Music is Instrumental: The Percussion

Support Materials               

  1. Percussion instruments are idiophones; they make their sound through vibration.  They are played by hitting or shaking.
  2. Percussion instruments can be pitched or non-pitched.
  3. Non-pitched percussion instruments include the battery instruments; drums, cymbals, and accessory instruments.   
    1. The most common drums in the orchestra are the snare drum and the bass drum. 

                   i.  Drums have a wooden shell with 2 plastic heads stretched across the top and bottom of the shell.

                   ii. The snare drum has metal or plastic snares stretched across the bottom drum head which vibrate to makes its unique sound.

                   iii. The bass drum is the largest and lowest drum.  It can be used to keep the steady beat and for special effects like a cannon shot.

  1. Cymbals are made of spun metal.  There are many sizes and types of cymbals, including the crash cymbals, suspended cymbal, China cymbal, and the tam-tam, sometimes called the gong.
  2. Auxiliary instruments are from all over the world and help create special sounds.  They include tambourine, cabasa, claves, shaker, ratchet, and the triangle.
  3. Pitched keyboard instruments of the orchestra include the glockenspiel or orchestra bells, xylophone, and chimes. 
    1. The bars of the glockenspiel are made of steel and are played with mallets.
    2. The xylophone bars are made from rosewood and may be played with 2 or more mallets.
    3. The chimes are tuned metal pipes that hang vertically and are struck with rawhide hammers instead of mallets.

Teaching Strategies 

‘Purposeful’ viewing creates more engaged and focused learners, increases retention of the information presented, and leads students to more personalized learning.  To create a ‘purposeful’ viewing environment:

I. Before viewing the video

  1. Ask students to share what they know about the instrument.
  2. Create a ‘purposeful’ question using the Support Information for each instrument.
  • Ask the students to listen for the answer to a specific ‘purposeful’ question.  For example, “How long is the instrument?”  “How is the tone produced?” “What materials were used to make the instrument?”  “What other instruments are related?”  
  • Use more open-ended ‘purposeful’ questions with more advanced students or in 2nd or 3rd viewings.  “What are 3 important facts the musician shared about the instrument?”  “What has the musician learned through playing their instrument?”  “How does this instrument compare and contrast to other instruments we have studied?”  “What is a fact or piece of information you think no one else in the class will remember?”

II.  View the video 

III.  After viewing

  1. Divide the class into small groups to discuss the answer to the question.  Allow each group to share their answer.
  2. For a more advanced ‘purposeful’ question, ask the students to share their responses with their group.  Then the group must select their top three responses to share with the entire class. 

 

Standards     

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Music    

Elementary Grades K-5 

(1)  Foundations: music literacy. The student describes and analyzes musical sound.

 (3)  Historical and cultural relevance. The student examines music in relation to history and cultures.

 (4)  Critical evaluation and response. The student listens to, responds to, and evaluates music and musical performances.

 

Middle School 1, 2, 3

(1)  Foundations: music literacy. The student describes and analyzes music and musical sound. The student explores fundamental skills appropriate for a developing young musician.

 (4)  Historical and cultural relevance. The student relates music to history, culture, and the world.

 (5)  Critical evaluation and response. The student listens to, responds to, and evaluates music and musical performance in both formal and informal settings.

 

High School Music I, II, III, IV, Music Studies

(1)   Foundations: music literacy. The student describes and analyzes music and musical sounds. The student develops organizational skills, engages in problem solving, and explores the properties and capabilities of various musical idioms.

(5)  Historical and cultural relevance. The student relates music to history, culture, and the world.

(6)  Critical evaluation and response. The student listens to, responds to, and evaluates music and musical performance in both formal and informal settings.


 

Music is Instrumental is made possible by support from The Josephine Anderson Charitable Trust and the Junior League of Amarillo.