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Andrew Weed

Dr. Maynard
MUED 373
23 April, 2014

String Orchestra Literature Project: Medieval Kings


Overview:
Over the course of five lessons, I plan to have my orchestra class successfully perform
Medieval Kings by Soon Hee Newbold. In order to do this, my students will have to meet five
longitudinal objectives, which correspond to the NAfME national standards of music education,
as well as the Virginia Standards of Learning for music. The national standards will be
addressed throughout the unit, and various Virginia SOLs will be addressed in each lesson.
Longitudinal Objectives:

Students will
o Distinguish the difference between medieval music and other periods in music
history.
o Sight read and play basic musical phrases involving quarter notes, eighth notes,
and rests.
o Play with a clean attack using alternate and martele bowings.
o Create dynamic contrast within the music.
o Evaluate their performance, and improve their playing based on their own critical
thought and peer review.

National Standards Addressed Within the Unit:

2. Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.


3. Improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments.
5. Reading and notating music.
6. Listening to, analyzing, and describing music.
7. Evaluating music and music performances.
9. Understanding music in relation to history and culture.

Lesson 1: Understanding the History Behind the Piece


Objectives:

Longitudinal:
o Students will distinguish the difference between medieval music and other periods
in music history.
Short term:
o Students will
Identify the time period of medieval music. (VA SOL IB.21)
Listen to excerpts of various pieces and identify which ones are medieval.
(VA SOL IB.24)
Explain the general culture of medieval Europe. (VA SOL IB.21)

Procedures:
1. Teacher will distribute the piece Medieval Kings and the handout Medieval Europe.
2. Out loud, the students will read the handout Medieval Europe, distributed by the
teacher.
3. Teacher will ask students questions about the medieval time period and culture.
4. Students will listen to recordings of medieval music, paired against recordings of
romantic, classical, baroque, and renaissance music (music to be chosen by teacher).
5. As an informal assessment, the students will listen to three excerpts, and will identify
which one is medieval.
6. As a formal assessment, students will take a five-minute written quiz regarding the time
period and basic culture of medieval Europe (see following page for assessment).
7. Students will sight read the first ten measures of Medieval Kings as a class using
pizzicato.
Assessment:

Informal:
o Teacher will play three different short excerpts, one of which is from the medieval
period. Students will lay their music stands flat, put their heads down, and listen.
When they think the medieval excerpt is playing, they will raise their hands. The
teacher will ask certain students why they chose what they did, and then reveal
the correct answer.
Formal:
o See the following page for the written five-minute quiz.

Lesson 2: Reading the Rhythms and Notes


Objectives:

Longitudinal:
o Students will sight read and play basic musical phrases involving quarter notes,
eighth notes, and rests.
Short term:
o Students will
Improvise on an e natural minor scale using quarter and eighth notes (VA
SOL IB.6).
Sight read a passage from Medieval Kings (VA SOL IB.12).
Play through the entirety of Medieval Kings at a basic musical level.

Procedures:
1. WARM UP: Students will play McRhythms, a game that involves using syllables of
foods and beverages to understand rhythmic values.
2. Teacher will model the e natural minor scale.
3. Students will play the e natural minor scale, with every note alternating between one
quarter note and two eighth notes (one, two-and, three, four-and).
4. Students will play the same scale in canon style.
5. Students will play E and B natural in fifths, followed by D and A in fifths, while each
individual student improvises for four bars on the e natural minor scale.
6. Students will sight read mm. 25-33 of Medieval Kings.
7. Teacher will ask one student from each section one thing he/she can do better, and read
the passage again.
8. Students will play the entire piece, focusing on rhythmic accuracy.
Assessment:

In order to assess student understanding of the material, each student will improvise on
the e natural minor scale, using quarter and eighth note variations.
Teacher will have one student from each section play mm. 25-33 and have other students
provide feedback.

Lesson 3: Alternate and Martele Bowing


Objectives:

Longitudinal:
o Students will play with a clean attack using alternate and martele bowings.
Short term:
o Students will
Locate the balance point on their bows in order to create a more clear
attack when playing (VA SOL IB.2).
Alternate between down and up bowing when playing quarter and eighth
notes.
Effectively demonstrate martele bowing in appropriate sections of
Medieval Kings.

Procedures:
1. WARM UP: Students will play an e natural minor scale, with every note alternating
between one quarter and two eighth notes.
2. Teacher will model finding the balance point on his bow (approx. 1/3 bow distance from
the frog).
3. Students will find the balance point on their own bows. Teacher will provide individual
attention to those who need help.
4. Students will play an e natural minor scale again, this time using the balance point as the
main point of attack.
5. Teacher will model martele bowing, and students will follow along.
6. Students will play the first six measures of Medieval Kings, using the written bowing,
as well as martele bowing when their sections have four straight quarter notes in a
measure.
7. After an informal assessment (see below), students will run the entire piece using written
and martele bowing.
Assessment:

Teacher will have each section play their part through measure 6. The teacher, along
with the other sections, will provide feedback for the playing section in regards to attack
cleanliness, and bowing technique.

Lesson 4: Dynamic Contrast


Objectives:

Longitudinal:
o Students will create dynamic contrast within the music.
Short term:
o Students will
Respond to conducting gestures indicating different dynamics (VA SOL
II.11-3).
Play through Medieval Kings following the dynamics as written (VA
SOL IB.9).
Balance the ensemble by matching dynamic levels for each instrument
(VA SOL IB.11-3).

Procedures:
1. WARM UP: Students will take a short 5-minute quiz, notating four measures worth of
rhythms spelled out on the board (ex. Notate 1 2+ - 3 4+).
2. Teacher will model playing loud and soft on an instrument. Students will follow.
3. Teacher will use conducting gestures to guide students to play loud and soft. Students
will play on an e minor chord as an ensemble.
4. Students will play the e natural minor scale, getting louder as they go up the scale, and
softer as they go down.
5. Students will play Medieval Kings with the dynamics written, exaggerating them for
emphasis on the contrast.
6. Students will balance dynamics by emphasizing the melody, and having the harmony
ease back.
7. Teacher will assess student understanding of dynamics by having one student from each
part play.
Assessment:

One student from each section will play through the piece. Teacher and other students
will provide feedback in terms of dynamics.

Lesson 5: Peer Review and Performance Evaluation


Objectives:

Longitudinal:
o Students will evaluate their performance, and improve their playing based on their
own critical thought and peer review.
Short term:
o Students will
Musically evaluate a recording of their performance (VA SOL IB.22).
Musically evaluate a recording of another groups performance of the
same piece (VA SOL IB.22).
Use critical thought to improve upon their own performance (VA SOL
IB.22).
Successfully play the piece using everything learned throughout the unit
(VA SOL IB.17).

Procedures:
1.
2.
3.
4.

WARM UP: Students will play an e natural minor scale.


Teacher will record the students performance of Medieval Kings.
Students will discuss the positive and negative aspects of their performance.
Students will listen to another group playing the piece and discuss the positive and
negative aspects of that performance.
5. Using these two different perspectives, students will use critical thought to make
suggestions on how to better the ensembles performance.
6. Students will break up into small ensembles and perform in front of the class for a formal
assessment.
7. The entire class will play the piece for a formal assessment.
Assessment:

Each student will receive two grades as a formal assessment: One for a small group
performance, and one for an entire class performance. The average of the two grades will
be the final grade for each student. See the following page for the rubric.

Medieval Europe
The Middle Ages

The traditions of Western music can be traced back to the social and religious
developments that took place in Europe during the Middle Ages, the years roughly spanning
from about 500 to 1400 A.D. Because of the domination of the early Catholic Church during this
period, sacred music was the most prevalent. Beginning with Gregorian Chant, sacred music
slowly developed into a polyphonic music called organum performed at Notre Dame in Paris by
the twelfth century. Secular music flourished, too, in the hands of the French trouvres and
troubadours, until the period culminated with the sacred and secular compositions of the first true
genius of Western music, Guillaume de Machaut.
[http://www.ipl.org/div/mushist/middle/]

About the Music

Written in the spirit of ancient history and chants, Medieval Kings takes listeners back
in time to the medieval days of tournaments, knights, and kings. The medieval times, also
known as the Middle Ages, produced poetry, art, and music that greatly influenced later works
found in the Renaissance era.

Name:______________________
Medieval Europe Quiz
Fill in the blank with the correct answer.
1. The Medieval era lasted from about __________ to ___________ A.D. (2 pts)
2. Music during the Medieval era was dominated primarily by the
______________________________. (1 pt)
3. Medieval music began with monophonic sacred songs known as _______________
chants. (1 pt)
4. The most famous composer of this era, also known as the first true genius of western
music, was ____________________________. (1 pt)
Total: ________/ 5

Final Playing Test: Medieval Kings


Group Members: _______________________________________________________

Print two copies: One for small group and one for the entire class.

Rating:
Rhythm/note
accuracy

1
Frequent
mistakes.
Melody and
rhythm
scarcely
noticeable.

2
Multiple
mistakes.
Melody and
rhythm are
somewhat
noticeable.

Technique
and bowing

No effort in
posture or
bowing.

Sloppy
posture,
frequently
inaccurate
bowing.

Dynamics

No effort in
producing
different
dynamics.

Little
dynamic
effort,
usually
inconsistent.

Rhythm/note accuracy total: _________/ 5


Technique and bowing total: _________/ 5
Dynamics total: _________/ 5

Cumulative total: _________/ 15

3
Some
mistakes.
Distinct
melody and
rhythms, but
they do not
always fall in
the same
place.
Posture is
somewhat
improper.
Some
inaccuracies
in bowing.
Dynamic
contrast
apparent, but
not what is
written in
music.

4
Few mistakes.
Distinct
melody and
rhythms with
little
inconsistencies.

5
Little to no
mistakes.
Rhythms are
tight and
accurate.
Notes are
accurate.

Proper posture.
Some
inaccuracies in
bowing.

Proper posture.
Little to no
inaccuracies in
bowing.

Dynamic
contrast
apparent. Few
inconsistencies.

Dynamic
contrast
apparent.
Little to no
inconsistencies.