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Ch 16: Elements of Music Lesson Plans

About This Chapter

The Elements of Music chapter of this course is designed to help you plan and teach the fundamentals of music in your classroom. The video lessons, quizzes and transcripts can easily be adapted to provide your lesson plans with engaging and dynamic educational content. Make planning your course easier by using our syllabus as a guide.

Weekly Syllabus

Below is a sample breakdown of the Elements of Music chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.

DayTopicsKey Terms and Concepts Covered
Monday The treble and bass clefs, sharps and flats, musical scales How to read notes on the treble and bass clefs; how sharps and flats are notated; how to build scales; half steps and whole steps
TuesdayMajor and minor key signatures; musical timbre; instrument familiesHow to determine key; modulation; order of flats and sharps; timbre in instruments and singers; how instruments function in an orchestra
Wednesday Tempo, rhythm, tonalitySpectrum of tempi; quarter notes, dotted notes; syncopation; major and minor keys
ThursdayComponents of musical form; classical music forms; time signaturePhrasing, binary and tenary forms; common classical music forms such as the symphony, sonata, rondo; meter
FridayMelody and harmony; history of musical form; texture; dynamics in musicMelodic vs. harmonic; thick and thin textures;numbered arrangements of voices; common dynamics

21 Lessons in Chapter 16: Elements of Music Lesson Plans
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
How to Read Notes on the Treble Clef Staff

1. How to Read Notes on the Treble Clef Staff

How do musicians interpret notes on the treble clef staff? What types of instruments play notes that are read in the treble clef staff? Who invented the notation system? Find out in this lesson!

How to Read Notes of the Bass Clef Staff

2. How to Read Notes of the Bass Clef Staff

How do musicians interpret notes on the bass clef staff? What types of instruments play notes that are read in the bass clef staff? How is the bass clef staff different from the treble clef staff? Find out in this lesson!

Sharps and Flats: Reading and Identifying Sharp and Flat Notes in Music

3. Sharps and Flats: Reading and Identifying Sharp and Flat Notes in Music

What do sharp and flat notes look like? How are they different from regular notes? When and where are sharp and flat notes used? Find out in this lesson!

How to Determine Major Key Signatures in Music

4. How to Determine Major Key Signatures in Music

What is a key signature? How can you tell the key of a song by just looking at it? Are there flats and sharps in all songs? What are some common key signatures in the Major tonality? Find out in this lesson!

How to Determine Minor Key Signatures in Music

5. How to Determine Minor Key Signatures in Music

Key signatures are useful in playing and understanding music, but how do you know if the key signature is for a Major or a minor key? Find out in this lesson!

Understanding and Building Musical Scales: Definitions & Types of Scales

6. Understanding and Building Musical Scales: Definitions & Types of Scales

What is a 'scale' in music? How do tonality, pitch, and accidentals play a role in making a scale? What kinds of notes make up a scale? What is the difference between a Major scale, minor scale, blues scale, and pentatonic scale? Learn all about scales in this lesson!

Musical Timbre of Instruments and Singers: Definition

7. Musical Timbre of Instruments and Singers: Definition

How can you tell if you are listening to a violin or a flute? How do composers use timbre to express their ideas and keep the listener interested? Find out in this lesson on timbre!

Instrument Families of the Orchestra: String, Woodwind, Brass & Percussion

8. Instrument Families of the Orchestra: String, Woodwind, Brass & Percussion

There are so many instruments in the orchestra! What similarities and differences can one find between them? How do the instruments work? Find out about the string, woodwind, brass and percussion families in this lesson!

Tempo: Definition and Uses in Musical Forms

9. Tempo: Definition and Uses in Musical Forms

How does the speed of a song affect our emotions? How can we determine the speed of a song just by looking at it? By learning about tempo, we can find out!

Rhythm: Quarter Notes, Eighth Notes, Rests & Other Basic Rhythms

10. Rhythm: Quarter Notes, Eighth Notes, Rests & Other Basic Rhythms

Rhythm is an imperative part of music. Knowing the basic rhythms such as quarter notes, eighth notes, and rests will give you a deeper understanding of the music you hear. Learn about these notes and other basic rhythms in this lesson!

Rhythm: Recognizing Syncopation, Dotted Notes & Ties

11. Rhythm: Recognizing Syncopation, Dotted Notes & Ties

Beyond simple quarter notes and eighth notes, musical rhythm can become confusing. In this lesson, you'll learn how to recognize and define ties, dotted notes and syncopation. You'll also learn two styles where syncopation is often heard and how ties and dotted notes contribute to creating syncopation.

Major and Minor Keys: Tonality in Music

12. Major and Minor Keys: Tonality in Music

How does a movie's soundtrack enhance our emotions? Watch this video lesson to learn how musical tonality can express feeling in everything from movies to rock songs to operas.

Musical Form: Definitions and Analysis

13. Musical Form: Definitions and Analysis

What is musical form and why is it important? How can we determine the form of a song just by listening? In this lesson, learn the different parts that make up a musical form.

Musical Form: Phrasing, Binary, and Ternary Forms

14. Musical Form: Phrasing, Binary, and Ternary Forms

Why do composers use form? How do composers use phrases to create tension and release in their music? What is binary form, and how does it compare to ternary form? Find out in this lesson!

Classical Music Forms: Symphonic, Sonata, Theme and Variation & Rondo Forms

15. Classical Music Forms: Symphonic, Sonata, Theme and Variation & Rondo Forms

What exactly is a symphony? Why are some classical songs called sonata or rondo? Discover the answers to these questions as you study the different forms of classical music in this lesson.

Time Signature in Music: Definition and Examples

16. Time Signature in Music: Definition and Examples

Time signatures, or meters, are a way to communicate the pulse and feel of a piece of music. Musicians, dancers and listeners alike use them to interpret where the strong and weak beats lie, including their divisions. Find out the specifics of time signature in this lesson.

Meters and Time Signatures in Musical Forms

17. Meters and Time Signatures in Musical Forms

What's the difference between a waltz and a polka? What's a 'mazurka,' and why did Chopin write so many of them? How can time signature imply a type of form? Find the answers to these questions and more in this lesson!

Melody vs. Harmony: Definitions and Examples

18. Melody vs. Harmony: Definitions and Examples

What is a 'melody?' How are 'melody' and 'harmony' different? What kinds of harmonies are used in classical and current popular styles of music? Find out the basics of melody and harmony in this lesson.

Development of Musical Form Throughout History

19. Development of Musical Form Throughout History

If you think that classical music has always been classic, think again - it was really just one in a line of musical forms. Western music has evolved throughout history, starting with monastic chants and continuing through today's varied styles.

Texture and Voices in Music: Definition & Overview

20. Texture and Voices in Music: Definition & Overview

Why are background instruments important? What do 'thin' and 'thick' mean in a musical sense? Let's find out more about texture and how we use it to describe music.

Dynamics in Music: Piano, Forte and Why They Are Important

21. Dynamics in Music: Piano, Forte and Why They Are Important

Dynamics are a way of communicating volume and intensity in music. Piano, forte and other markings help musicians interpret the expressive quality of the music. What do these markings look like? What types of markings exist, and what do they mean? Learn more about dynamics in this lesson!

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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