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University of Mobile Lesson Plan

Name _______Austin Boyett_________________ Grade __6-12________ Date

Lesson Title _Scales and Key Signatures _ Student ID _276954_
Course _Beginning Choir_

Instructional Focus included in this lesson:

Class/group small group one-on-one Learning
segment 1 2 3
Indicate # of students
w/ IEP/504 _3_ ELL students _1_ gifted students_2_ other____ boys
_12_ girls _15_

College & Career Ready Standards (CCRS): (T1/R1). Write number and statement

Vocal Music Level I: 13.) Identify key signatures C, F, G.

Central Focus/Essential Question: (T1/R1)

What is a key signature?

How do scales and key signatures relate?

Lesson Objective(s): (Write in A-B-C-D format) (T1/R2)

Students will be able to identify fifteen key signatures (limited to the keys of C, F, and G
Major) via the musictheory.net assignment in one minute or less with at least ninety
percent accuracy.

Prior knowledge: (T1/R3)


Students are familiar with whole step and half step intervals and can identify such on a
piano. I use major scales as the basis of my vocal warmups, so my students will be
vocally and aurally aware of how a major scale is supposed to sound. Students can look
at a piano or staff and name any given note, and can also label a note as flat or
sharp. Finally, students have seen key signatures before. The discussion of such will
not be a completely foreign concept.


My students come from mixed backgrounds. Many students come from military families,
so I try to present many patriotic songs and pieces which explore different lands. In most
cases, my students do not come from musical backgrounds. I try to teach everything
with the assumption that they do not already know most of the information given.

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Interdisciplinary Connections: (T1/R1)

Academic Function/Language Supports (vocab., discourse, syntax): (T1/R4)

Vocabulary explored in this lesson includes: whole step, half step, major scale, pattern,
key signature, treble clef, and bass clef. The students exhibit discourse through their
group work and by conversing as a class to decide if an answer is correct or not. Syntax
for this lesson includes the key signature study guide as well as the writing of scales and
key signatures on the board.
Orientation to the Lesson: (T1/R3; T2/R7)

I will show a video to introduce our lesson. We will watch Tim Minchins song F Sharp,
performed at BBC Proms. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ju8Wxmrk3s). This video
offers a comedic insight to our concept for the day key signatures. I will show the class
a series of key signatures and ask students to identify what they see. This is not the first
time they have seen key signatures, so they should be able to answer appropriately. I
will then ask what key signatures are used for. This question will likely be more difficult
to answer. I will relate this vocabulary term to the video.

Instruction: [I Do] :(procedures/activities, high order thinking questions) (T2/R9)

I will display a picture of a C major scale the students know what a major scale sounds
like, so we will perform a major scale using solfege (do re mi fa sol la ti do). I will remind
them that we dont start every scale on the same note. We can move our starting note
anywhere, and it changes the key we are singing in. What defines a major scale is the
pattern of whole steps and half steps which follow the first note. That pattern is: whole,
whole, half, whole, whole, whole, half. This is review for students since we should
have done this once or twice prior to this lesson.

What is a key signature?

How do scales and key signatures relate?
What symbols do we use when writing key signatures?
What pattern do major scales follow?

Activity: (student-centered)

Guided practice [We Do]: (T2/R8)

Lets explore this pattern and map out the major scale by projecting a piano onto the
Smartboard! Starting on middle C, we are going to follow the pattern and place a red dot
on every note that is included in the scale. I will write the pattern at the top of the
board, and then call on students (one at a time) to find the next note of the scale. Once
theyve drawn the correct dot, I will cross out that part of the pattern on the board so
that it is easier to keep track. Once we are finished, I will play the dotted notes on the
piano so that we can aurally confirm this to be a major scale.

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Instruction [I Do]: (T2/R9)

I will begin a sort of lecture/explanation section of the lesson. We name the scale by
what note it starts on. A major scale that start on a C is going to be a C Major scale. The
key uses the same name. Another example; if we see a major scale with G as do (the
first note in the scale), we are in the key of G major. C Major uses all white keys on the
piano, but G Major uses one black key (F#). This is because of the WWHWWWH pattern,
which makes the scale as follows: G A B C D E F# G. Everything follows normally until we
get to E. If we go from E to a regular F (a half step), the scale will not sound the same
anymore. We must go up the full whole step to an F# for it to sound like a true major

Similarly, the next concept to introduce is how to figure the key just by looking at a
piece of music. We know that some keys/scales require some black notes to be played
(or what we call accidentals). It takes up WAY too much room to write the sharp or the
flat sign every time you need to sing one of those pitches, so music theorists invented
key signatures to help us out. I will look at the key of E-flat Major. To fulfill the major
scale pattern, we must use an E-flat, A-flat, and B-flat throughout the scale. Instead of
writing each accidental every time it is needed, we can group the flat-signs together
next to the clef at the beginning of each line. This combination of accidentals is what we
call the key signature. It tells us what note/scale the selection is based around, as well
as what notes need to be sharp or flat.

Independent practice [You Do]: (T2/R7)

As I pass out the key-signature study guide that we will be working on throughout the
semester, I will ask students to write out the scale for F Major. Keep in mind that the
scale will start and end on its name (F Major). The scale must also fulfill the major scale
pattern. After passing out the study guide, we will go over the scale together, which is: F
G A B-flat C D E F.

Guided practice [We Do]: (T2/R8)

Now that we have written out the scale for F Major, lets write our key signature. The
only accidental used in the scale is a B-flat, so our key signature is one flat-sign placed
on the b line.

Independent practice [You Do]: (T2/R7)

In groups of no more than three, students will complete the same exercise for the key of
G Major. There is space for this at the top of the study guide. I will roam the classroom to
answer questions and ensure students are headed in the right direction. After a few
minutes, I will ask for a pair of students to write the scale on the board, find the key
signature, and explain their process. The other students will evaluate the demonstration
and confirm if the answers are correct.

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On the study guide, there are pictures of each key signature. Students will label each
key on the study guide (as we go along) next to their respective key signature. Today,
we covered C Major (no sharps or flats), F Major (one flat), and G Major (one sharp). This
study guide will be used throughout the unit. It is the students responsibility to keep up
with their paper.

Closure: (summarization) (T1/R9)

To reinforce what we have done and begin developing visual recognition, I am assigning
an online homework exercise. Using the given website
(www.musictheory.net/exercises/keysig/oyyqyyyybdy), students will be asked to identify the given
key signature (limited to C, F, and G Major). The challenge is to go through fifteen
identification in one minute or less and receive a score of at least 90%. The students
may try more than once to get the needed score. Once they have completed the
assignment, they must click View Report. This will take them to a progress report.
Students must enter their full name in the space labeled Student Name, then click
Sign Report. This will generate a verification code; which students should email to me.
This method allows me to view their score and how the time it took to complete the
exercise. I will walk students through every step during class and make detailed
instructions available online.

Connection to Research/Theory: (T1/R3; T2/R10; T3/R15)

As always, this lesson naturally connects with the musical faction of Garners Multiple
Intelligences. The lecture portions of the lesson especially connect to
logical/mathematical learners, and the study guide will fulfill those with visual/spatial
intelligences. Allen Paivio talks presented the dual coding theory, which calls for
edcuators to present new concepts in both words and images. This lesson uses words
through the lecture and study guide, but Ive also designed it to use visual aids, such as
the scale mapping on the piano and sheet music.

Assessment/Evaluation: Must have multiple and varied assessment types. (T1/R5)


There are several forms of informal assessment included in this lesson. The completion
of the key signatures study guide will be utilized. Participation in class partner discussion
will be monitored and assessed while class goes on. The students who volunteer to
present their independent work in front of the class are assessed by myself as well as
their peers. I always ask questions throughout the lesson to gauge student
understanding as the hour goes on. This helps students understand what they do and do
not understand, and shows me what needs more explaining.


The formal assessment for this lesson is the online homework assignment. The program

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is designed to test students in terms of accuracy and time. At least ninety percent
accuracy is required for credit to be given.

Adaptations for Diverse learners: (Universal design for Learning): (T1/R2)

Brittany has an IEP for severe dyslexia she will be allowed to be assessed by being
asked question, such as: What key has one flat? or What key has no flats or sharps?.

Joseph has a 504 for his two broken legs he should not need any accommodation.

Tyler has an IEP for a hearing impairment he will be given an MP3 player to play
musical excerpts and scales to enable full participation in the lesson activities.

Maria is an ELL student she should not need any accommodation.

Shawn and Sandra are gifted in art they will be allowed to design a graphic organizer
for key signatures if they would like.


Smartboard, PowerPoint, computer, speakers, projector, handouts, extra pencils and

pens, iPod, auxiliary cord, musical examples, piano, whiteboard, markers,
musictheory.net exercise (with time and question parameters set), instructions online,
study guide (one for each student)

Reflection/Future Modifications: T3/R15 (Must relate to central focus.)

I feel I did a good job sticking to the central focus on this lesson. Though it is an on your
feet lesson, it does accommodate many different learning styles, and allows students to
begin to understand key signatures. I would like to develop a more interactive way of
presenting the material, but am quite happy with the final lesson plan. If this were a
younger class, I would probably split this lesson in two in order to go at a slower pace.

2015 University of Mobile School of Education