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Music 4a(B)-8th grade Assignments

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History of the Ukulele in Google Classroom

History of the Ukulele

Read the following short history, then watch the video link at the bottom, lastly mark as done/turn in.

History of the Ukulele

The OriginsWhile the ukulele is a uniquely Hawaiian instrument, its roots are in the Portuguese braguinha or machete de braga. The braguinha is a stringed instrument smaller than a guitar whose tuning is very similar to the first four strings of a guitar. By 1850, sugar plantations had become a major economic force in Hawaii, and the plantations needed more workers. Many waves of immigrants came to the islands, including a large number of Portuguese who brought their branguinhas with them.

Legend dates the beginning of the Hawaii infatuation with the branguinha to August 23, 1879. A ship called the Ravenscrag arrived in Honolulu Harbor and released its passengers after a rather arduous journey. One of the passengers began singing songs of thanksgiving for finally reaching his destination and accompanied himself with a branguina. The story goes that the local Hawaiians were very moved by his performance and nicknamed the instrument "Jumping Flea" (one possible translation of ukulele) for the way his fingers moved on the fretboard.
PopularityThe popularity of the ukulele was assured by the patronage of the royal family. The Hawaiian king, King David Kalakauna, loved the ukulele so much he incorporated it into traditional Hawaiian dances and music. He and his sister, Lili'uokalani (who would become queen after him), would have songwriting contests on the ukulele. The monarchs of Hawaii made sure that the ukulele would become completely intertwined with the musical culture of Hawaii.

Spreading to the MainlandIn the early 1900s tourism in Hawaii was starting to take off, and people were enchanted by the beautiful tropical islands with their unique music and dance traditions. Several touring shows of Hawaiian performers crossed the mainland, introducing people to the sound of the ukulele. In 1915, the Panama-Pacific International Exposition was held in San Francisco to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal. One of the exhibit areas was a Hawaiian Pavilion which featured daily performances by hula dancers and musicians. It proved to be one of the most popular exhibits at the Exposition. Tin Pan Alley songwriters fell in love with Hawaii and the ukulele became a popular instrument on the mainland, so much so that ukuleles started being made off the island.
The PresentThe ukulele's popularity on the mainland waned after the 1950s with the beginnings of rock and roll. Where before every child wanted a ukulele, now they wanted a guitar. But the ukulele's easy playability and unique sound is helping it make a comeback in the present, with ukulele songs by Jason Mraz and Train making it onto the top 40 radio stations.Of course, the ukulele never lost popularity in Hawaii. One of the most famous ukulele musicians is the late Israel "Iz" Ka'ano'i Kamakawiwo'ole (affectionatley known as Bruddah Iz by Hawaiians) whose cover of Somewhere Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World was an international bestseller. Another name to know is Jake Shimabukuro, who is considered by many to be a virtuoso on the ukulele. Jake is also notable for reaching worldwide attention from a single viral video on Youtube.

Jake Shimabukuro video link
Created by John Garland: Wednesday, April 14 10:54 PM


journal 4.13.21 in Google Classroom

journal 4.13.21

Music performance requires a student to develop skills, both to physically play the instrument and skills to understand how to read notes or numbers and charts.  

1. How are these skills related to sports?  
2 .How are the related to language arts? 
3. How are they related to STEM (science/tech/engineering/math)?
Created by John Garland: Wednesday, April 14 10:54 PM


Remote lesson 2 in Google Classroom

Remote lesson 2

All you need to do for today's music assignment is to private comment.

We are going to have mass leader ship on 5/14/21 and record a song after (likely outside or inside wearing masks).

Would you rather sing:  God is in the House, Indescribable, I want to go to Church, all of the above, or other?

Would you have interest in sign language, liturgical dance, playing an instrument, hand motions?

Please be detailed if you'd like to suggest anything.  Thanks.
Created by John Garland: Wednesday, April 28 8:04 AM


Remote lesson 1 in Google Classroom

Remote lesson 1

1.  Please review the lyrics from these 6 pdfs.  We will create a mashup of them in the near future.

2.  In a private comment, tell me which song was your favorite to sing in church over the years.  It could be any song we sing in church.

3.  In the same private comment - tell me which Catholic celebration is the subject in VERSE 2 of God Is In The House ?
Created by John Garland: Tuesday, April 20 11:33 AM


Free lesson in Google Classroom

Free lesson

Due to absences and an extra day compared to the other 8th grade courses I teach today will be a self guided lesson.

IMPORTANT: Enter a private comment about what you did and include any thoughts about it or what you learned.

Music Sequencers:

Music Theory:

Virtual instruments:

Choral game with parts:

Appropriate TedEd music videos:

Created by John Garland: Wednesday, February 24 12:22 PM


Journal Entry in Google Classroom

Journal Entry

Reflect on your time at Holy Family South Campus.
Please answer ALL of the following questions.

1. Which music lessons were most meaningful?
2. What musical curriculum was most impactful?
3. What ways could general music (not band or choir) class be more engaging?
4. How likely are you to choose music/choir/band/theatre as an elective in high school?
5. What other activities would you have liked to done in music class that we did NOT do?

Use a private comment, send, mark as done/turn in when done! Thanks
Created by John Garland: Wednesday, March 17 11:49 AM




Today, you will complete the following:

1. Use the links below to discover one female composer or instrumentalist.

2. You will do a 40 or 45-minute project on your chosen female composer from these lists.
The project WILL take all of class to complete. There is no “I finished early.” We work through the whole period.
You will turn in a written paper when finished. There is no maximum or minimum. If it takes you 45 minutes to research and write one paragraph, It should be the most intriguing paragraph I have ever read!
My guess is you will be able to research many sources (Wikipedia, artist website, history pages) and come up with several sentences to organize into a clear document.
Please use 12 pt. font, and double space if possible. Try to keep your paragraphs about related content.
Some ideas to explore are the struggles faced, the resistance to their artistry, the support they may have gotten, their artistry and vision.
Stay away from too many strictly demographic facts (birth, death, origin, places lived are all fine, but not that interesting if there is no reason why we are reading about them).

3. Finally, conclude with your thoughts on why it is important we celebrate women composers, instrumentalist, athletes, scientists, inventors, etc. Why do you think they have been under-valued or under-represented? This “last part” of the assignment doesn’t have to be about your composer, more about society.
Created by John Garland: Tuesday, March 23 7:36 PM


World Music Quiz  in Google Classroom

World Music Quiz

Created by John Garland: Wednesday, March 10 2:08 PM


Review of World Music unit in Google Classroom

Review of World Music unit

World Music Review:

India: Hindustani (North) and Karnatak (South) Music. Heavily based on Raga, which is a pattern of notes used for composing and improvising. Defining instruments include the Sitar (string instrument), Tabla (drums), and Bansuri (flute). Heavily based in spiritual and earthly connection.

China: Based on pentatonic (5 note) scale mainly. Many different types of instruments including; Ehru (like a violin), Sheng (wind instrument), Guzheng (harp), and Yangqin (hammered dulcimer). A lot of emphasis on solo performance. Connection to elements of the earth.

Caribbean music: Many cultures in one area. Combinations of native, European, and African influence. Cuba and Puerto Rica known for Salsa music, and more. Mostly dance music, played in ensembles. Heavy focus on community and dance/music. Haiti has heavier African influence, drum and vocal based folk music. Jamaica known for Reggae, an often-political message, and other folk types of music. Many more styles exist in the Caribbean world.

Music in North America: We discussed during Black History Month the many contributions African music gave to the Americas, and specifically examined some music from the 20th century. This includes Ragtime, Jazz, Blues, Gospel, Rhythm & Blues (R&B), Rock & Roll, Motown, Soul, Funk, and Hip hop/Rap. These forms combine European instruments and theory with African polyrhythms, vocal forms, and some tonal scales. The blend of cultures over time has given the U.S. a unique sound and set of genres.
We did not discuss Americana (folk, roots) music of Appalachia or Country/Western music. Instruments include guitar, drums, banjo, fiddle (violin), mandolin, piano, etc.

Sample questions/comments you should be able to answer:
Common instruments, purpose of the music (dance, worship, entertainment), audio examples,
Created by John Garland: Wednesday, March 3 11:32 AM


CHINA in Google Classroom


Read through the pdf. Listen to the audio examples. In a private comment, write which instrument we discussed that you like best.

Things to note: scale used, instruments used, and presentation.

Erhu -
Sheng -
Yangqin -
Guzheng -
Created by John Garland: Wednesday, February 3 2:50 PM


INDIA in Google Classroom


Read the two pdf files along with me.

Listen to the audio examples.

Reflect on what you know about Western Tonal Music (What we listen to in Europe/US/Latin America).

Create a 3-5 sentence, well thought out response, using a private comment.

After learning surface information about India's two major regions, typical instruments, and Ragas, Compare and contrast them with Western Tonal Music. Be specific and sensitive.
Created by John Garland: Wednesday, January 27 1:06 PM


Video lessons in Google Classroom

Video lessons

Watch these three videos and leave a Private comment: What did you learn from the first video, and what was your favorite sounds from the second and third video.
Created by John Garland: Wednesday, January 20 6:55 AM


Optional Resources in Google Classroom

Optional Resources

1. Groove pizza allows you to create beats, be sure to really explore this one.

2. Music RE-MIX STUDIO allows you to mix the levels like an audio engineer.

3. Note Flight allows you to create music scores. If you know how to read music at all, this is a great tool to explore (free sign up required - use school email).

4. Chrome music labs SONG MAKER

5. Online Sequencer

6. is a mega resource for lessons, exercises, and tools.

Created by John Garland: Wednesday, January 13 8:56 AM


Quarter 2 research project in Google Classroom

Quarter 2 research project

- Choose one of the assignment options listed below.
- The report should be 3 paragraphs in length. (About 10-15 sentences total)
- You should cite at least two references. MLA format is best for this. (Tell me where you got the information, like a work cited page or bibliography)
- Plagiarism is ALWAYS unacceptable, so no "copy/paste."
- Please use proper grammar and spelling.

Assignment Options

1. Write a report on Broadway musicals. You could include the history of musicals, major composers, major productions, styles, and staging differences. Talk about your
favorite parts and why.

2. Write a report on a popular singer or band. Talk about how they got their start in music and discuss one of their songs in detail. Talk about the meaning of the song
but also about any musical details: rhythm, instruments, chords, etc.

3. Write a report on a movie musical you've seen, such as West Side Story, Hairspray, High School Musical, Phantom of the Opera, Guys and Dolls, Wizard of Oz, etc. Be sure to include information about the characters, performers, composer, plot, and music.

4. Choose a famous composer and write an essay about his or her life, contributions to music, and important compositions. (Think Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Bach Mozart, Vivaldi, etc) OR CHOOSE A FEMALE COMPOSER, because their are many, just underrepresented in history.

5. Write a report about the importance of vocal health. Describe the vocal mechanism and explain how to remain in good vocal health. Discuss the “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of taking care of your voice.

6. Choose a career in music (examples include: music teacher, music producer, sound engineer, professional instrumentalist or singer, etc) to research and write a report about necessary skills for this job, training, employment possibilities, salary, and job responsibilities.
Created by John Garland: Monday, November 23 7:21 PM


Christmas rhythm in Google Classroom

Christmas rhythm

Replace the lyrics: Replace the "gift" Use the correct amount of syllables to keep the rhythm correct.

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
My TEACHER gave to me:

Twelve -drummers drumming, 4
Eleven -pipers piping, 4
Ten -lords a-leaping, 4
Nine -ladies dancing, 4
Eight -maids a-milking, 4
Seven -swans a-swimming, 4
Six -geese a-laying, 4
Five -golden rings! 3
Four -calling birds, 3
Three -French hens, 2
Two -turtle doves, 3
And a -partridge in a pear tree. 6


Created by John Garland: Wednesday, December 9 8:26 AM


Cross-curricular content in Music in Google Classroom

Cross-curricular content in Music

1. Read the following “Inquiry based learning” questions:

Initial questions
 What do you already know about this?
 What are you wondering about it? / What do you want to find out?
 How could we look for some answers?
 Where should we start?
 Why does it matter? Why are we learning this?

Questions for once process is started
 What are your most important questions?
 What goals will you set for your learning?

Reflective and ending questions
 How can you support your conclusion? What evidence do you have?
 How has your thinking changed?
 How does this compare to what you had expected?
 How will you apply this learning to another experience?
 Why is it important for you to understand this?
 How can you explain this to someone else?

Now think! How does music involve math, language, history, and science?

2. Watch TWO of the videos below.


MUSIC AS A LANGUAGE (I love the narrator in this one- he is one of my favorite bass players)



3. Write TWO 4-5 sentence paragraphs. ONE for each video you chose.
Use MLA format in a Google Doc. Summarize what you learned in the video, why you choose that video, and what surprised you in the video. You can also answer any of the inquiry based learning questions.

November FUN LINKS
Created by John Garland: Tuesday, November 10 10:41 AM


Class Song Resources  in Google Classroom

Class Song Resources

Intro, Verse, Chorus (also called refrain), Bridge, Tag

VOCAB WORDS for ARRANGEMENT – who is playing/singing what and when
Instrumentation (what instruments), texture (how the voices are presented).

Lyrics attached.


Karaoke track

live version

****************ASSIGNMENT: In a Google Doc, Write the FORM of song and the ARRANGEMENT. **************
Click the link for the studio version. Write the order of parts, then for each part, write what instruments you hear, how many vocalists? background vocals? Note the dynamics if important.
Created by John Garland: Tuesday, October 27 11:20 PM