World Percussion

BY Patricia Anderson

Mattacheese Middle School

Project Description

My goal is to have world percussion instruments to use in the grade 6 music curriculum. We have some world percussion instruments but not enough and not enough of a variety from different cultures. At the present time grade six students study rhythm. Students learn to read rhythms, play rhythms, and write rhythms. Rhythm is the foundation of music so it’s essential that students have an understanding of how rhythm works. My objective is to align with the social studies curriculum in grade 6 which includes cultures in Africa, South America, Australia, and Oceania. Activities would include learning the origin of  the instruments and the technique used to play them. These activities will culminate with each class having its’ own world percussion ensemble and learning to play as an ensemble.

How will the project be evaluated (e.g. how will you gauge its success)

Students will be evaluated on their knowledge of the instruments, their skills reading the music for the instruments they play, and their ability to play in an ensemble. The project will be evaluated by the students and the teacher. Students will use an evaluation sheet that will ask the questions: 1. Can I recognize and name the instruments in the world percussion? 2. Do I understand the playing technique of each instrument? 3. Can I read the rhythms and play them on each instrument? 4. Can I play in the ensemble and play my part at the tempo required? The teacher will answer the same questions about each student and then compare answers.

Benefit to the students and the school

Every student will benefit by having an instrument to play. in music instruction it is so much more meaningful for a student to have something to play instead of just see photographs or read about how it’s done. In addition, the instruments can be used by any of the instrumental or vocal ensembles in concert. At the present time Mattacheese Middle School has two concert bands, a jazz band, and a steel drum ensemble, as well as, two orchestras, a fiddlers group, and bagpipers. There are two choruses, a select ladies group and a select boys group. All of these groups could use these instruments at any time.

Timeline of Project (when will you do the project, if applicable)

The project has already begun with students learning music symbols and learning notes and note values in order to play and write rhythms. It will take until April for us to begin looking at and learning about percussion instruments from Africa, South America, Australia, and Oceania.