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“Tihore Mai” by Hirini Melbourne

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Learning Contexts:
Perceptive listening (music literacy); Te reo and tikanga Māori; Taonga pūoro; Science
Learning Contexts:
Perceptive listening (music literacy); Te reo and tikanga Māori; Taonga pūoro; Science
YEAR/S: 1-3 DURATION: 4 sessions
Values highlighted in this unit How will these values be encouraged?
Excellence Persevering to learn and master new skills.
Innovation, inquiry and curiosity Constantly reflecting on how they can utilize new and known skills to create something original. Asking meaningful questions.
Diversity Learning about aspects of Māori culture through waiata, taonga pūoro and poi.
Equity All having opportunities to participate to the best of their ability. Sharing resources.
Community and participation Joining in all activities and working collaboratively to make up new movement and music sequences.
Care for the environment Understanding the interactive nature of living things through a waiata.
Integrity Acting responsibly and supporting others, respecting cultural knowledge.
Key Competencies highlighted in this unit How will these competencies be encouraged?
Managing self Following instructions clearly, listening to others’ ideas. Completing tasks.
Relating to others Interacting sensibly with other children, being prepared to listen and accept others’ ideas.
Participating and contributing Active participation in all activities. Contributing ideas confidently. Understanding the importance of community in Māori culture.
Thinking Making sense of information provided and drawing on previous learning. Thinking creatively.
Using language, symbols and texts Understanding some of the language of music and transferring that knowledge to practical work. Use of te reo Māori in a musical context
Achievement Objectives highlighted in this unit
  • Understanding Music - Sound Arts in Context (UC)
  • Developing Practical Knowledge in Music - Sound Arts (PK)
  • Communicating and Interpreting in Music - Sound Arts (CI)
  • Developing Ideas in Music - Sound Arts (DI)
Learning Outcomes

In this unit the children will develop the ability to:

  • Identify, describe and respond to musical elements and how they are used in this waiata to create an effect. (PK)
  • Identify and describe the sounds of taonga pūoro and the use of poi as a percussive instrument. (UC, PK, CI)
  • Share their personal responses to this waiata. (UC, PK, CI)
  • Express themselves creatively using actions, poi and rākau. (CI, DI)
This waiata features traditional Māori instruments , female voices singing in harmony , and a chant-like style. The sounds of the poi provide the rhythmic percussion that can be heard throughout the song. Encourage the children to listen carefully for the sound of the karanga weka (weka caller) and the deep booming sound of the hue (gourd).Here is a translation of the waiata.This waiata was composed by Hirini Melbourne , whose beautiful waiata are sung by children all over Aotearoa.Another waiata of Hirini’s which would work very well in conjunction with this is “Karanga Weka” (from Kiwi Kidsongs 3 and Kiwi Kidsongs 40).

Tihore Mai (MP3)

A set of poi for the students - view this video on how to make poi .

Other examples of “Tihore Mai”:
Moana and the Tribe (with images from nature)
Moana and the Tribe (with historical Māori images)
The Disciples, Edgewater College Male Vocal Group

Examples of Māori instruments (Taongo pūoro) being performed. E.g. “ Te Ku Te Whe” by Hirini Melbourne and Richard Nunns

Taonga Pūoro - Singing Treasures by Brian Flintoff (if available)

Games and Starters

Follow the sound (locating and identifying sounds)

The children close their eyes and listen as a chosen person moves around the room making a sound (for example, whistling, tongue clicking or playing an instrument). The children follow the sound by pointing in the direction of the sound. A second or even third child, also making a sound, can be added for fun and to increase the challenge.

Tell the difference

Listen and enjoy some different versions of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star:
Mozart Variations
Dora the Explorer
Sesame Street

Talk about all the things that these versions have in common and the differences. Use the language of the elements of music - fast or slow, voice types, one or more singers, instruments used etc.). The elements and features of music can also be expressed in te reo Māori.

Mystery sounds

The children close their eyes and try to identify mystery sounds (for example, paper scrunching, a marble rolling in a jar, a finger flicking a piece of newspaper, scissors cutting paper, keys rattling). They can take turns to identify and imitate the mystery sound and to create a mystery sound for the others to guess.

Learning experiences

Preparation for listening

  • Talk about traditional Māori instruments the children may know of or have heard being played. Share some of the resources from the links above.
  • Talk to the children about what they like to do on rainy days. Do you like to be outside splashing in the puddles or inside sitting beside a cosy fire? What do your pets or other animals like to do on rainy days?

Ideas for activities

  • Let the children hear the waiata and then read through the words. Discuss the familiar Māori words that they can recognise, e.g. te rangi, the sky; te rā - the sun; e rere - fly; ki runga - up, upon; te wai - water.
  • Go through the translation and discuss the messages in the waiata. Display the words in the classroom and get the children to illustrate the three main sections of the waiata. (Clear the skies, Fly kingfisher, Flee worm).
  • Let them hear the song a second time, focusing this time on the voices, which are singing in harmony. Notice that the melody moves up and down using only a very small, close group of notes. In this way, the song is like a chant. Draw the shape of the melody in the air as it plays through.
  • Listen to the song again, this time focusing on the instruments in the accompaniment. Show pictures of poi, karanga weka and hue and discuss what they are made of.
  • Listen to other versions of “Tihore Mai” - discuss the differences and similarities. What are the features of each of these different versions?
  • Children could make their own poi and learn some basic actions as seen in this unit of work . The sounds of the poi as they strike the hands are very effective percussion instruments. Poi are also useful for developing very flexible wrists and improving hand-eye co-ordination. Encourage the children to experiment, letting the poi twist and fly in and out from their bodies like a fantail.
  • Once they are confident with the poi, they could create their own expressive actions to the waiata. They could also include tī rākau in their choreography.

Discussing music with the children and observing their responses to music is likely to provide the most useful assessment information.

Identify, describe and respond to musical elements and how they are used in this waiata to create an effect (PK, DI)

  • How well can the children identify and talk about the elements of music using appropriate music vocabulary?
  • Does their creative work reflect an understanding of the elements of music?

Share personal responses to music (PK, CI)

  • How well can the children use appropriate music vocabulary to discuss their responses to the different styles of music?
  • Can they make observations about the playing techniques of the musicians and other performance aspects?

Identify and describe the sounds of taonga puoro and the use of poi as a percussive instrument (PK)

  • Can the children name and recognise a range of Māori instruments?
  • Are they able to use their poi as a percussion instrument?

Express themselves creatively using actions, poi and rākau. (CI, DI)

  • Do the children move in a way that reflects the music?
  • Are they able to talk about their creative decisions?
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