Age Range: Elementary, Middle School
Learning Objective: Students will learn about a composer’s process by listening to the song Numbers. Students will use numbers on dice to create their own composition.
PREDICT. Without revealing the title, have students listen to about a minute of Numbers by Shruthi Rajasekar. After listening, ask them to discuss with what lyrics they heard and predict the title of the piece.
SAY. “The title of the composition is…. drumroll please….. Numbers! Shruthi Rajasekar is a composer from Minnesota, and we are going to learn about her thought process as she wrote this song.”
WATCH. Watch the Class Notes video, Numbers. (5 min.)
REFLECT. Discuss, journal, or draw a picture to respond to the following questions:
What are three ways you use numbers in everyday life?
How are numbers used in music?
Are numbers used in music in different ways?
Shruthi Rajasekar was inspired to compose a piece about numbers. What are some topics that inspire you? What would you compose a piece about?
CREATE. Use our Dice Composition Activity to allow students to practice composing by chance. Note: There are many variations with this activity, and you can adapt the activity to your resources or curriculum. Older students might use rhythm values or pitches. Younger students might use movement, letter sounds, or classroom instruments.
Choose one or both activities to extend learning.
LISTEN. Listen to another piece of music that uses numbers as lyrics, Knee Play 1 from Philip Glass’ opera Einstein on the Beach. While students listen, invite them to journal or reflect on the following prompts:
What does this music remind you of?
How does it make you feel?
How is it similar to Rajasekar’s piece?
How is it different?
Learn a little about the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Listen to some musical pieces inspired by these places!
Literacy meets music in this creative, hands-on lesson. Use favorite books and vocal and instrument exploration to create a musical soundtrack.
Music is a cultural expression. Visit different regions around the world to learn about unique genres of music and their core characteristics.
Learn the science behind pendulums and how composer Steve Reich used pendulums to create a unique piece of music.
Understand different types of maps and consider what it means to map out a piece of music.
Build on your understanding of musical mapping to create an instrument map for Bach's Brandenburg Concerto #2. This is part two of a two-lesson series.
Cryptograms are puzzles and can also be used as a way to structure a musical composition. For elementary and middle school students.