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Teaching Grade 5 and 6 Music Class.

One of my favourite music lessons for grade 5 and 6 is teaching how to play ‘Percussion Instruments’.

First of all, students have to know the basic rhythm notation and patterns. Structure of the lesson is:

  1. Explanation from the teacher what to do and how
  2. Students then work in small groups of 3 or 4 students for 20 minutes on their tasks.
  3. Students perform in front of the class and reflect together on their performance. Teach them to have a healthy criticism-always!

Percussion lessons can be based on polyrhythm, reading a score or making your own rhythm patterns in groups and play them.

When students work in groups (and grade 5 and 6 are perfect age for this kind of work) they also learn about communication skills. They have to have a leader in a group, a conductor and a writer (to write down rhythm patterns).

The skills they learn: listening skills, music elements about rhythm, communication skills.

I never can over emphasise about the importance of listening skills! Children get over exited and don’t listen to each other. I use the ‘group score ‘ assessment for students. At the end of the lesson when groups of students perform, they will get a score of 10 out of 10, but they will loose the score 10 if they didn’t manage with their task or if they didn’t listen to others. Works perfectly!

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