My students spent the last few weeks learning about the elements of music. We practiced identifying and describing things like tempo, dynamics, pitch, tonality, timbre, and texture. After lots of activities to reinforce their learning, they demonstrated their knowledge by completing a listening analysis of 4 pieces of music (Classic Rock, Jazz, Classical, and a song of their choice) and writing a review of one of the pieces. To wrap it all up, they used their creativity to create an advertisement to
“sell” one of the pieces of music!
For the analysis, I gave students a choice of 5 songs in each category. To give students some independence in their listening, I provided QR codes for each song. They were able to preview each piece and pick the one they wanted to analyze. The review they wrote for one was meant to show their understanding of what they heard and their ability to apply appropriate vocabulary. These activities combined took 4-5 days to complete.
The advertisement was fun because students got to share about the music and be as outrageous in their ad as they wanted to be. We warmed up by watching a couple of “as seen on tv” product commercials and clips of infomercials. We also looked at types of advertising techniques. You can find many websites that have student centered information on this – I used this one. Your ELA teachers might cover this as part of their standards so it may be an opportunity to collaborate! Once you start talking about these kids will come up with all kinds of current examples.
Students created a print ad (on poster or a google slide) or a script for a live commercial. The ad had to describe at least 3 elements of music in the song and use at least advertising techniques. They had a great time with who could come up with the most outrageous claims! The ads took about 3 days to complete (including the introduction of the advertising techniques.) You might need one more class period depending on how many students choose to present live commercials. If you have the technology the live commercials could be recorded and played back to the class, too.
We displayed many of these in the hallway with the QR codes so everyone in the school could check out some new music!
Remember that this is how I did things THIS TIME in my classroom. I’m
Here are links to all the materials used in these lessons: