Unit 4: Country Music with Shannon – You Are My Sunshine, I Am My Sunshine

Project Overview:

This project gives students tools to explore concepts of solo, duet, melody and harmony. In addition to understand these musical concepts, students will have an opportunity to think about the way they interact with their peers and family— sometimes we get to be part of a harmonious duet, and sometimes we hold down the melody in a solo, all by ourselves. Both ways are special and good.

Vocabulary from the Musical Word Wall: melody, harmony, solo, duet

Materials You Will Need:

  • 18 x 24 paper for each student
  • markers
  • crayons
  • color pencils
  • pencils
  • lined paper
  • Musical Explorers CD or online audio


This project can be completed in two 35 minute sessions.


Session One


Review the concepts of solo, duet, melody, and harmony.

  • When we listen to “You Are My Sunshine” we hear that there are sometimes two singers and sometimes just one. When we just hear one voice singing the “tune” we call that a solo, the person singing the solo is singing what is called the melody. When two people sing together, that is a duet.
  • When the second voice sings a “tune” that’s a little different, but fits into the melody, we call that part harmony.

Discuss with your students the times in life when you do things by yourself (like singing a solo and a melody), and the times when you have a friend or partner who does things with you (like singing a duet with harmony and melody.)

  • Let’s think about times when we carry the melody or do things all by ourselves.
  • What about times when we work with someone else to create a harmony?

Step 2: Pass out a sheet of 18 x 24” paper to each student. Also hand out pencils, markers, crayons. Ask your students to draw a picture where we can see people doing various things by themselves and then other people working in teams to get something done.


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Session Two

Step 1: Allow students time to finish their pictures.

Step 2: Pass out lined paper and ask students to write about the different things that the people in their pictures are doing, both individually and in pairs. Encourage students to write about how when we do things in pairs we are working with someone else to create a harmony. This completes the You Are My Sunshine, I Am My Sunshine project!

Image 2