Teaching Strategy: One Man Band: Preparing to Play
Investigate Musical Concepts:
One Man Band is a great starting point for comparing and contrasting instruments within and across instrument families. You can use the game to build background knowledge on instruments, instrument families, melody and harmony, analog and digital recording, and more. Use the related BrainPOP and BrainPOP Jr. movie topics to guide you. Explore traditional to techno instruments that are provided in the game.
Explain that there are things that we can hear that are high and low, called pitch. Introducing high and low notes, and challenge students to listen for differences between loud and soft sounds. Encourage students to use their own voices, and try to match the pitch they hear. Or, ask students to think of sounds that are high pitch like whistles or low pitch like a fog horn.
Tempo and Rhythm Explorations:
Use a tambourine or egg shakers to demonstrate a steady beat for your class. Students can walk in a circle in time to the beat creating different movements in response to the sounds they hear (i.e. clapping, wiggling, stomping.) Alternate the beat pattern to see how differently the students move and react. Students can also remain seated and simply tap a steady beat on their knees alternating between slow beats and fast beats. This will help to explain tempo and rhythm which is the pace at which music moves according to the underlying beat. Introduce the concept of unison in music by trying to coordinate all students on the same beat pattern. Ask students to identify things that have a steady beat like their own heart beats or a clock ticking. You can then move into playing with the groups sense of rhythm by having some students tap longer while others tap shorter.