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DESCRIPTION

NegrospiritualsongtraditionwithvocalimprovisationinspiredbyBobbyMcFerrinsalbum
Spirityouall.
GRADERECOMMENDATION:
All gradelevels.
Activitiesatvaryinglevelsofdifficultyhavebeenincludedinthislesson.Educatorshouldadjust
plandifficultytothetargetageandachievementlevelofstudentsbeingtaught.Educatorisalso
freetochooseoradaptelementsofthelessonplantoachievedesiredlearninggoals.
Becauseinteractiveelementsusingmusicimprovisationareincludedinthislessonplan,across
disciplineteamteachingapproachinvolvingmusiciansormusiceducatorsmayalsobeadopted.
OBJECTIVES
Studentswill:
o ExaminetherootsoftheNegroSpiritual.
o ExaminetherootsofJazzimprovisation.
o Explorethehumanvoiceasaninstrumentthroughimprovisation.
o CreateandperformaNegroSpiritualusingimprovisationinthestyleofBobbyMcFerrin.
MATERIALSNEEDED
o Computerwithprojectorandspeakers.
o JoshuaFoughttheBattleofJericho sheetmusicand/orlyrics.
o JoshuaFoughttheBattleofJericho listeningfile.
o Optional:PeoplePiano noteornumbercards.
o Optional:SoundtrackorlivemusiciantoaccompanyMusicPicture exercise.
LEADINGQUESTION
WhatelementsoftheNegroSpiritualinfluencedthedevelopmentofJazzimprovisation?
GRADE
RECOMMENDATION:
Elementary,Middle
&HighSchool
CURRICULUM
CONNECTIONS:
Music&
SocialStudies
BOBBY McFERRIN
LESSONPLANS
Listening
TheNegroSpiritual
o DiscussthehistoryoftheNegroSpiritual.
ReadahistoryoftheNegroSpiritual.http://www.negrospirituals.com/history.htm.
ReadtheArticleNegroSpiritualsandtheirLegacyinAmericanCulturebyOctaviaHolland.
http://www.helium.com/items/884770negrospiritualsandtheirlegacyinamerican
culture.
o DiscusshowelementsofmusicbroughtfromAfricantraditionarepresentinmodernjazzand
othermodernAmericanmusicidioms.
Call&Response.
Improvisation.
Polyrhythms.
PentatonicscalesinAmericanfolkandmodernpopmusicsuchasBobbyMcFerrinsDont
WorryBeHappy.
ReadthePBSarticle,HistoryintheKeyofJazzbyGeraldEarly,ProfessorofEnglishand
AfroAmericanStudiesatWashingtonUniversityinSt.Louis,Missouri.
http://www.pbs.org/jazz/time/time_slavery.htm.
Creating
MusicImprovisation
o Watchandlistento:TheHistoryofAmazingGracebyWhitleyPhillips.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNuQbJst4Lk Length:836.
o EncouragestudentstosingAmazingGracealongwiththeaudienceinthevideo.
o Definepentatonic.
PentatonicScale:Anymusicscaleconsistingoffivenotes.Themostcommonpentatonic
scaleisthemajorpentatonicscalecomposedofthefirst,second,third,fifth,andsixth
degreesofthemajordiatonicscale.Themajorpentatonicscalecanbeplayedonthefive
blackkeysofthepiano.ThisisthescaleonwhichmostNegroSpiritualsarebased.There
arealsoWhiteSpiritualssuchasAmazingGrace byJohnNewtonthatarealsobuiltonthe
pentatonicscale.
o PeoplePiano:LEVEL ADVANCED (MusicImprovisationonaPentatonicScale.)
Toformthepeoplepiano,selectafewstudentsandputtheminastraightlineinfrontof
theclass.
Assigneachstudentanotetosinginthemajorpentatonicscale.
Educatorshouldsingorplaythenotetoeachstudentandaskthemtosingitbackandto
rememberassignednote.
Optional:Maygiveeachstudentanotenameornumberprintedoncardstocktoindicate
scaledegree.
Askpeoplepianomemberstosingassignednotewhenyouoranotherstudentpointsto
themorwalksupbehindthemandtouchesthem.
o VariationsonthePeoplePiano.
Alloweachstudenttheopportunitytoparticipateinthepeoplepiano.
Buildthepeoplepiano.
Beginonalowpitch.
Extendthepeoplepianobyaddingpentatonicnotes&studentsaboveandbelow.
Movearoundthescaleatrandomtocreatedifferentcombinationsofnotes.
Pointtomorethanonestudentatatimetocreateharmonies.
o MusicPictures:LEVEL EASY.(Musicimprovisationusingfamiliarsoundstocreatea
soundscape.)
ChooseasubjectforyourmusicpicturesuchasABigCity.
Makealistofthingsyoumighthearwhilewalkingdownabusystreetinabigcity.
Examples:cars,buzzingofstreetlights,peopletalking,feetshuffling,jackhammersetc
Assigneachstudentanitemfromthelist.
Standingorsittinginacircle,studentscreateavocalsoundtorepresenttheiritem.
Layereachsoundonebyonetocreateamusicpicture.
Variation:Ifavailable,askadrummerorinstrumentalisttoimproviseamelodyto
accompanythemusicpictureorplayarecordingofasongthatisreminiscentofthe
pictureyouwishtocreate.
BOBBY McFERRIN
Watching
o NegroSpirituals.
WatchthePBSdocumentaryAfricanAmericanSpirituals.
http://video.pbs.org/video/2230437775/ .Length:835.
o BobbieMcFerrin:ThePowerofthePentatonicScaleExperiement.
HavestudentswatchavideoofBobbieMcFerrinleadingtheaudienceinsinginga
pentatonicscale.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ne6tB2KiZuk Length:305.
RecreatetheBobbyMcFerrin PowerofthePentatonicScale Experiment bysingingalong
withtheaudienceinthevideo.
Variation:Createyourownpentatonicscaleexperimentbyallowingstudentstotake
turnsleadingtheexerciseseeninthevideo.
o BobbyMcFerrin:CircleSongWorkshop.
WatchBobbyMcFerrinCircleSongWorkshop.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6WL7NYrT9Q Length:213.
Responding
o NegroSpirituals Questionsfordiscussion.
o WhatisaNegroSpiritual?
o HowdidAfricanAmericansusethespiritualasasurvivaltool?
o BobbieMcFerrin:ThePowerofthePentatonicScaleExperiment.
o Whatisapentatonicscale?
o Doyouthinkpeoplecaninstinctivelysingthepatternofthepentatonicscaleordoyou
thinkthisscaleisfamiliarbecauseitisdeeplyingrainedinWesternmusic?(Thereisno
wronganswer.Theintentionofthequestionistoaidincriticalthinkingandreasoning.)
o BobbyMcFerrin:CircleSongWorkshop.
o ListenforanddefinethefollowingtechniquesinBobbyMcFerrinsCircleSongworkshop.
o Improvisation:Theactofmakingupsomethingonthespot.
o Polyrhythms:Contrastingrhythms playingagainsteachotherwithina
composition.
Performing
o SongCircle:Level Easy(Vocalimprovisationexercise.)
Standinacirclewiththeeducatororleaderinthecenter.
EducatorsingsorspeakstherhythmtotheTraditionalNegroSpiritualJoshuaFoughtthe
BattleofJericho onephraseatatime.(Educatormaychoosetoonlyusethechorusfor
thisexercisedependingonstudentageandability.)
StudentsechotheEducator.
Repeatthisprocessuntilthesongiswelllearned.
Encouragestudentstocreateaccompanyingrhythmsormelodiesonanywordsor
syllablesdesirable.
Example:Viewavideoofasongcircleworkshop.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZwBPWtEVh0 Length:209.
*ListeningfileofJoshuaFought
theBattleofJerichoisattached*
BOBBY McFERRIN
o Variationsonthesongcircle.
Createamusiccirclewithinstruments.
Typesofinstruments:drums,claves,rhythmsticks,shakers,beaters.
Ifinstrumentsarenotavailableyoucanuseanythingthatcanmakeasoundsuch
as,pots,pans,utensils,books,desks,beansorpopcornseedsinsideaPringlescan
oroatmealcarton.
Example:Viewvideoofa6
th
grademusiccircle.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7X2CWzPv9Kg Length:256.
Addmovementbyallowingstudentstomovefreelyaroundtheroomtotherhythmofthe
music.
BOBBY McFERRIN
Assessment
Evaluation Evaluatestudentsonparticipationandsuccessinfollowingdirections.Ifmusical
competenceinimprovisingisthedesiredgoal,evaluateindividualsuccessinproducingpoly
rhythmsassociatedwithjazzimprovisation.
Definitions
o CallandResponse:Astyleofsinginginwhich amelodysungbyonesingerisresponded
toorechoedbyoneormoresingers.Videoexample:ListentotheVoicesofAfricasing
theWestAfricanCall&ResponseSongYaya O. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iK0t
uNEa8o Length:402.
o Jazz:Americanstyleofmmusic thatoriginatedatthebeginningofthe20thcenturyasa
resultofAfricanAmericansblendingEuropeanharmonieswithelementsofAfricanmusic
culture.
o NegroSpirituals:AmericanfolkmusicgenrecreatedbyenslavedAfricanpeople.
NATIONALSTANDARDS
KENTUCKYSTANDARDS
Standard9
Understandingmusicinrelationtohistoryandculture.
AH5SASMu2
Studentswillusetheelementsofmusicwhileperforming,singing,playing
instruments,moving,listening,readingmusic,writingmusicandcreating
musicindependentlyandwithothers.
AH5SASMu3
Studentswilllistentoandexplorehowchangingdifferentelementsresultsin
differentmusicaleffects.
LessonPlanPreparedBy:
DonnaR.Phillips
MusicProgramsCoordinator
ShakerVillageofPleasantHill
Also:Educator,Singer,Composer,andPlaywright
BOBBY McFERRIN