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La-Pentatonic Unit Plan

Lesson 9: Stay
Grade 3

Teacher Name: Ryan Dillon

Objectives: Students will learn to play Stay by Rihanna (feat. Mikky Ekko) on keyboard instruments;
Students will improvise in La pentatonic with peer accompaniment; Students will transcribe Stay into
musical notation.

Standards Being Addressed:

MU:Pr5.1.3b - Rehearse to refine technical accuracy, expressive qualities, and identified performance
MU:Pr6.1.3a - Perform music with expression and technical accuracy.
MU:Pr4.2.3c - Describe how context (such as personal and social) can inform a performance.
MU:Pr4.2.4b When analyzing selected music, read and perform using iconic and/or standard notation
MU:Pr4.1.3a - Demonstrate and explain how the selection of music to perform is influenced by personal
interest, knowledge, purpose, and context.
MU:Cr2.1.3b - Use standard and/or iconic notation and/or recording technology to document personal
rhythmic and melodic musical ideas.

Song Analysis
Tone Set La pentatonic

Range A4-E6

Rhythm Set Quarter, eighth, half

Form Verse, Pre-chorus, Chorus, Bridge

Pedagogical Use
Melody La, Do, Re, Mi, So, La

Rhythm Syncopation

Other Pop music


Materials of Instruction:

Accompaniment patterns
Sheet music (for teacher):

Solfege Cards




Lesson 9: Stay

Complete the following transcription activity for the verse and pre-chorus of Stay. The blanks
above the staff are for your solfege syllables. The staff is for writing your actual note heads.
Use the color associated with each solfege syllable as a support if it is helpful when writing in
the blanks or on the staff. This assignment will be completed by you and your group. Raise
your hand if you have questions!

Lesson Sequence

Entry Activity/Transition: Students sing through the minor pentatonic scale on solfege, through patterns
within the scale, and through random combinations using the solfege cards.
1. T leads class in singing through la-pentatonic scale on solfege, pointing at solfege cards
(beginning with common patterns and moving to less common), and vocally phasing out until Ss
are able to sing the syllables and pitches without hearing them externally from the teacher first.
T will simply point to the syllable and Ss will sing it.

Assessment: Ss sing through La-pentatonic scale on their own with 90% accuracy.
Transition: T: Remember, we still have our two surprise syllables. Next, were going to play the
scale on the keyboard instruments, but this time were not going to remove the surprise bars
from the instrument! The song still does not use them though. What does that mean youll have
to do?
Ss: Pay attention and not hit them.
T: Exactly! Weve been playing through this scale for a while, so I think youre ready for
the challenge!.

Activity #1: Students will review minor pentatonic scale on keyboard instruments (with all bars on).
1. T plays through scale with Ss.
a. T: The first time we do this, I want you to yell skip each time we encounter our
surprise syllables in the scale. What scale degree, or number are they in the
scale? (Hint [if necessary]: the numbers are on the solfege cards on the board)
i. Ss: 2 and 6!
ii. T: You are correct! Lets go!
iii. Whole class plays through la pentatonic scale on keyboard instruments
and yells Skip! when encountering the surprise syllables (ti and fa).

Assessment: Ss play through scale accurately with all the bars on and without playing ti or fa.

Transition: T: Good work! That was short, I know. I just wanted to prep you for upcoming
classes when we stop removing bars from the instruments. Now, please take the bars off again,
and well learn a new song! Lets see if you can identify it

Activity #2: Students will play Stay on keyboard instruments (remove bars fa, ti)
1. T: This will be sort-of like a game: Build a Song! Start by following me. Ill play a pattern
and keep it going. Join in when you think youve got some of it. If youre wrong, no
worries! Just listen and fix it.
a. T plays the verse accompaniment pattern.
i. Ss join as comfortable. If class is off on anything for an extended period

of time, pause group and correct the part.

b. T plays pre-chorus accompaniment pattern.
i. Ss join when ready (with encouragement if necessary).
c. T plays chorus accompaniment pattern.
i. Ss join when ready.
d. T plays bridge accompaniment pattern.
i. Ss join when ready.
e. T plays verse again. Motions for Ss to join.
i. T: Keep playing! Here Ill do something different from you. Just keep
1. Ss play accompaniment
2. T plays melody over the verse.
f. T pauses class to repeat that again as T models melody.
i. T: This time, I want you to echo me. T breaks melody into small
phrases. Ss echo. T builds segments to be longer and longer until they
play the whole first verse.
g. T splits class in half, the accompanists and the melody.
i. T has class play together a few times, and then switch parts.
ii. T: Anyone know what song this is yet!?
1. Ss: I think its Stay by Rihanna!
2. T: You thought right! Guess what youve played the whole first
verse. Lets add the next part, the pre-chorus. Does anyone
know how it goes?
a. Ss: Yeah! Round and around and around
b. T: Yeah! Using your ears, can you tell me which note
(written on the bars) the pre-chorus starts on? Feel free
to play the xylophone to find it.
i. Ss: D
ii. T plays pre-chorus in segments, has Ss echo it
back on the instrument. (Learning aurally).
iii. T continues process in this way to complete the song.
h. T divides class into accompaniment and melody, plays through full song with Ss.
i. T has Ss play without teacher support.
Assessment: Ss effectively maintain their parts against the others and play with correct pitches
and rhythm.
Transition: T begins to play the verse accompaniment pattern and motions for Ss to join.

Activity #3: Students will improvise using a minor pentatonic scale.

1. T plays an improvised melodic line and has students echo.
a. T does this about 3 or 4 times and then splits Ss in two groups again for the sake
of improvisation and support.
i. T: Group 1 will play accompaniment for the verse, Group 2 I want you
to improvise. Feel free to use parts from the actual verse if youd like as

well. Just expand the ideas, or start completely new, its up to you!
1. Ss accompany/improvise.
2. Ss switch parts.
3. Ss accompany/improvise.
ii. T: Great job, now lets number off, 1 - 5. 1s its your turn to improvise
first while the rest of us accompany. When they finish, 2s it will be your
turn. And so on.
1. Ss improvise.
iii. T: Nows for fun, lets go one by one down the line and improvise.
Remember, this is no test, just pure fun. Jump in there and share what
youve got!
1. Ss improvise one by one.

Assessment: Students will each improvise individually.

Transition: T passes out worksheets. T: You know the drill! Join your small group and lets work
this out! This time, you can choose whether or not youd like to use markers. They are there as a
support for you, so it is now your decision. You can use pencil instead if youd like. Just pay
attention and check your work with one another.
Ss join small groups and get to work.

Activity #4: Students will translate the song to solfege.

1. Using worksheet, Ss work through the song on solfege with little to no T support
(though the T will circle to continue to observe and provide help when needed).

Assessment: Ss solfege the song with fewer than 5 errors.

Transition: T: Lets write the pitches! Same plan as with the solfege. Write them out with your
group. As before, the markers are a support to you, it is now your decision as to whether or not
you use them. If youd prefer, feel free to just use your pencil.

Activity #5: Students will transcribe the song to iconic notation.

Assessment: Ss transcribe the pitches with fewer than 5 errors.

Transition: T asks a Ss to collect the assignments and place them on my desk. This can be an
opportunity to recognize Ss for a job well done or to get to know a Ss better by giving them
leadership opportunities.

Closure: On a scale of 1-5, 1 being the worst, and 5 being the best, how confident do you feel with
solfeging and transcribing the pitches? On the same scale, how confident do you feel about singing
the La-based pentatonic scale? Does someone on the high end of the scale want to share why their
rating was so high? ... What about someone on the low end? Next lesson will be our last on this topic,

so lets knock it out of the park! Good work today.