Submitted by Deborah Tidwell, Garden City, Kansas
Idea posted August 1, 2006
Here is a great project for fourth graders as they learn the nuts and bolts of music theory and note reading:
I called my local pizza place and asked for unused medium pizza boxes. (They gave them to me at no charge, and even delivered them with my pizza!) Then, I printed up the instructions listed below for each student. We spent several days working on them. Once they finished, I kept the boxes in the music room and used them for manipulatives for note reading and learning note/rest values. I gave them each bingo chips to use as "notes" on the staff. (I found a bingo web site that sold them very cheaply.) It was a great hands-on exercise and was cross-curricular (i.e., they had to read technical writing, follow directions, know that the staff has five lines, etc.)Make Your Own Music Box
Markers / crayons / colored pencils
8 strips of paper 12" x 3"
Read all of the steps first, then do each step in pencil first.
Top of lid:
1. Choose a color of paper.
2. Use the white paper provided to make a rough draft of your design.
3. Show your design to the teacher.
4. Transfer the rough draft to your colored paper.
5. Show the finished cover to the teacher.
6. Glue your cover to the top of the box.
Back: Rhythm measure
1. Measure the width of the box.
2. Mark the center of the box with a pencil.
3. Draw a vertical line down the center in pencil.
4. Draw a line three inches to the left of the center line.
5. Draw another line three inches to the right of the center line.
6. From left to right, number the sections 1-4.
7. Show your box to the teacher for approval.
8. Make changes if you need to.
9. Draw over the pencil marks with a dark marker.
Choose eight strips of paper; you can choose all one color or use different colors.First Strip: Draw a whole note.
Second Strip: Draw a whole rest.
Third Strip: Cut in half (fold paper to find the center, then cut on the line). Draw a half note.
Fourth strip: Cut in half. Draw a half rest.
Fifth strip: Cut in four equal pieces. Draw a quarter note on each piece.
Sixth strip: Cut in four equal pieces. Draw a quarter rest on each piece.
Seventh strip: Cut off ONLY 1/4 of this strip. Draw a dotted half note on the long piece.
Eighth strip: Cut off ONLY 1/4 of this strip. Draw a dotted half rest on the long piece.
Inside bottom: (Grand Staff)
1. In pencil, draw 11 horizontal lines one inch apart and 12 inches long. Leave approximately one inch of space at the top and bottom of the box.
2. Erase part of the middle line so that it is a dotted line.
3. Draw a treble clef on the left side of the top staff (five lines) and a bass clef on the left side of the bottom staff (five lines).
Inside lid: (Piano keyboard)
1. Using a ruler, draw a horizontal straight line near the top of the box.
2. Draw another horizontal line five inches below the first line.
3. Draw 12 vertical lines one inch apart from the top line to the bottom line.
4. Label the bottom of each section, or key, with the letters of the musical alphabet starting with "A." Remember to start over with "A" after "G." (There is no "H" in MUSIC!)
5. Study the piano keyboard in your music book, place the black keys in the correct places, and check with the teacher before glueing them down.
6. Draw an arrow pointing the right and label it "Up" higher.
7. Draw an arrow pointing to the left and label it "Down" lower.
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