Music With Mrs. Tanenblatt

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Worked for me Wednesday: Building Chords

Happy hump day! I am once again linking up with Mrs. Miracle's Music Room for this fun linky, "Worked for me Wednesday."

My subject this week is building chords with fourth graders. We are in our harmony unit and fourth grade is the first time that I ever introduce my students to the concept of playing chords. Since I am on a cart, I don't have access to a real piano, so I projected on the SmartBoard in their classroom. I demonstrated how we play every other note to make the chords. 

The chords we needed to play for our song were F and C7, so I used dry erase boards on opposite sides of the classroom to write out the notes they would need for the two different chords. I don't have a photo, but it looked something like this:

(Yes, I color coded them based on the root of the chord because I am a big nerd.)

The song they were playing was Paw Paw Patch. I selected it specifically because they had already learned it last year when they studied sixteenth notes in third grade. After a quick review, they were ready to sing it and play along. I used the version from Betty's Music- there is a GREAT resource for two-chord songs here! 

I projected the sheet music on the SmartBoard and we located the different chord markings. We circled them in corresponding colors and wrote in beat marks for when to play:

(Note: I've typically heard the melody performed with G- not F- in measure 3, which is how I taught it to my students.)

After doing all of this prep work, I had volunteers play the two different chords on boomwhackers while the rest of the class sang the song. I had the two chords written on opposite sides of the classroom so that I could point to each group on their turn. 

I have this great XyloTote, which allows me to bring one octave of boomwhackers around with me on my cart.
(I borrowed the Bb from a colleague.)

I'm really happy with this introduction to chords with fourth graders. Now they have played the chords and visualized them. Next time, I plan to show them how to write the chords on staff paper!

Don't forget to hop over to Mrs. Miracle's Music Room to see the other posts for Worked for me Wednesday! 

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