Deconstructing Music: Using sound wave science to build a song (middle)
Last changed: 07/03/2019 10:25am6 , 7 , 8  Music 
Music  Math Science 
Both Grade Level and Arts/PE Program  Alignment 
1  60 min 
1  other 
The program can be tailored to one standard class period, from 45 to 60 minutes.  
InSchool Workshop  
All Year  
$10  0 
$200  0 
no  Phone , Email 
Music Building Blocks, Handouts, Keyboard  
None  
Smartboard or other projector that can be hooked to a laptop. A cleared space (approx 12' x 12' minimum) in the classroom where students can build using the large foam blocks provided.  
I can understand how differences in wave length create different pitches. I can understand that there is a vertical component (harmony) and horizontal component (melody) in music. I can construct a simple harmony by stacking three notes on top of each other. I can construct a simple melody by lining up 8 notes side by side. 

Students will learn about sound waves via the vertical (harmonic) and horizontal (melodic) aspects in music. This will be based on the natural overtone series (the mathematical principle that determines why some notes sound good together and why some don't). Chords are vertical (stacked notes). Melody is horizontal (notes side by side). Students enter to find large, colored blocks arranged into a short composition. Each block has a note name on it. There will be a line of notes arranged horizontally, making a melody. Behind it will be groups of three notes stacked on top of each other, making the harmony. The teaching artist will play the composition on piano, then explain the concept of melody and harmony. He will demonstrate the overtone series via graphs and computer simulations shown on the smartboard/projector. They will learn why some groups of notes sound good together, and others do not, based on the interaction of sound waves. They will then work in small groups to build their own vertical harmony by stacking 3 notes on top of each other. Through experimentation they will see that, by following the rules of the overtone series, they can make combinations of notes that sound good together. When they break the rules, the harmonies will sound very bad. The teaching artist will play each group's harmony on piano. They will then move onto melody, learning about the natural construction of melody. They will learn the terms tonic (most important note) and dominant (second most important). The groups will then build a melody by placing 8 notes in a row. . They will end by putting together harmony and melody, thereby reconstructing their own variation of what the teaching artist presented at the beginning of class. Depth of scientific information will vary by grade level.  
Students will learn about vertical (harmonic) and horizontal (melodic) aspects of music. This will be based on the natural overtone series (the mathematical principle that determines why some notes sound good together and why some don't). Chords are vertical (stacked notes). Melody is horizontal (notes side by side). Students enter to find large, colored blocks arranged into a short composition. Each block has a note name on it. There will be a line of notes arranged horizontally, making a melody. Behind it will be groups of three notes stacked on top of each other, making the harmony. The teaching artist will play the composition on piano, then explain the concept of melody and harmony. He will demonstrate the overtone series via graphs and computer simulations shown on the smartboard/projector. They will learn why some groups of notes sound good together, and others do not, based on the interaction of sound waves. They will then work in small groups to build their own vertical harmony by stacking 3 notes on top of each other. Through experimentation they will see that, by following the rules of the overtone series, they can make combinations of notes that sound good together. When they break the rules, the harmonies will sound very bad. The teaching artist will play each group's harmony on piano. They will then move onto melody, learning about the natural construction of melody. They will learn the terms tonic (most important note) and dominant (second most important). The groups will then build a melody by placing 8 notes in a row. . They will end by putting together harmony and melody, thereby reconstructing their own variation of what the teaching artist presented at the beginning of class. Depth of scientific information will vary by grade level.  
2 caregivers could be included, but are not necessary.  
Grade 6 
Grade 6: Science: Waves and Electromagnetic Radiation: Use mathematical representations to describe a simple model for waves that includes how the amplitude of a wave is related to the energy in a wave: A simple wave has a repeating pattern with a specific wavelength, frequency, and amplitude. (MSPS41) 
Grade 6: Music: Creating: Anchor Standard 1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work: Generate simple rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic phrases 
Grade 7 
Grade 7: Science: Waves and Electromagnetic Radiation: Use mathematical representations to describe a simple model for waves that includes how the amplitude of a wave is related to the energy in a wave: A simple wave has a repeating pattern with a specific wavelength, frequency, and amplitude. (MSPS41) 
Grade 7: Music: Creating: Anchor Standard 1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work: Generate rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic phrases and variations over harmonic accompaniments 
Grade 8 
Grade 8: Science: Waves and Electromagnetic Radiation: Use mathematical representations to describe a simple model for waves that includes how the amplitude of a wave is related to the energy in a wave: A simple wave has a repeating pattern with a specific wavelength, frequency, and amplitude. (MSPS41) 
Grade 8: Music: Creating: Anchor Standard 1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work: Generate rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic phrases and variations over harmonic accompaniments 