This lesson is about the improvement of harmonic sense and the very basics of voice leading by singing the root notes of the chords. Students will use the online class “Root notes of chords” with robot chatbot guidance as home assignment. In this class students will learn to create and sing the melody of the root notes and understand how the root notes move within the tonality/mode (optional: if students have harmonic instruments at home, they can also play root notes, instead of singing). Lesson consists of setting up the online class, inspiring part, home assignment with explanation what will happen in the chatbot class and knowledge test (that also can be done in the beginning of the next lesson).
⏰ Time: 45 min
🎓 Grades: 5-12
- Understanding terms: chord, chord progression and root notes;
🎼 Cross-curricular element: Accompaniment; Music theory and minor/major tonality
💡 Prior Knowledge: Note Letters/Names
💻 Teaching aids:
- Solfeg.io app best used with Chrome browser
- Computer and access to WIFI
- Your own voice
!!! If this is the first online setup lesson for your class, we recommend starting with an onboarding lesson using this presentation explaining how solfeg.io works. Download it here. If the class is more than 10 students, this might take some 30 minutes to register and go through the app.
🤳 Video conference call provider:
- We recommend Google Hangouts, you can read how to set it up and download it here.
📣 Class announcement template: download here
Start of your lesson
🕐 10 min - Setting up an online classroom
- Send a video conference call link to the students and encourage them to make this call via mobile device for optimal sound management. Make sure that everyone can hear and see you;
- Ask students to log into Solfeg.io on their desktop devices for the optimal experience.
- After it’s done, ask students to mute their microphone on devices to hear you clearly. If they want to ask something, they should unmute.
🕐 5 min - Starting class with inspiration
Teacher (student microphones are on mute)
- Choose a song from ‘Song suggestions’ list. For example, ‘Dance Monkey‘ by Tones and I. Tell your students about the song! You can pick some facts from the song description.
- Share the screen, click ‘Play’ and ask students to pay attention to the harmony instruments.
Students unmute microphones, while answer
- Discuss the song, for example,
What instruments do they hear in the song? Can they mimic the sound of some instruments/melodies/chords that are in the accompaniment? Etc..
- Select one student for each question to answer
🕐 10 min - Tell about the root notes
- Show the image of root notes and explain that chords consist from at least three notes and “Root note” is a fundamental pitch of any chord.
- (optional) If you have an instrument, you can demonstrate various chords, then play their root notes separately and then play the chord and emphasize the root note by singing it.
- Show the image and tell that continuous succession of chords is called “chord progression”.
- Any chord is based on its fundamental pitch. Capital letters in chord symbols refer to a fundamental ‘root’ note on which the chord is built, while other characteristics refer to its colour (use comparisons like happy, sad, bright, dark, light, heavy etc.) Capital letters are the root notes.
- You can easily sing separate notes from chords and make a simple melody of them.
🕐 15 min - How to give home assignment
- Show the ‘Classes’ section and find the class ‘Root notes of chords’
- Tell students that chatbot will ask them questions and they should click on the answers, watch the videos and repeat exercises that robot Sol gives.
- Share the screen and show how the chatbot class works;
(would be done at the beginning of the next class)
🕐 10 min - Test your students knowledge
- Select any of the students and ask to unmute their microphone when performing.
- (optional) if you have an instrument, play various chords and ask if they can find a root note (or lowest note of the chord).
- Ask to play the song they chose in chatbot class ‘Root notes of the chords’ and sing the exercise.
- Select students one by one for each performance.
- Discuss, how did they do? Help them understand by explaining in different approaches or associations known.