two

Lesson two

Starter Activity

Play the children the two folk songs below, Molly Malone and The Oak and the Ash. Ask if they’ve ever heard them before and initiate a class discussion comparing the two pieces.

Teacher note: Molly Malone is quite happy and calm, and Oak and the Ash is sad and reflective

Main Activity

  • Play Molly Malone on repeat and ask the children to clap along to the beat (the pulse, which stays constant throughout) and then to the rhythm (which is the same as clapping along to the words).
  • Divide the class into half, getting half to clap the beat and half the rhythm.
  • Using any available untuned percussion, repeat the exercise in different combinations (e.g. all drums play the pulse, all tambourines the rhythm etc).
  • Then ask the children to sing along to the song (having now heard it many times).
  • Divide the class into three, each third playing the beat, rhythm and singing in turn, forming a whole-class performance.

Explain that people often learnt folk songs together to unite people after times of conflict. 

 

Lesson three

Lesson three

Starter Activity

Play the children The Drunken Sailor. Ask them what the song is about and, in pairs, ask them to come up with a list of adjectives that describe the sea.

Main Activity

Teach the children the song, singing along with the video, repeating as necessary.

Building on the previous lesson, divide the class into three groups: those who sing the song, those who play the beat (on untuned percussion) and those who play the rhythm (on untuned percussion).

  • If necessary, put the words on the board but now perform the song without the track.
  • Together, come up with a structure for a whole-class performance.
  • For example, a verse of beat only, then joined by rhythm, then joined by singing, perhaps then singing only and then all percussion. Allow the children to create this structure themselves.

 

Homework/Extensions

Homework one

Related to Literacy

  • Ask the children to write up their story board into a short piece of creative writing.

Homework two

Ask the children to research a list of five other famous folk songs and listen to them. Tell the children to be ready to explain to the class in the next lesson which is their favourite and why.

Homework three

Research the origin of the sea shanty. Ask the children to write a short piece about why they were written and giving a few examples.