Ideas to work with MuseScore

MuseScore is a music notation program for Linux, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows. The program has a clean user interface, with a quick entry of notes in an edition similar to Finale and Sibelius. Ai un galan.png

Didactic utility

Musescore can be very useful for music teachers. Some of the didactic materials that can be developed are:

transcriptions of scores to make them simpler or adapt them to classroom instruments

– musical language exercises

– own compositions adapted to the level of the students

– progressive lessons for recorder.

But in addition, we can combine Musescore with other programs such as Garage Band and iMovie to create audiovisual material:

Audiovisual flute method. Screenshots of the score by pieces and then insert them into a video with accompaniment of chords as a flute karaoke.

Folk music research. The students ask their relatives for songs from their childhood. Then, with the help of the teacher, they take out the notes and write them, together with the lyrics, in Musescore. As in the previous activity, they take screenshots and create a video including the audio of their recorded voice singing the song.

Composition. According to what the students have worked, they can be given instructions to compose pieces with certain characteristics, for example:

Level 1: melody of 8 measures using C, E, G, quarter note and half note..
Level 2: melody of 16 measures using G, B, D, #F, dotted notes.
Level 3: melody with accompaniment of C and G chords, etc.
Level 4: create accompaniment of chords for Happy birthday and download mp3. Then make video with sectioned score and accompaniment audio.

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Dictation with C, D, E, G and A.

Dictation with C, D, E, G and A. 🙂

Third dictation for the first year of lower secondary school including the D note. Sometimes we think that these exercises are too difficult for high school students, but I assure you that they will surprise you. As always, we will practice reading (visual recognition), writing, listening, intonation and interpretation.

Here you have the flute exercise.

Recorder method with accompaniment III (C,D,E,G,A)

Method for recorder with accompaniment 🙂

Today I present you a video that will help students practice and reading the notes C, D, E, G and A. These are the first notes of the pentatonic scale, basic in improvisation. The accompaniment brings an additional motivation, adding harmony and rhythm to the melody and making it more attractive, and it also helps our students to get used to follow a certain beat. As every other exercise I bring you, is thought to be played as a canon. You can also use this base to improvise with these notes.

Here you have the first lesson (G,A,E)

Here you have the second lesson (C,D,E,G)

Question & answer exercise

For this activity we will need the image that I attached below and the flute. We will start from the prior knowledge of the students using children’s songs that everyone knows. These melodies are perfect to work the analysis because they use very simple and symmetrical structures, they are repetitive and can be transported to C Major. To develop significant learning we will work on this concept from the visual, auditory, creative and practical analysis.

Activities

1. We introduce the session by singing the first seven notes of Twinkle, twinkle, and encouraging the students to continue the melody. We do the same with Frere Jacque, and other popular melodies … we ask the students to explain what we are doing.

2. We explain that music uses elements of language such as question-answer, repetitions, pauses (we play video of the end of a symphony), etc.

Pregunta Respuesta

3. We look at the image and analyze the Twinkle notes, this melody is composed with the scale of C, so this note is the most important, it is the end point. The questions are usually ascending and the answers descending, as in verbal language.

4. In pairs, students write an answer to the proposed question.
5. In the music classroom we play the compositions of the students: 1) we play all the question (the teacher plays chords) 2) each pair plays their answer 3) we all play the question, etc.

The scale

The musical scale 🙂

Resultado de imagen de piano 12 notes

The objective of this activity is for students to understand the concept of musical scale (it is very important to analyze the etymology to achieve significant learning) and its usefulness in composition. For this you must be clear that in our music system there are twelve notes and that we choose a few to create the scales. We can play several types of scale (blues, flamenco, pentatonic) and ask them what it sounds like or what it reminds them of.

La escala

To facilitate this task, they will have practiced the Introductory activity on the scale, which puts the students’ prior knowledge into practice and names it (almost all students arrive knowing the order of the notes from Do: that is a scale).

After this introduction we project the video of Jaime Altozano: What is a musical scale? After seeing it, we will ask a student to ask a question to another.

We copy the scale of C Major and the scale of A minor, explaining that they are the most basic and most used in classical music. The major scales sound ‘happy’ and the ‘minor’, sad.

Finally, we all create our own scale of, for example, six notes, and write it in the notebook.

We complete this theory class with a question – answer improvisation practice using the notes learned so far: do, mi, sol, la.

 

Dictation with C, E, G and A

Dictation with C, E, G and A. 🙂

Second dictation for the first year of lower secondary school including the C note. Sometimes we think that these exercises are too difficult for high school students, but I assure you that they will surprise you. As always, we will practice reading (visual recognition), writing, listening, intonation and interpretation.

You have the flute exercise here.

Recorder method with accompaniment II (G,A,E,C)

Method for recorder with accompaniment 🙂

Today I present you a video that will help students practice and reading the notes G, A, E and C. These are the first notes that we will  learn since they are the first step to learn the pentatonic scale, basic in improvisation. The accompaniment brings an additional motivation, adding harmony and rhythm to the melody and making it more attractive, and it also helps our students to get used to follow a certain beat. As every other exercise I bring you, is thought to be played as a canon. You can also use this base to improvise with these notes.

Here you have the first lesson (G,A,E)

 

Dictation with notes G, A, E

Dictation with G, A and E 🙂

These are the first notes that we will work in the first grade of music. For this we will practice its reading (visual recognition), writing, hearing, intonation and interpretation. In my opinion, it is better to do everything in this order and in the same session, in any case, we will leave the interpretation with flute for another day. As you become familiar with the exercises and depending on the type of group (more or less autonomous, etc) we will leave part of the exercises as homework.

You have the flute exercise here.

The silence as a musical element

Silence in music 🙂

Silence plays an important role in the expressiveness of a work, and its handling is as important as the use of melodies and harmonies. In the first video (‘Hallelujah’, by Handel, in minute 3′ ), we see how the sudden silence before the final cadence increases the expressiveness of this … In the second (4’33’ ‘ , by John Cage), silence is used as the only musical element.