G6 U2 L1 – Pulse & Accents

UNit Overview

 

This unit develops pupils’ awareness of the importance of pulse as a fundamental upon which music is built and performed. Through the integrated activities of performing, composing and listening, pupils will begin to develop their own feeling for and awareness of a regular pulse. Pupils will be able to make a clear distinction between pulse and rhythm and learn to use rhythm grids as a method of recording rhythms. Pupils are introduced to note values and notation and compose, perform and notate their own rhythm compositions including time signatures and the grouping of note values into bars to form regular units.  

G6 U2 Lesson Planner

Starter Activity

This unit develops pupils’ awareness of the importance of pulse as a fundamental upon which music is built and performed. Through the integrated activities of performing, composing and listening, pupils will begin to develop their own feeling for and awareness of a regular pulse. Pupils will be able to make a clear distinction between pulse and rhythm and learn to use rhythm grids as a method of recording rhythms. Pupils are introduced to note values and notation and compose, perform and notate their own rhythm compositions including time signatures and the grouping of note values into bars to form regular units.  

Main Activities

1. Rhythm Patterns over a regular Pulse

Link the starter to the development of the lesson by establishing a regular pulse by clapping and encouraging pupils to join in. It may be difficult not to speed up and the emphasis here should be made on keeping the pulse regular. Ask pupils how they could show that the pulse could be grouped into a pattern of 4 beats? – suggestions may include emphasising the first of the four claps; try changing to a 3 beat pulse pattern; extending this further and trying a 2 and a 5 beat pulse pattern.

Divide group in half. One side is to clap a regular pulse (crotchet pulse), the other group to clap two pulses to each one of the other groups (quaver pulse). Shouting, “Change” and the two groups swap roles.
Maintain a regular pulse again and add a rhythmic pattern over the pulse pattern. Ask the class to describe what I have done. Can anyone copy the rhythm pattern I have just composed? Individual pupils can improvise their own short rhythm patterns while the class maintains a regular pulse. The rest of the class can be asked to copy any particular noteworthy patterns made up by pupils.

 

2. Finding the Pulse – Audio 15
Play pupils all, or some, of the extracts given on Audio 15 which demonstrate different speeds of pulse in a variety of different music. Ask pupils to clap/tap the pulse of the music in time, as they listen. All pupils should be tapping at the same time but some may feel faster or slower “levels” of pulse! Discuss whether each piece has a fast, moderate or slow pulse. Discuss with pupils: what types/styles of music would use a slow pulse, what about a fast pulse?

 

3. Exploring the effect of Accents on a Regular Pulse – Score 1 (or presentation Score 1) & Audio 1 & Audio 2 & Audio 3 & Audio 4 & Audio 5 & Audio 6 & Audio 7
Introduce “The Rite of Spring” and explain how the graphic score from Score 1 works. There is also a presentation Score 1 of this graphic score if teachers prefer to use this as a class display) Prepare pupils for listening by looking at Line 1. Pupils will see a regular quaver pulse with some notes having an accent (>) over the top of them. Explain that more emphasis is to be given on the accented beats. Ask them to tap the quaver pulse on one knee and the accents