G8 U2 – Starter – Describe What You Hear

Describe what you hear

This activity helps students learn how to analyze the songs.  It requires students to concentrate on a composition and use creative language to describe what is going on within the music.  This task develops knowledge of basic musical concepts like rhythm, timbre, instrumentation, pitch, tempo, consonance/dissonance, and melody.

Simply play a song to the class and ask them to focus on its composition.  As the song plays, allow students to walk up to the whiteboard and write a single word that describes what they are hearing.  After a few minutes, you should have a lot of words on the whiteboard.  

Now group the words into categories.  Find the words that relate to instrumentation, rhythm, time signature, genre, tempo, timbre, and melody.  Discuss each aspect to help learn about music vocabulary and music conceptualization.