Melody and Harmony

The second workbook I have made is for our Year 3 students.  It is primarily a recorder unit and builds on the Recorder Karate work the children accomplished in Year 2.  The assessment piece is the Brown Belt in Recorder Karate so there is an expectation that every child can get to this level.  Last year I found 80% of the children could play this well and some of them found it a bit too easy.  I have added some extension music for those children, especially the twelve students who got to Black Belt by the end of Year 2 with the pieces “Ballet”, “La Morisque” and “Greensleeves”.

The workbook is titled “Melody and Harmony” and the majority of the music is from the Medieval and Renaissance periods of music history with composers such as Pretorius, Susato and King Henry VIII himself, who was a very accomplished composer.  Traditionally the song “Greensleeves” is attributed to King Henry VIII although we are unsure about whether he wrote the melody or claimed it for himself.  We sing this song in class, although the language is quite tricky for EAL students and the melody is a challenge for our most able students.  It’s a good talking point to understand how language changes over time but human emotions such as sadness, rejection and love stay the same. We talk a little bit about Henry VIII and his six wives but the children are more interested to hear that when he died he left his collection of 76 recorders!

I teach what melody and harmony are by playing “London Bridge is Falling Down” using handbells. Seven children face the front in a line to play the melody on handbells.  Then I introduce the second part with another seven children behind them so they can understand the concept of harmony.  Later on we do the same thing with recorders as “Fanfare” has a second part.  I also introduce the concept of a capella by showing a video of “Jolene” by Dolly Parton and the Pentatonix.  In mathematics, Year 3 are learning the ideas of “horizontal” and “vertical” so this is a good time to show how this relates to melody and harmony.

This unit is strategically placed in the school year in Autumn 1 so the very best students can join the recorder club after half term where we will be rehearsing music for Christmas in two parts.  Anyone can join Recorder Club but I have found that the children self-select and normally the ones that join are the very best.

I hope this booklet is helpful, feel free to download and print.

Year 3 Melody and Harmony