Lesson #1 – New Styles of Music

Time: 40-50 Minutes

Creator: Betsy Nolan, Musical Educator

Institution: Edmunds Elementary, Burlington, VT

Objectives:

Review vocabulary for describing a piece of music

Practice describing a piece of music without personal judgement.

Overview

What is this lesson about?

New Neighbors Music Project Lesson #1 facilitates students developing skills for listening and responding to music–without personal judgement. Students will learn to evaluate music and create a space for collective reflection with their peers. Additionally, they will experiment with these new listening and reflection skills outside the context of the classroom with their friends, family, etc.

Learning Objectives:

Students will review vocabulary for describing a piece of music.

Students will practice describing a piece of music without personal judgement.

Lesson Plan: NNP #1

Section 1: Listening & Responding

Before you begin review the music vocabulary in the word bank.

Vocabulary Word Bank

Melody, harmony, tone, major, minor, instruments, loud, soft, dynamics, tempo, beat rhythm, timbre, crescendo, decrescendo, form, verse, chorus, bridge, mood

Before saying anything about it, play the song once and ask students to listen with an open ear/mind, perhaps write down any reactions/thoughts/feelings they experience.

Possible Questions:

1. What do you hear? – Using the word bank, describe what you hear. Do not share your feelings or opinions about the music.

2. Emotional Response: Based on our group description, talk about how this music makes you feel and why.

3. What don’t you hear? – What strikes you as “missing” or “desired” in the song? This can help to point out the context in which we hold our musical experiences, even if we aren’t aware of it.

4. Provide contextual (i.e. historical, cultural, regional) information about the song.

5. Repeat this process with two or three different selections.

Section 2: Collective Reflection

Facilitate reflection, possibly stepping back except to record responses on the board, of what it was like to learn the song.

Possible prompts to give:

1. What was difficult or easy about describing the songs without adding your opinion of the music?

2. What surprised you about the songs?

3. How does listening with the goal of describing the music change your experience as a listener? Does it change what you hear? Does it change how you feel about the music?

Section 3: Taking it out into the World!

Try listening and describing music with someone outside of this class. Talk about the experience and how it changes how you listen and what you hear.

  • Deeper discussion can investigate our ideas and beliefs about what we actually hear. Why do we “like” or “dislike” music? Is culture important, or is music heard objectively by the ears and brain?

Vermont Framework of Standards

MUSIC STANDARDS

Students show understanding of music CONCEPTS and VOCABULARY by…

A7-8:14 Students analyze, interpret, and respond to art by…

A7-8:17 Students show understanding of how the arts impact life by…

A7-8:18 Students show understanding of how the arts shape and reflect various cultures and times by…

SOCIAL STUDIES STANDARDS

H&SS7-8:16 Students examine how different societies address issues of human interdependence by…

  • Describing aural examples of music using appropriate terminology (e.g., pitch, rhythm, tempo, dynamics, form, timbre, texture, articulation, harmony, phrasing, style).
  • Explaining qualities (elements, principles of design, expression) that may evoke emotion and meaning.
  • Relating varied interpretations of works of art using some or all of the following (e.g., observation, personal experience, cultural context).
  • Comparing/contrasting works of art, which may include a student’s own work.
  • Demonstrating an understanding of how the arts contribute to physical and mental health (e.g., self-expression, such as anger, joy, confusion, frustration).
  • Researching and describing how the arts reflect cultural values in various traditions throughout the world.
  • Analyzing how shared values and beliefs can maintain a subculture (e.g., political parties, religious groups). i
  • After examining issues from more than one perspective, defining and defending the rights and needs of others in the community, nation, and world (e.g. AIDS in Africa; One Child Policy in China; nuclear waste disposal). i
  • Analyze differences and similarities among people that arise from factors such as cultural, ethnic, racial, economic, and religious diversity, and describe their costs and benefits.

“This song is from my village. The youngsters after a day’s hard work they used to get together with their dramyins and play with each other. This is a very energetic folk song.”  – Migmar

"This song and dance group called Inyange is composed of about fourteen women all of Burundian origin located in the greater Burlington area in Vermont. They sing this song as an introduction to their performance. The song helps the singers prepare themselves before they share their music. The song says This is who we are, we are from Burundi."

Lesson #2 – Music’s Role in Society

Time: 40-50 Minutes

Creator: Betsy Nolan, Musical Educator

Institution: Edmunds Elementary, Burlington, VT

Overview

What is this lesson about?

In this lesson students will continue to develop their listening and responding to music skills and begin to explore different ways music is used in society as well as the similarities and differences in the roles music plays in different culture.

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will practice describe a piece of music without personal judgement.
  • Students will explore the ways music is used in society.
  • Students will look for similarities and differences between musics from different cultures that share a common purpose.

Lesson Plan: NNP #2

Deeper discussion can investigate our ideas and beliefs about what we actually hear. Why do we “like” or “dislike” music? Is culture important, or is music heard objectively by the ears and brain?

Section 1: Listening & Responding

Before saying anything about it, play the song once and ask students to listen with an open ear/mind, perhaps write down any reactions/thoughts/feelings they experience.

Possible Questions:

1. What do you hear? – Using the word bank, describe what you hear.  Do not share your feelings or opinions about the music.

Vocabulary Word Bank

Melody, harmony, major, minor, instruments, loud, soft, dynamics, tempo, beat rhythm, timbre, crescendo, decrescendo, form, verse, chorus, bridge, mood

2. Emotional Response:  Based on our group description, talk about how this music makes you feel and why.

3. What don’t you hear? – What strikes you as “missing” or “desired” in the song? This can help to point out the context in which we hold our musical experiences, even if we aren’t aware of it.

4. Provide contextual (i.e. historical, cultural, regional) information about the song.

Section 2: Social & cultural practice

Read or handout copies of the translation of one of the songs.

1.  Start with a discussion on the meaning of the lyrics. Are you surprised by the meaning or not? Does knowing the meaning change the way you experience the song?

2. What roles did these songs play in their cultures?

3. What songs from your culture do you know that might play a similar role?

4. In what ways are the songs musically similar?  In what ways are they musically different?  In what ways are the songs lyrically similar?  In what ways are they lyrically different?

Section 3: Engaging

After getting the context for the first listening example have students brainstorm the different ways songs are used in society, ie. celebration, spiritual practice, work songs, game songs, lullabies, story songs, lesson songs, etc.

1. Which of these have you used in your life?

2. How did you learn them? 

3. Which ones could you see yourself teaching to someone else in your life?

Section 4: Collective Reflection

Facilitate reflection, possibly stepping back except to record responses on the board, of what it was like to describe the song and to think about the different ways music can be used by different cultures..

Possible prompts to give:

1.  What was difficult or easy about describing the songs without adding your opinion of the music?

2.  What surprised you about the songs?

3. What surprised you about our brainstorm?

3. After thinking about the uses of song in different cultures what can we guess about the role of music in people’s lives?

Section 5: Taking it out into the World!

Talk to a family member about what songs they know that share this common use.  How was this person’s experience the same or different than yours?  What factors influence those similarities and difference?

 

Vermont Framework of Standards

MUSIC STANDARDS

Students show understanding of music CONCEPTS and VOCABULARY by…

A7-8:14 Students analyze, interpret, and respond to art by…

A7-8:17 Students show understanding of how the arts impact life by…

A7-8:18 Students show understanding of how the arts shape and reflect various cultures and times by…

SOCIAL STUDIES STANDARDS

H&SS7-8:16 Students examine how different societies address issues of human interdependence by…

  • Describing aural examples of music using appropriate terminology (e.g., pitch, rhythm, tempo, dynamics, form, timbre, texture, articulation, harmony, phrasing, style).
  • Explaining qualities (elements, principles of design, expression) that may evoke emotion and meaning.
  • Relating varied interpretations of works of art using some or all of the following (e.g., observation, personal experience, cultural context).
  • Comparing/contrasting works of art, which may include a student’s own work.
  • Demonstrating an understanding of how the arts contribute to physical and mental health (e.g., self-expression, such as anger, joy, confusion, frustration).
  • Researching and describing how the arts reflect cultural values in various traditions throughout the world.
  • Analyzing how shared values and beliefs can maintain a subculture (e.g., political parties, religious groups). i
  • After examining issues from more than one perspective, defining and defending the rights and needs of others in the community, nation, and world (e.g. AIDS in Africa; One Child Policy in China; nuclear waste disposal). i
  • Analyze differences and similarities among people that arise from factors such as cultural, ethnic, racial, economic, and religious diversity, and describe their costs and benefits.

Inyange is a Burundian song and dance group based in Burlington, Vermont

“The following song is about Burundian culture, about the harvest season. Those who harvest are grinding by using a pistil, the words say “I was there at the farm, I was alone, nobody came to help me so let me do it myself” and those who were not active, who were lazy, feel jealous. They say “Oh, now you’re harvesting, next year I should do like you.” The song is meant to encourage those people.”  – Aline Niyonzima

Listen to how the rhythm of the song will help someone who is working with a pistil to grind grain.

Excerpts on the musical style Sharerro Walinja. Chapin, Simeon. 2007. Music of the Somali Bantu in Vermont: Music, Identity and Refugees. MA thesis, Tufts University.

Shareero Walinja is performed at weddings and in staged performance situations. Bulle and Zuka describe learning and performing Shareero Walinja at weddings in Jilib and surrounding towns in the Jubba river valley. The performance of Shareero Walinja honors the bride and groom, their family, and others who are central to the community’s celebration. Zuka describes a performance as “pleasing someone”.

It starts with the name of someone like you are pleasing someone, the person who is getting married. You are telling [them], ‘This guy is a good guy and he is marrying a good lady and she comes from a good family,’ and so on and so on and all those things. It is like you are pleasing someone and at the same time you make a rhythm and perform it in that ceremony and people dance it. (2007-I)

At weddings small groups of women (between two and seven) dance in linear procession. Each group of dancers are of the same age group. The line circles the dancing space pausing opposite the musicians. The line then advances and retreats in a parallel line towards the musicians. The feet move close to the floor in a shuffling pattern right left right, left right left, short, short, long, short, short, long – driving toward the downbeat or beginning of the musical cycle. In staged performances this dance can be performed solo.

Chole speaks about the civil war in Sudan, which began in 1983 and continued roughly until 2005:

We had a civil war long ago and then people came from the north destroying our houses with fire, they take young kids, they kill young guys if you are like us you get killed, but if its a girl, or a kid, and a woman and cattle, they take them away. So someone was thinking, our house is on fire, our kids have been taken, what are we going to do? Whats next? So its time to be brave, to encourage people to stay aware that these guys are always there. The song is about awareness, encouraging people to be strong.

[The war was in] 1983 but these people came in 85 or 86, they came from the north and invaded the south. This thing happened between 86, 87 and 88 and after that they stopped, the south got their own military and they stopped coming back any more. But during these few years it was so bad.

Lesson #3 – What’s in a Favorite Song?

Time: 40-50 Minutes

Creator: Betsy Nolan, Musical Educator

Institution: Edmunds Elementary, Burlington, VT

Objectives:

What is this lesson about?

In this lesson students will have an opportunity to bring music to the class to share.  They will continue to work on description and what elements will impact their personal music preferences.

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will describe a student selected piece of music.
  • Students will explore how their personal, artistic tastes are shaped by their identity.

Lesson Plan: NNP #3

Section 1: Engaging

Have students write down their favorite song.

What is the purpose of the song?

Share your responses with a partner.

Section 2: Listening & Responding

Offer students the option of sharing a recording of their favorite song, so long as it is appropriate for school, with the group.  Allow the student to share his/her thoughts about the song before listening.

Possible Questions:

1. What do you hear? – Use the word bank to describe the song

Vocabulary Word Bank

Melody, harmony, major, minor, instruments, loud, soft, dynamics, tempo, beat rhythm, timbre, crescendo, decrescendo, form, verse, chorus, bridge, mood

2. What questions do you have for the person who selected the song?

3. What surprised you about their choice?  What connections does this song have to your favorite song?

Section 3: Social & cultural practice

Have students take a few minutes to write a response to the following prompt.

1.  How is your taste in music  influenced by your ethnicity?  Your gender?  Your race?  Your friends?

2. Give students a chance to share their ideas with a partner.

3.  Give students an opportunity to report out to the class if they would like to.

Section 4: Collective Reflection

Facilitate reflection, possibly stepping back except to record responses on the board, of what it was like to learn the song.

Possible prompts to give:

1. What surprised you about people’s favorite songs?

2. What might you be able to guess about a person based on their favorite song?

3. Did the song choices in this class vary a lot or a little?  What might account for these variations? How would the variations be different if this were an international school?  An all boys or all girls school?

Section 5: Taking it out into the World!

Offer students the opportunity to continue the conversation outside of class by exploring the favorite songs of their friends and family.

Questions for them to consider:

What style is it?

  • Why does this song “speak” to you?
  • How did you learn it?
  • How long has it been your favorite song?
  • Why did or didn’t your favorite song change over time?
  • What similarities did your favorite songs have?  Difference?
  • Describing aural examples of music using appropriate terminology (e.g., pitch, rhythm, tempo, dynamics, form, timbre, texture, articulation, harmony, phrasing, style).
  • Explaining qualities (elements, principles of design, expression) that may evoke emotion and meaning.
    • Relating varied interpretations of works of art using some or all of the following (e.g., observation, personal experience, cultural context).
    • Comparing/contrasting works of art, which may include a student’s own work.
    • Demonstrating an understanding of how the arts contribute to physical and mental health (e.g., self-expression, such as anger, joy, confusion, frustration).
    • Researching and describing how the arts reflect cultural values in various traditions throughout the world.
    • Analyzing how shared values and beliefs can maintain a subculture (e.g., political parties, religious groups). i
    • After examining issues from more than one perspective, defining and defending the rights and needs of others in the community, nation, and world (e.g. AIDS in Africa; One Child Policy in China; nuclear waste disposal). i
    • Analyze differences and similarities among people that arise from factors such as cultural, ethnic, racial, economic, and religious diversity, and describe their costs and benefits.

Vermont Framework of Standards

MUSIC STANDARDS

Students show understanding of music CONCEPTS and VOCABULARY by…

A7-8:14 Students analyze, interpret, and respond to art by…

A7-8:17 Students show understanding of how the arts impact life by…

A7-8:18 Students show understanding of how the arts shape and reflect various cultures and times by…

SOCIAL STUDIES STANDARDS

H&SS7-8:16 Students examine how different societies address issues of human interdependence by…

 

Musical resources for this lesson will be generated by the students as they pick their favorite songs!

Lesson #4 – Songs from Childhood

Time: 40-50 Minutes

Creator: Betsy Nolan, Musical Educator

Institution: Edmunds Elementary, Burlington, VT

Overview

What is this lesson about?

In this lesson students will listen to and describe a children’s song from another culture and compare and contrast a song from their own childhood with that song.

Learning Objectives:

Students will listen to and describe songs from Burma and Burundi.

Students will reflect on the songs from their childhoods.

Students will compare and contrast their childhood songs with the song presented at the beginning of class.

Students will explore how music is influenced by identity.

Lesson Plan: NNP #4

Section 1: Listening & Responding

Before saying anything about it, play the song once and ask students to listen with an open ear/mind, perhaps write down any reactions/thoughts/feelings they notice come up.

1. What do you hear? – Using the word bank, describe what you hear.  Do not share your feelings or opinions about the music.

Vocabulary Word Bank

Melody, harmony, major, minor, instruments, loud, soft, dynamics, tempo, beat rhythm, timbre, crescendo, decrescendo, form, verse, chorus, bridge, mood

2. Emotional Response:  Based on our group description, talk about how this music makes you feel and why.

3. What do you think this song may have been used for?

4. Provide contextual (i.e. historical, cultural, regional) information about the song and listen a second time.

Section 2: Engaging

Have students think back to the earliest songs they can remember.

What was the purpose of the song?

Have students report out their answers:

  • Who taught it to you?
  • What language was it in?
  • What style was it?
  • Was it like or unlike the Burmese lullaby? Why?
  • Was it like or unlike the Burundian children’s song?  Why?
  • What similarities were there?
  • What differences?
  • What surprised you about people’s responses?
  • Why did we come up with the similarities and differences we found?

Section 3: Social & Cultural practice

1. Imagine yourself as a very old man or woman.  You are taking care of some small children for a family friend or relative.  What songs would you teach to the children?  Why would you choose those songs?  What would you want the children to learn from the songs?

Section 4: Collective Reflection

Facilitate reflection, possibly stepping back except to record responses on the board, of what it was like to learn the song.

Possible prompts to give:

1. What songs were important to you as a young child?  What impact did your caretakers (parents, guardians, day care providers, nursery school teachers) have on the music you sang?

2.  In your imagination, teaching songs to young children as an old person, where were you?  How were you dressed?  What did the children look like?  What did your singing voice sound like?

Section 5: Taking it out into the World!

Offer students the opportunity to continue the conversation with their friends and family.  What songs do they remember from childhood?  Why?  Who taught them the songs? Do they now, or will they in the future teach the songs to other young people?

Vermont Framework of Standards

MUSIC STANDARDS

Students show understanding of music CONCEPTS and VOCABULARY by…

A7-8:14 Students analyze, interpret, and respond to art by…

A7-8:17 Students show understanding of how the arts impact life by…

A7-8:18 Students show understanding of how the arts shape and reflect various cultures and times by…

SOCIAL STUDIES STANDARDS

H&SS7-8:16 Students examine how different societies address issues of human interdependence by…

  • Describing aural examples of music using appropriate terminology (e.g., pitch, rhythm, tempo, dynamics, form, timbre, texture, articulation, harmony, phrasing, style).
  • Explaining qualities (elements, principles of design, expression) that may evoke emotion and meaning.
  • Relating varied interpretations of works of art using some or all of the following (e.g., observation, personal experience, cultural context).
  • Comparing/contrasting works of art, which may include a student’s own work.
  • Demonstrating an understanding of how the arts contribute to physical and mental health (e.g., self-expression, such as anger, joy, confusion, frustration).
  • Researching and describing how the arts reflect cultural values in various traditions throughout the world.
  • Analyzing how shared values and beliefs can maintain a subculture (e.g., political parties, religious groups). i
  • After examining issues from more than one perspective, defining and defending the rights and needs of others in the community, nation, and world (e.g. AIDS in Africa; One Child Policy in China; nuclear waste disposal). i
  • Analyze differences and similarities among people that arise from factors such as cultural, ethnic, racial, economic, and religious diversity, and describe their costs and benefits.

 

This is a Burmese lullaby. The words say: “Mommy it’s time to sleep, come and sleep near me, hold me and I can sleep on your arm. Can you tell me a story when I sleep, if you don’t tell me a story I’ll cry”  – Truetender Htun

The song in general means:

Burundian children are traditional dancers.
They value their Burundian culture
Many children among those traditional dancers, were born in the refugee camps,
They did not know well where they came from (their original countries)
But now they do.
They did not lose their culture though they were in hardships in refugee camps,
They struggled and they are still striving to regenerate their culture.

The song mentions children names, like “Agatha Arihehe.” This means Agatha is to come in front to tell the real story about Burundian culture of how they children dance, show up their style of dancing. Children know many different Burundian traditional dancing styles.

The chorus says: “Ntimurambirwe ni mubahe amashi,” which means:

“Don’t ever be discouraged by Burundian children when dancing, continue to support their dancing by clapping hands and many shouts.”

– from Aline Niyonzima

Lesson #5 – When Cultures Collide

Time: 40-50 Minutes

Creator: Betsy Nolan, Musical Educator

Institution: Edmunds Elementary, Burlington, VT

Overview

What is this lesson about?

In this lesson students will explore what happens when musics from different cultures collide to form new styles of music.

Learning Objectives:

Students will describe a piece of music without judgement.

Students will listen to a piece of music that combines musics from a variety of cultures.

Students will learn about a Vermont based music trio that combines musical styles from Burundi, Congo, Somalia and the United States.

Lesson Plan: NNP #5

Section 1: Listening & Responding

Before saying anything about it, play the video Africa (I’m Coming Back to You) once and ask students to listen with an open ear/mind, perhaps write down any reactions/thoughts/feelings they experience.

Possible Questions:

1. What do you hear? – Using the word bank, describe what you hear.  Do not share your feelings or opinions about the music.

Vocabulary Word Bank

Melody, harmony, major, minor, instruments, loud, soft, dynamics, tempo, beat rhythm, timbre, crescendo, decrescendo, form, verse, chorus, bridge, mood

2. Emotional Response:  Based on our group description, talk about how this music makes you feel and why.

3. What is familiar about the style of this song? What parts of the music are like other music you have listened to? What aspects are different?

4. Provide contextual about the song by sharing the video A2VT Concert and introductions. 

Section 2: Social & cultural practice

Explore how the different cultural experiences of the members of A2VT effect their music?

1.  What aspects of their music reflect their experiences in Africa?

2.  What aspects of their music reflect their experiences in America?

3. How might their music be different if they had remained in Africa? If they had been born in America?

Section 3: Engaging

The United States is a country of immigrants.  The unique musical styles that have emerged in this country have been influenced by the musics of people all over the world.

Choose a style of American popular music (Blues, Rock & Roll, Hip-hop, Country, Jazz, etc,).  Use the internet to research it’s history.  What cultures influenced its creation?  What can you guess about why or how these cultures collided?

Be prepared to share your findings with the class.

Section 4: Reflection- Think, Pair, Share

Ask students to answer the following questions about their work using the think pair share.  For each question students will be given a minutes to think (or write) their thoughts about the question, then they will share their thoughts in a pair, finally students will share to the large group.

1.  What surprised you about the history of the music you researched?

2.  What surprised you about the presentations of other students?

3.  How does understanding the history of a musical style affect the way you understand the music?

4. What changes to American popular music do you predict for the future?

Vermont Framework of Standards

MUSIC STANDARDS

Students show understanding of music CONCEPTS and VOCABULARY by…

A7-8:14 Students analyze, interpret, and respond to art by…

A7-8:17 Students show understanding of how the arts impact life by…

A7-8:18 Students show understanding of how the arts shape and reflect various cultures and times by…

SOCIAL STUDIES STANDARDS

H&SS7-8:16 Students examine how different societies address issues of human interdependence by…

  • Describing aural examples of music using appropriate terminology (e.g., pitch, rhythm, tempo, dynamics, form, timbre, texture, articulation, harmony, phrasing, style).
  • Explaining qualities (elements, principles of design, expression) that may evoke emotion and meaning.
  • Relating varied interpretations of works of art using some or all of the following (e.g., observation, personal experience, cultural context).
  • Comparing/contrasting works of art, which may include a student’s own work.
  • Demonstrating an understanding of how the arts contribute to physical and mental health (e.g., self-expression, such as anger, joy, confusion, frustration).
  • Researching and describing how the arts reflect cultural values in various traditions throughout the world.
  • Analyzing how shared values and beliefs can maintain a subculture (e.g., political parties, religious groups). i
  • After examining issues from more than one perspective, defining and defending the rights and needs of others in the community, nation, and world (e.g. AIDS in Africa; One Child Policy in China; nuclear waste disposal). i
  • Analyze differences and similarities among people that arise from factors such as cultural, ethnic, racial, economic, and religious diversity, and describe their costs and benefits.
  • Seven Days Article about A2VT

    Culture Club – A2VT introduce African hip-hop to Vermont.

    A2VT sing and rap about feelings of missing their homeland, friends and family back in Africa. From the CD “Africa, Vermont” by A2VT:

  • A2VT performing at the North End Studio with introductory clips.

Lesson #6 – Songs About Home

Time: 40-50 Minutes

Creator: Betsy Nolan, Musical Educator

Institution: Edmunds Elementary, Burlington, VT

Overview

What is this lesson about?

In this lesson students will listen to a composition about a Vermont refugees experience being separated from his homeland and family. Students will then create work in a variety of mediums that reflect their own feelings about the meaning of home.

Learning Objectives:

Students will practice describing a piece of music without personal judgement.

Students will discuss the idea of “home” and how that can be expressed musically.

Students will create a piece of visual art, poetry or music that reflects their feelings about home.

Lesson Plan: NNP #6

Section 1: Listening & Responding

Before saying anything about it, play the song once and ask students to listen with an open ear/mind, perhaps write down any reactions/thoughts/feelings they notice come up.

1. What do you hear? – Using the word bank, describe what you hear.  Do not share your feelings or opinions about the music.

Vocabulary Word Bank

Melody, harmony, major, minor, instruments, loud, soft, dynamics, tempo, beat rhythm, timbre, crescendo, decrescendo, form, verse, chorus, bridge, mood

2. Emotional Response:  Based on our group description, talk about how this music makes you feel and why.

3. Which parts of the music effectively conveyed the idea of longing for home to you, as the listener?

4. Provide contextual (i.e. historical, cultural, regional) information about the song.

From Migmar

“The song is about separation, like when you have to leave your country, go to another country, the pain that you have. When you have to leave your parents, so it’s like the cranes are taken as an example, like when the mother crane was able to cross the huge lake, the little cranes were not able to cross it…too young, doesn’t have the energy for that so the lake separates the two and then the little cranes singing the song…’How I wish I could cross the lake and be with them.'”

Section 2: Social & cultural practice

Read or handout copies of the translation of the song. Play the song a second time.

1. Are you surprised by the lyrics or not? How does hearing the lyrics change your understanding of the song?

2. Have students privately brainstorm a list of songs that make them think of home.

  • Why does the song(s) make you think of home?
  • What musical characteristics reinforce these feelings?
  • How is the song you chose similar to “Cranes?”
  • How is it different from “Cranes?”

Section 3: Creating

Students create their own song, poem, or art work about home.

1. Have students imagine they are living far from their home and family. 

  • What would you miss?

2. Have students choose a medium (visual art, poetry or song) and create a piece about their home.

Section 4: Collective Reflection

Facilitate reflection, possibly stepping back except to record responses on the board, of what it was like to  create something about home.

Possible prompts to give:

1. How did the composers of “Cranes” communicate their ideas of home through the music?

2. What ideas did you want to communicate in your work?

3. What was easy and/or hard about using art to communicate your feelings?

4. What is the value of using the arts to communicate emotions?  How might this change depending on people’s culture?

Section 5: Taking it out into the World!

Offer students the opportunity to extend this discussion with their friends and family.  What songs make them think of home?  How would they choose to express feelings of home through art?

Vermont Framework of Standards

  • Describing aural examples of music using appropriate terminology (e.g., pitch, rhythm, tempo, dynamics, form, timbre, texture, articulation, harmony, phrasing, style).
  • Explaining qualities (elements, principles of design, expression) that may evoke emotion and meaning.
  • Relating varied interpretations of works of art using some or all of the following (e.g., observation, personal experience, cultural context).
  • Comparing/contrasting works of art, which may include a student’s own work.
  • Demonstrating an understanding of how the arts contribute to physical and mental health (e.g., self-expression, such as anger, joy, confusion, frustration).
  • Researching and describing how the arts reflect cultural values in various traditions throughout the world.
  • Analyzing how shared values and beliefs can maintain a subculture (e.g., political parties, religious groups). i
  • After examining issues from more than one perspective, defining and defending the rights and needs of others in the community, nation, and world (e.g. AIDS in Africa; One Child Policy in China; nuclear waste disposal). i
  • Analyze differences and similarities among people that arise from factors such as cultural, ethnic, racial, economic, and religious diversity, and describe their costs and benefits.

MUSIC STANDARDS

Students show understanding of music CONCEPTS and VOCABULARY by…

A7-8:14 Students analyze, interpret, and respond to art by…

A7-8:17 Students show understanding of how the arts impact life by…

A7-8:18 Students show understanding of how the arts shape and reflect various cultures and times by…

SOCIAL STUDIES STANDARDS

H&SS7-8:16 Students examine how different societies address issues of human interdependence by…

 

This is a contemporary Tibetan song about being separated from your family and country.  “Yamdrok Yumtso” is a lake in Tibet”

“This reflects the situation in Tibet – the lake is Tibet, the cranes are Tibetans”
– Migmar

Yamdrok Yumtso - Translation

At the shore of Yamdrok Yumtso

The mother crane had a moment with her baby cranes

The mother crane has to cross the lake

When the mother crossed the lake

The baby cranes cry, saying “I am missing my mom”

 

Even though the mother crane wishes to be there at the shore for a while

The crane doesn’t have the freedom to make the choice

The baby cranes cry, saying “I am missing my mom”

– lyrics are a poem from the 6th Dalai Lama, music by Tenzin Choegyal, a classmate of Migmar’s

2. Souphine Phathsoungneune - Escaping Laos

This song was written in 1995 by Souphine Phathsoungneune; he is drawing on his experience of escaping from Laos in the aftermath of the Laotian Civil War.Souphine was born in Soungneune, Thailand in the late 1920s. After establishing himself as a folk opera singer, director and writer, he traveled throughout northeastern, Thailand teaching and training young opera troupes. As a young man, he crossed the border into Laos and is credited with introducing and establishing the Lam Leung Opera form there.During the war, Souphine and his wife, Phady, fled Laos and eventually resettled in Vermont in the early 1980s with their four daughters. He has continued to write and sing songs and to train new singers and opera performers in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Vermont.  Pictured above is Souphine playing on the Laos ‘Phi’ flute.

Escape Song - Translation

Now I will describe when Laos fell apart.

Everyone had to escape and had no home.

We had to move out from our old land.

Aunts and uncles, grandmothers and grandfathers

float in the Mae Khong River

Float across to Thailand.

All the sisters and brothers had to separate from each other.

Everybody had to go by themselves and will not see each other again.

Everybody had to escape from death and had nowhere to go…

Ubon refugee camp had millions of refugees

Laos’ people still floated over the Mae Khong River,

It took a long time before they could take a boat.

Some people died before the middle of the way.

A lot of people found that their families died in the river.

Brothers left sisters,

The sound of people crying, was everywhere.

Husbands and wives separated from each other.

What bad Karma.

It separated the children from their parents;

The girls separated from their partners

And far away from the flowers they used to smell.

Those days are many years from today;

Maybe they will have to marry another man or woman.

Already, now Oh!

My old girlfriend

I wonder if you went back to our old homeland or not.

Lesson # 7 Music and Religion

Time: 40-50 Minutes

Creator: Betsy Nolan, Musical Educator

Institution: Edmunds Elementary, Burlington, VT

Overview

WHAT IS THIS LESSON ABOUT?

In this lesson students will look at how music can be used to express people’s religious and spiritual beliefs.

Learning Objectives:

Students will listen to and describe a songs from Tibet and from the Somali-Bantu Wedding Band.

Students will compare and contrast songs from different religions.

Students will explore how music can be used in religion to express belief systems, teach myths and stories and strengthen community.

Lesson Plan: NNP #7

Section 1: Listening & Responding

Before saying anything about it, play the song once and ask students to listen with an open ear/mind, perhaps write down any reactions/thoughts/feelings they notice come up.

1. What do you hear? Using the word bank, describe what you hear.  Do not share your feelings or opinions about the music.

VOCABULARY WORD BANK

Melody, harmony, major, minor, instruments, loud, soft, dynamics, tempo, beat rhythm, timbre, crescendo, decrescendo, form, verse, chorus, bridge, mood

2. Emotional Response:  Based on our group description, talk about how this music makes you feel and why.

3. What do you think this song may have been used for?

4. Provide contextual (i.e. historical, cultural, regional) information about the song and listen a second time.

5. Repeat this process using a song from a different religion.

6. How is this song similar and different from the first song we listened to?

Section 2: Engaging

1. Many religions include music as a part of their spiritual practice.  Some of the elements of religion are belief system/ world view, myths/ stories and community.  Answer the following questions:

  1. Choose a song that is connected to a specific religion.
  2. What religion(s) is it based in?
  3. How do you know the song?
  4. Where did you learn it?
  5. Is the song part of your personal religious practice?
  6. Does the song convey a belief system or world view?
  7. Does the song incorporate a myth or story?
  8. How might this song be used to build community?

When done, report out your answers to a partner.

Section 3: Collective Reflection

Facilitate reflection, possibly stepping back except to record responses on the board.

Possible prompts to give:

1. In your partner share what similarities did you encounter with songs from different religions? What differences did you encounter?

2.  Why do you think so many different religions use music in their worship? How might spiritual practice be different without music?

Section 4: Taking it out into the World!

Offer students the opportunity to continue the conversation with their friends and family.  What experiences have they had with music in religion?  Was it part of their personal experience with religion?  Did the music serve to strengthen their beliefs? Community? Understanding of the myths and stories in the religion?

Vermont Framework of Standards

MUSIC STANDARDS

Students show understanding of music CONCEPTS and VOCABULARY by…

Describing aural examples of music using appropriate terminology (e.g., pitch, rhythm, tempo, dynamics, form, timbre, texture, articulation, harmony, phrasing, style).

A7-8:14 Students analyze, interpret, and respond to art by…

Explaining qualities (elements, principles of design, expression) that may evoke emotion and meaning.

Relating varied interpretations of works of art using some or all of the following (e.g., observation, personal experience, cultural context).

Comparing/contrasting works of art, which may include a student’s own work.

A7-8:17 Students show understanding of how the arts impact life by…

Demonstrating an understanding of how the arts contribute to physical and mental health (e.g., self-expression, such as anger, joy, confusion, frustration).

A7-8:18 Students show understanding of how the arts shape and reflect various cultures and times by…

Researching and describing how the arts reflect cultural values in various traditions throughout the world.

SOCIAL STUDIES STANDARDS

H&SS7-8:16 Students examine how different societies address issues of human interdependence by…

Analyzing how shared values and beliefs can maintain a subculture (e.g., political parties, religious groups). 

After examining issues from more than one perspective, defining and defending the rights and needs of others in the community, nation, and world (e.g. AIDS in Africa; One Child Policy in China; nuclear waste disposal). 

Analyze differences and similarities among people that arise from factors such as cultural, ethnic, racial, economic, and religious diversity, and describe their costs and benefits.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people.

This is a Tibetan song, which is originated from the north part of Tibet. It is referring to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, but in a form of different ways because its not allowed to sing any Tibetan songs related to the Dali Lama in Tibet so he wrote the song referring to [alluding to] His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Tenzin Mingyur

Lesson #8 Creating a Songprint

Time: 40-50 Minutes

Creator: Betsy Nolan, Musical Educator

Institution: Edmunds Elementary, Burlington, VT

Overview

WHAT IS THIS LESSON ABOUT?

In this activity students will be interviewing family members and themselves to discover what songs and pieces of music most influenced and impacted them over the course of their lives to create a songprint of each person. According to Judith Vander, a songprint is “a song repertoire distinctive in a person’s culture, age, and personality as unique as a fingerprint or footprint”. Each persons songprint is a reflection of his or her culture, experiences, and personal preferences.

This project is adapted for school-aged students from the work of Dr. Seeger in his Ethnomusicology course at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Learning Objectives:

Students will research the music that influenced the people in their family.

Students will reflect on the music that has influenced their lives.

Students will look for connections between their own musical stories and those of their family members

Students will create a presentation for the class about their family’s songprints.

Lesson Plan: NNP #8

Section 1: Overview for Students

In this project you will be exploring your own songprints as well as, those of your family members. You will begin by collecting data about the musical experiences and preferences of your family members and yourselves. You will then create a musical “timeline” to chart out what you find. Using your interview data and your timeline you will create a presentation for the class that includes an oral presentation and a visual component. The visual component can be digital (powerpoint, voicethread, prezi etc.) or it could be a poster. You may also include audio examples of your family or self performing a piece of music.

Section 2: Collecting the data

Each student will interview at least two but preferably three to five, members of his or her family representing multiple generations, about their musical histories. Students will explore not only the what of the songs identified but the who, where, when, and why of the songs impact on the interviewees. Students will need some time to collect data from a variety of family members in order to create a meaningful project.

The interview guide below will assist students as they speak with their various family members:

Section 3: Charting the data

Once students have interviewed their families about their musical stories have students chart their data in a timeline. This will help students to see connections between generations, as well as, simply helping them to organize their work.

The document below can provide a structure for this process:

Section 4: Creating the Presentation

Once the data has been collected and organized students are ready to create their presentation. Presentations should discuss each individual family members songprint and look at any connections between individuals and generations. Students should include information about their own songprint and reflections about what impact the interviews had on their understanding of their own musical identity.

The presentations themselves can be created in any format with which the student is comfortable.

Section 5: Reflection

  1. After students have shared their work have them reflect on what they did. This can be an informal discussion, small group discussion, or a written reflection.
  2. What surprised you about your own songprint?
  3. What surprised you about your family members’ songprints?
  4. What surprised you about other people’s presentations?
  5. What did you learn about your personal story by exploring the “soundtrack” to that story?
  6. How did your musical preferences change over time?
  7. How did they stay the same?
  8. What are some of the factors that influenced your songprint?
  9. How might your songprint be different if those factors changed?

Vermont Framework of Standards

MUSIC STANDARDS

Students show understanding of music CONCEPTS and VOCABULARY by…

  • Describing aural examples of music using appropriate terminology (e.g., pitch, rhythm, tempo, dynamics, form, timbre, texture, articulation, harmony, phrasing, style).

A7-8:14 Students analyze, interpret, and respond to art by…

  • Explaining qualities (elements, principles of design, expression) that may evoke emotion and meaning.
  • Relating varied interpretations of works of art using some or all of the following (e.g., observation, personal experience, cultural context).
  • Comparing/contrasting works of art, which may include a student’s own work.

A7-8:17 Students show understanding of how the arts impact life by…

  • Demonstrating an understanding of how the arts contribute to physical and mental health (e.g., self-expression, such as anger, joy, confusion, frustration).

A7-8:18 Students show understanding of how the arts shape and reflect various cultures and times by…

  • Researching and describing how the arts reflect cultural values in various traditions throughout the world.

SOCIAL STUDIES STANDARDS

H&SS7-8:16 Students examine how different societies address issues of human interdependence by…

  • Analyzing how shared values and beliefs can maintain a subculture (e.g., political parties, religious groups). i
  • After examining issues from more than one perspective, defining and defending the rights and needs of others in the community, nation, and world (e.g. AIDS in Africa; One Child Policy in China; nuclear waste disposal). i
  • Analyze differences and similarities among people that arise from factors such as cultural, ethnic, racial, economic, and religious diversity, and describe their costs and benefits.