Music In Africa
Author: Amy Thueson
Grade Level: Early Elementary
- Children will recognize different types of instruments and voices used in traditional African Music
- A computer either in the classroom or if that is not available, computers in the media center will work also.
- Microsoft Encarta (This is a CDRom available to most schools and very student friendly. Any year or version will work, however Encarta'95 was used for this lesson plan.)
- Ask the students if they can make music with their hands or feet. If they say they cannot, clap your hands in different rhythms. Ask, "Am I making music now?" Explain that in Africa, clapping hands and stomping feet is a popular way of making music. They also add many drums or flutes and a lot of voices. Tell students that in different countries of Africa they play different types of music. Also that a lot of the music they will hear on the computer is traditional and not the modern type of music that many Africans now listen to.
- If more than one CDRom of Encarta is available let students go in groups to the computers and discover African Music. If only one computer is available I suggest doing this as a presentation on a big screen or using the computer as a center and students can take turns going back in pairs.
- Let students explore with the computer software. Note: The teacher needs to have it already set up. Go to "Area of Interest", select Performing Arts. A slide window will open, select Music. A window pops up, select African Music & Dance from the list.
- When all the students have had a turn to play on the computer gather into a large group. Ask them the following questions:
- What did you like about the music you heard?
- How is it different from the music you hear everyday?
- Could you hear the different types of instruments used?
- Did you hear single voices and group voices?
- Can you name some of the instruments?
- Do you think that if I brought in some music tomorrow you would be able to tell if it was African music or not?
- Evaluate student responses in discussion.
- Bring in African music the next day and see if they can tell you where it is from.
- Ask the students again, "What types of instruments and voices do you hear?"
- In what ways is it different from yesterday's music you heard?
- In what ways is it the same?
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