As most teachers know, the week before a planned school break can sometimes be a living nightmare, the kids are excited for a few days off and sometimes you can’t help but to start to feel the same. What I did inorder to not get pulled into the “it’s almost vacation!” vortex was give myself a challenge this week. I wanted to keep my brain moving at least until friday and then come in for the two days of school next week only hoping to have fun.I challenged myself to see how many new webquests I could write and I do have to say..I went a little nuts.. but in a good way. It was a nice creative challenge for my brain. Something I could go into work every morning and spend 15 minutes outlining and then type out during my lunch time. These quests are going to be great new challenges for my students, I can print one out and let students take them for extra credit to continue to discover about music at home! I think my #Webquestchallenge week was a great sucess not only producing some new quests but also a really cute iBook that I made for my iPad with all my new and old Quaver quests!
The following are my 5 days of quest entries, most are Quaver but I have a few others mixed in as well from Music Delta, Incredibox, and SFSKids! (The grade level and lessons beside each Quaver quest are suggested curriculum lessons that the quest might go along with)
Quavermusic.com- Chorus (3rd Grade Lesson 4- Identifying Different Voices)
A choir is a group of people who get together and sing! No instruments other than their voices. Did you know there are 4 different types of voices in a choir? Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass. Follow the steps to discover whom a choir is all about!
1. Head into the shop, but do not worry! You are not there to purchase anything, click on the Jukebox near the guitars in the window and try to find a song that has more than one person singing in it! Do their voices sound the same or different?
2. Madrigals were written hundreds of years ago in the Renaissance and early Baroque time periods and were written to be sung without any instruments, just the singers! They had many voices singing different parts all at the same time! Head to the Phonebox and travel to the Madrigal time period to read the book and answer the questions!
3. Usually choirs sing in more than one part but at the same time. Do you know that we can call that a chord? Head to the Ear IQ carnival in the lab to test your listening skills in the chord game! Try to listen to each individual voice!
4. Now here is your big challenge! I need you to head to QComposer on the stage in the Studio. Using the Chord Builder, build me a C to F to G to C chord progression and then listen to your creation and try to hear each note as it is played. After, try to find and place a C to F to G to C phrase in the bass line to add your 4th voice!
Incredibox.com- Loops/ Vocal Ostinatos
An ostinato is a short repeated pattern! Can you make your own using Incredibox? Follow the steps below to layer voice ostinatos together and create one rocking tune!
- Choose one loop from each section and put it together. Try muting a few or soloing one. Can you hear each voice?
- Now mix it up! Take out at least 3 of your guys and put in 3 new ones of your choosing! Do you like how it fits together? If not what do you need to change?
- Press the record button towards the top left of the screen and record it at least halfway through. After, press share and share your creation with your teacher!
Quavermusic.com Dynamics- (5th lesson 15, 3rd lesson 18, 1st lesson 25)
Dynamics make a piece of music more interesting by allowing it to get LOUD and soft at different times. It adds a little spice to turn in a simple melody into a killer tune! What do you know about Dynamics? Follow the steps around the Quaver world to test your skills!
- Did you know that the Italian clavichord and harpsichord maker Bartolomeo Cristofori created what we know now as the piano in order to give musicians an instrument to better play loud and soft on? He opened the world of dynamics up to many musicians! Travel back to his time on the Phonebox and read the book and answer the questions to find out more!
- Next, head to the Jukebox in the Shop and click on the Shop episode songs. Listen to the Use Dynamics track and sing along to learn more about why we use dynamics!
- Here is the test, go to the QComposer on the stage in the studio and get out your composing brain! Using only the treble clef line, create a 4 measure melody where the dynamics change 2 times! Try for one loud dynamic marking and one soft. You can change dynamics by clicking the dynamic button on the bottom left and choosing your dynamic, then clicking where you want the level to change in your melody!
QuaverMusic.com ( 3rd lesson 8, 2nd lesson 13, 1st lesson 16) Melodic Contour.
Many times, a melody flows smooth up and down the staff like a river. Sometimes it goes way up and sometimes it goes way down. Float down the river of directions below to lean about how a melody flows.
- We call how a melody moves up and down the staff a melodic contour. Head to the painting easel called Songbrush in the Shop and practice making lines that flow up and down across the staff. Listen to them and hear how the notes go up and down!
- You will need a piece of paper and a pencil for this one. Now head to the Jukebox and double click the Classical music in the menu. Choose a song and write the title at the top of the page. Now listen to that song and try to draw a line like you did in Songbrush on the page. Play the song again after you are done and trace the line with your finger. Do you think you followed it?
- Here’s your turn to make your own melody that goes up and down like a river on the staff. Head to QComposer and using just the treble clef line create a 5 measure melody using only quarter notes that looks smooth with no big jumps. Save it and play it after for a friend after to see if they can follow along.
SFSkids.com Composing and Creating
It’s your turn to be a future famous composer like Bach or Beethoven! Follow the steps to learn how to create a melody yourself.
- Head to the Music lab first, you will stay in the lab for this whole quest! Click on The Basics and take notes about different parts of making music. You will need this knowledge for later.
- Head to Symbols and practice dragging and dropping different symbols in each area of the melody and pressing play. How do they sounds? What makes each one different? Do they add their own little spice to the melody?
- Now you need to visit the Composerizer last to try your luck at creating a beautiful piece of music!
Music Delta- Beatles
The Beatles were a very famous pop band that changed pop music forever when they arrived in the US! Follow the steps to learn more about the band from England that changed music.
- Click on the History menu at the top of the screen and select Popular. Now on the left click Beatles and read the article right on that page to learn more about their history. Was there anything unique about them? Any funny things that stood out to you?
- Now select the Help video from the featured video links to the right and watch the Beatles in action. What makes their performance different than what you see today.
- Now up at the top hit the Planet link to be taken to Music Delta Planet and select the England group toward the top left of the globe. Walk your character to the building John Lennon is standing in front of. Let Lennon introduce himself before you enter the building and start playing with the Beatles on the stage. Place them where ever you would like and click play. Experiment with moving them, what
Quaver Music- Tempo (4th lesson 17, 1st lessons 22-24, K lessons 25-27)
Tempo can be so tricky! Some times a song might go slow, and sometimes it might go fast! Just like a racecar! Let’s discover how to find tempos as we travel around Quavermusic.com.
- You need to turn on your listening ears for this one! Head to the Jukebox in the Shop and find one song that is presto (fast) and one song that is largo (slow.) Write down your findings to share in class!
- Did you know that when music first started having different tempos how fast you could go was because of the genre of music you were playing? Head to the Metro and find two different stops that have two different types of tempo. Find a stop that has mostly fast music and one that has mostly slow music.
- Now your challenge is to head to QBackbeat in the Studio and create a beat at either Largo, Presto, or Moderato. After click Play-along track and select a track at the same tempo. Do both of the tracks fit together?
Quavermusic- Phrase ( 2nd lesson 14)
A musical phrase is like a sentence, it has a beginning, middle and an end. You can hear when it starts and when it ends but sometimes it can be a challenge. Lets start turning on our listening ears and find those phrases in the music.
- Head to the Metro and travel to the Classical stop. Click the menu and click music. Select the Aquarium from the Carnival of the Animals and try to count how many different phrases you hear in the music.
- As we have already said, phrases are like sentences. Go to QSkits in the Shop and come up with a skit that only has 5 different sentences. Sometimes in music it does not have many phrases but still says a lot! Make sure your skit says a lot without really saying many different things.
- In QComposer in the Studio click the melody maker and choose 3 different melodies/phrase and place them how you would like in the staff. Can you hear where each melody starts and ends?
Quavermusic – Intonation (1st lesson 15, K lessons 10-12)
Intonation means how accurate you are singing a pitch kind of like hitting a target with an arrow. It takes practice and not everyone can do it! I know you’ll be able to do it. Follow the steps to practice your accuracy.
- How smart your ears are is a big deal with intonation! Travel to the Lab and click on the EarIQ carnival. Practice the Pitch and Interval games to train your ears!
- Now it’s time to practice your accuracy, what is better than a little target practice? Head to the music room and play QSplat in the arcade!
- Time to compose and sing! Prance over to the Studio and head to QComposer. Using only the treble clef create a 2-measure melody practicing how to sing the notes as you place each one. After hit the play button and practice how to sing it!
Quavermusic- Theme and Variation
Every song has a theme or a specific melody; sometimes that theme is changed to create a variation on that melody! There can be one theme but more than one variation. Explore Quaver using the step below to find out more!
- Dance on over to Songbrush on the Shop to create a masterpiece! This is your theme, play it and then change it just a little bit, listen to your first variation and then change it again. How do your variations sound compared to your theme?
- Now to head to the Jukebox in the Shop and double click the Shop Episode songs in the menu, listen to the B Section Baby song! Did you know the B section in a song is like the variation and the chorus of a song is the theme!
- Here’s the test, go to QComposer on the stage in the Studio, use only the treble clef line and place four quarter notes in the first measure. Now take those 4 quarter notes and figure out what the note names are those are the only four note names you can use now! In the second measure take those same four notes and change them up, then do the same in the third. After, copy your first measure in the fourth measure. Listen to your creation! Do you hear the theme in measures in one and four and the variations in measures two and three?
I created a book.. after all of this quest writing this week I went a little further with my Quaver quests and used iBooks Author to create an iBook with all 26 of my Quaver quests I have written. With 90% of the quests now are suggested lessons in the curriculum that the quest might be a nice homework or extra credit assignment for. They also might be fun for a full class of younger students to do together as a nice before vacation activity.
Proud of my little book!
I created the book as a way to keep all my quests all in one little place and have no plans to hit the publish button myself or share the full book online in a public place. If you are interested in a copy you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be more than happy to share it privately with you!