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Sing the “Carnegie Hall Musical Explorers Song”
- Teach students the “Carnegie Hall Musical Explorers Song” from the student activity sheet provided, using Track 1 as well as the accompaniment, Track 2.
Exploring the World of Sound
- Explore the Sounds of Our City (PDF) gives your students an opportunity to act as musical detectives outside of the classroom, listening for sounds and music in their everyday lives and recording them in the “journal” provided.
- Discover Music in Everyday Objects (PDF) highlights common objects found at home or in the classroom that can be used to create DIY musical instruments. For example, a cardboard box can be strung with rubber bands of different sizes to create a string instrument; a set of drinking glasses filled with different amounts of water can be struck with a spoon or a chopstick to create a xylophone-like instrument; and two pot lids can be struck together like cymbals. Encourage your students to discover other objects that can yield interesting sounds.
Create a Postcard (PDF) gives your students an opportunity to share what’s special about their neighborhoods as they are learning about the New York City neighborhoods associated with each of the genres.
Discover the geographic roots of the musical genres featured in the Musical Explorers curriculum through our interactive Around the World Map.
The Listening Walk
In Paul Showers’s The Listening Walk, get immersed in all the sounds around you as you join a girl walking her dog throughout the neighborhood. You may even hear sounds you wouldn’t expect!
Vocal and Body Warm-Ups
Teachers are encouraged to start each lesson with warm-ups in order to establish a routine that fosters healthy vocal technique, kinesthetic learning, and active listening. Each of the following warm-ups can stand alone or be combined at the discretion of the teacher to best meet the needs of each classroom.
Finding Your Breath
Smooth and Bouncy BreathSmooth Breath: Students will explore how to breathe smoothly and steadily
- Using both hands, have students create an “O” shape by touching index finger to index finger and thumb to thumb.
- Instruct them to put the “O” around their bellybutton and take slow, silent, and deep breaths pushing the “O” out in a smooth motion while keeping their shoulders still.
- Add a “sh” or “th” sound to the breath.
- Taking the “O” from Smooth Breath, have students bounce the
“O” in short motions. Add a “sh,” “th,” or “t” sound to the
- What is different or the same when you add different letter sounds while you exhale?
- What is happening inside your body as you breathe?
- Is anything moving? What is moving?
Explore Different Voices
- Lead a discussion with the class about the four different ways
they can use their voices—whispering, talking, calling, and
- Where would we use our whispering voice? (e.g., library or movie theater
- Where would we use our talking voice? (e.g., classroom, telephone, or dinner table)
- Where would we use our calling voice? (e.g., baseball game, playing sports, or leading a group)
- Where would we use our singing voice? (e.g., Musical Explorers concert, car, or shower)
- Have students explore each vocal quality by using the same sentence and pretending they are in some of the places identified above. (e.g., “Hi, my name is …”)
Put Breath, Sound, and Imagination TogetherUsing the following prompts, guide students through The Apple Tree.
The Apple Tree: Have students imagine they are picking apples.
- Look up to the ceiling and imagine a big apple tree.
- Stretch your right hand up and pick the most beautiful apple you can find.
- Clean your apple on your shirt using your breath. Use short, low breaths with a “huh” sound.
- Take a huge bite, and make biting and chewing sounds—the more obnoxious the better.
- Tell me how delicious the apple is by making “mmm” sounds. The higher the sound, the more delicious the apple is!
- Swallow the apple with a gulping sound.
- Look at the apple and exclaim (on a vocal siren from high to low), “Ewww, there’s a worm!”
- Throw the apple and shake your body out to rid yourself of the gross idea of eating a worm.
Repeat the warm-up with the left hand.
Explore Scales and Melodic Contour
- Have students sing the notes of a major scale while touching the corresponding points on their bodies indicated below. This scale can be sung using scale degrees, solfège, or the names of the corresponding body part.
hands in the air
- While the students continue to keep the steady beat with their feet, create simple rhythmic patterns with your hands (e.g., chest patting, clapping, snapping, etc.). Ask the students to echo them back to you.
- Continue to explore other kinds of body percussion (e.g., hissing, clucking, etc.).
- As the students become comfortable with the warm-up, ask for volunteers to act as the leader, creating their own rhythms for the class to echo back.
Continue Your Musical Journey
- Georgian Folk with Ilusha
- Freedom Songs with Imani Uzuri
- Haitian with Emeline
- Argentine Folk with Sofía R. and Sofia T.
- Native American with Martha
- South African Zulu with Bongi and Tshidi
- Greek Folk with Magda
- Malian Traditional with Yacouba
- Indian Classical with Falu
- Jazz with Brianna
- Bomba and Plena with Juan and Julia
- Brazilian with Fabiana
- Cumbia with Gregorio
- Armenian Folk with Zulal
- Hip Hop with Soul Science Lab
- Bluegrass with Michael
- Chinese Traditional with Qian Yi
- Iraqi Folk with Layth