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Musical Centers with i-pad apps

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Keywords: headphone, stylus, i-pad
Subject(s): Music
Grades 3 through 5
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
View Full Text of Standards
School: Seward Montessori School, Minneapolis, MN
Planned By: Barbara Rice
Original Author: Barbara Rice, Minneapolis
Class period 1 (approx 30 minutes): Teacher will demonstrate each of the 3 apps to be used in whole class direct instruction. Teacher and students will manipulate the app on an i-pad connected to Interactive WhiteBoard to demonstrate how to use the app and generate interest among students for independent work. After the teacher demonstrates, a student will use the app with the entire class. Teacher will respond to any questions about how to use the app correctly.

Class period 2: Students will use i-pad apps for 20 minutes to demonstrate the following skills. They will report their activity and progress to the teacher and classmates in a sharing activity at the close of the class period. Students in grades 3 - 5 will work independently or with a partner to use the following apps on school i-pads. Class period 2 can be repeated for students to have additional opportunities to use the apps and increase their skills.

Rhythm Cat Lite (or Rhythm Cat): Students will read and perform rhythmic notation in time with a beat generated by the software. The software has levels and students must perform each rhythm correctly to move up to the next level. This app is self-pacing for the student.

Blob Chorus: Students will listen to a pitch and determine which of given possibilities matches that pitch. This is an essential skill for singing in tune. The software gives points based on how many attempts the student makes before the correct answer is given. Students can adjust the level of difficulty by adjusting the number of choices given to match the original pitch from 2 (easy) to 8 (very challenging). This app is self-pacing for the student. Students will be required to achieve a score of 85 or better after 10 questions before increasing the difficulty level.

NotateMeNow: Students will use this app to write their own musical compositions using a stylus. They are practicing notation. The app will play back their composition and they can adjust it as desired. This activity will strengthen the connection between written music in standard notation and its sound. Creating music allows students to show their mastery of staff notation and create their own original work. There are some lessons on YouTube that students can reference using Safari on their i-pad if need be. Note the lessons are designed for older students, grades 6 - 8 but could still be used for 5th grade.

During independent work time the teacher will be circulating amongst the students, assisting and listening where needed.

After the 20 minute work period, the students will gather in a circle and share what they have accomplished. Select students may have their i-pad perform their original composition by connecting it to the stereo system (for volume).

The teacher will keep a spreadsheet of student activities and levels completed.

These apps are currently free apps (Rhythm Cat is not free, but RhythmCat Lite is free) so some students may be able to repeat activities at home.
Headphones support student work by allowing students to listen to what they are working on without the distraction of other sounds. Because the work requires aural discrimination skills, headphones are critical to student success. The students can write in NotateMeNow with their finger but will be more accurate using a stylus.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Students can write lyrics to their original music. Students could also being by writing a simple poem such as haiku or cinquain form and create a melody specifically for their lyrics.
Individual or class assessment of similar musical tasks generated by the teacher.
Links: Rhythm Cat Lite
Blob Chorus
Blob Chorus web version for whole class use
NotateMeNow lesson
Materials: Headsets
Other Items: 30 headphones, $5 each, total of $150.00
30 stylus, $2.49 each, total of $74.70