Becoming Musical Explorers

In this introductory unit, you will find activities and warm-ups you can use throughout the semester. Start by introducing Melody on SG1 and the musical genres we will explore this year on SG2.

  • Where are we on this map?
  • As we explore this region, what kinds of music do you think we might find?

On SG3, SG4, and SG5, you will find three activities to use throughout the year to engage students in discovering music in the world around them. These activities are designed to work individually—both inside the classroom and at home—and as classroom projects (e.g., taking a sound discovery walk or making DIY instruments out of found objects in their home or your classroom).

  • Explore the Sounds of Our City,” SG3, gives your students an opportunity to act as musical detectives outside of the classroom, listening for sounds and music in their everyday lives and recording them in the “journal” provided.
  • Discover Music in Everyday Objects,” SG4, highlights common objects found at home or in the classroom that can be used to create DIY musical instruments. For example, a cardboard box can be strung with rubber bands of different sizes to create a string instrument, a set of drinking glasses filled with different amounts of water can be struck with a spoon or a chopstick to create a xylophone-like instrument, and two pot lids can be struck together like cymbals. Encourage your students to discover other objects that can yield interesting sounds.
  • Create a Postcard,” SG5, gives your students an opportunity to share what’s special about their neighborhoods as they are learning about each artist’s hometown and the geographic region associated with their music.

Literacy Extension: The Listening Walk

In Paul Showers’ The Listening Walk, get immersed in all the sounds around you as you join a girl walking her dog throughout the neighborhood. You may even hear sounds you wouldn’t expect!

Vocal and Body Warm-Ups →