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    Smithsonian Institution
    MENC: The National Association for Music Education
  •   Teachers Guide
    Extension Activities: Episode Three


    Extension Activities for Episode 3:

    "Take a Little Walk With Me"

    Blue Lyrics

    Gospel Style

    Guitars--Electric and Acoutic

    Blues Improvisation

    Teachers note: After completing the introductory activities, use these extension activities to reach your curricular goals--and to have some fun! Some are designed for use as part of your daily lesson planning; some activities are better used as activities in which the student logs directly onto the internet for sound files and other enhancements. You will find these lessons and activities all listed in the activity index to this site. For some of these activities, you will need to consider purchasing the Smithsonian/Folkways compact disc set that goes with the program. This can be a useful resource, in particular, for those teachers who want to explore more deeply the musical styles introduced by the program.




    "Take a Little Walk With Me"

    Objective: The students will play a simple blues bass line.
    Resources:
    Procedures:
    • Have the students listen to the song on the CD.
    • Have them play along with the song, using the bass/treble parts in the score.





    Blues Lyrics

    Objective: The students will create their own blues lyrics.
    Resources:
    Procedures:
    • Have the students listen to several examples of blues songs from the program or from other sources.
    • Discuss the most usual blues form (three lines of words: the first two are the same, and the last word of line three rhymes with the last word of lines one and two.





    "Gospel Style"

    Objective: The students learn about gospel style and about what participation in a choir can mean.
    Resources:
    Procedures:
    • Have students listen to and watch the Mississippi Mass Choir on the program.
    • Investigate community resources--invite local gospel singers to sing for the class and discuss the music.
    • Discuss the comments by various members of the Mass Choir concerning group participation (also, if possible, discuss the comments by members of the Boundless Love Quartet, which appears earlier in the program).
    • Guide students in discussing the benefits and pleasures of their own group participation in music.
    • Sing songs in gospel style.





    Guitars--Electric and Acoustic

    Objective: The students will learn about some of the differences between electric and acoustic guitars as used in blues.
    Resources:
    Procedures:
    • Have the students listen to the program segment with Jack Johnson, focusing on his discussion and demonstration of the differences between acoustic guitar technique and electric (slide) guitar technique. (Click here for an acoustic sample; click here for an electric sample).
    • Have the students research the historical and physical differences between acoustic and electric guitars. Encourage them to start at the MENC Guitar site, www.menc.org/music_classes/guitar/guitar.html and the Smithsonian electric guitar site, http://www.si.edu/lemelson/guitars/index.htm.





    Blues Improvisation

    Objective: The students will improvise over a shuffle blues progression.
    Resources:
    Procedures:
    • Have students listen to the midi sound sample online.
    • Have them improvise, using any pitched instruments, on the pitches shown in the score.
    • Have them add the simple blues bass learned earlier.
    • Have them use one of their improvised melodies, along with the blues lyrics they have written, to make a complete blues song.






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