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Kilbirnie School music planning sheet – Level 2

Curriculum area: The Arts
Discipline: Music
Level: 2
Timeframe: Nine weeks
Syndicate: Senior

Achievement objectives

Practical Knowledge (PK): Students will identify through focused listening, and explore, the musical elements of beat, rhythm, pitch, tempo, dynamics, and tone colour.

Developing Ideas (DI): Students will invent and represent musical ideas, drawing on imagination and responding to sources of motivation.

Communicating and Interpreting (CI): Students will share music making with others, using basic performance skills and technique, and respond to live or recorded music.

Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • listen to musical examples and note composition conventions such as repetition, dynamics, playing techniques, tempo, pitch, and contrast;
  • use listening experiences and exploration of sounds and composition to create a piece of music that depicts the rock cycle and encourages movement;
  • rework, perform, and record their own compositions to communicate an idea;
  • work cooperatively to compose a piece of music and associated movement.

Skills and attitudes

  • Cooperation – composing music as a group, so everyone is included and valued.
  • Communication as a performance, using electronic media.
  • Problem solving – extending ideas and communicating them effectively.

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  • Homemade instruments and instruments from around the world.
  • Junk materials from home.
  • Te Ku Te Whe by Hirini Melbourne and Richard Nunns http://www.rattle.co.nz/rel_d004.htm .
  • Trussell-Cullen, A, & Francis, L. Hooked On Making Musical Instruments. New York, London: Longman.

Links with other learning areas

  • Technology: research, constructing, testing, and modifying.
  • Visual arts: design, shaping and 3D decorating.
  • Dance: moving through different levels with shape and energy, to convey the idea of a rock cycle.

Learning activities

  • Look and listen to homemade instruments and instruments from other cultures, to glean ideas on how to make their own.
  • Listen to Riverscape by Douglas Lilburn. Use homemade instruments to make, as a class, a soundscape.
  • Make instruments using items collected from home.
  • Listen to William Tell Overture by Rossini; Hall of the Mountain King by Greig; Indonesian Monkey Chant by Jack Body; and, Māori putorino and porotiti from Te Ku Te Whe by Hirini Melbourne and Richard Nunns.
  • Discuss the sounds and what the composer has done with them.
  • In groups (igneous, metamorphic, sedimentary), choose an idea to use and develop throughout a composition.
  • Develop and practise a composition, using pattern and structure.
  • Record the composition using graphic notation.
  • Practise and polish the composition making necessary changes and evaluating group cooperation.
  • Listen to each other's compositions and give positive, critical feedback.
  • Trial a recording for an objective viewpoint on which to base final adjustments.
  • Record at the college studio ready for the production.
  • As a class, create an overture that showcases homemade instruments for the production.

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This was a highly successful unit that held all the children's interest. They seemed to feel they owned the product and so were keen to rework and improve it. They enjoyed exploring sounds and were keen to manipulate the recording to fine-tune their compositions. As a result we have been invited back to the recording studio for a second session so the children can mix their own work.

The cooperative aspect of this unit was also an effective learning experience, as some of the more academically able students struggled to communicate their ideas. Different children came to the fore and shone. The follow-up unit will try to develop this aspect, and build on the lessons and discoveries of the first.

The unit would not have worked without a willingness to experiment made possible by the relaxed and inventive culture of this class: it had the right soil in which to flourish.


  • Self-assessment of cooperative and listening skills, and contribution to the group throughout.
  • Peer assessment and critical feedback on the composition.

Cross-curriculum links

  • Mathematics
  • Technology
  • The Arts
  • Māori

Essential skills

This unit has had wide-ranging benefits in essential skills, especially:

  • communication
  • problem solving
  • social/cooperative

Unit evaluation

Unit duration Excellent Good Fair
Objectives met Excellent Good Fair
Student enjoyment Excellent Good Fair
Suitability of activities Excellent Good Fair

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(this assessment proved effective with teacher input/observation)

Group ________________ Name ___________________

Evaluate how you worked, using a number from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best.

  • How well did your group work together?
  • How well did your group listen to one another?
  • How well did you listen to others?

Write an answer to these questions:

  • In what ways did you contribute to the group effort?
  • What could you do to improve your contribution to the group?
  • How have you improved your composition?
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