Lesson Content


There are 13 exercises to complete during Lesson 8 + 1 homework.

  • Before the lesson:
    • Scroll down the page to view information about each exercise
    • Ensure you have read through the preparation guide to this lesson
  • During the lesson:
    • Press ‘open slideshow’ in the top right corner of the page to display and play lesson resources to the class.
    • Download & print the lesson content information at the bottom of this page to reference during class

Lesson Content + Exercise Information:

1. Discussion: Responding to Signs:
  1. Discuss different everyday signs that we respond to.
  2. Suggest a couple of examples, asking the class what they should do when they see these signs e.g. a ‘green man’ at the pedestrian crossing,
  3. Ask the class to turn to the person next to them and think about another common sign that gives an instruction.

Have the pairs share their ideas with the class.

2. Explain the Connection with Musical Symbols:
  1. Explain how written music is made up of lots of signs and symbols so that every musician in every country can understand how to play their instruments, no matter what language they speak.
  2. Discuss what each symbol means of in turn (except for forte). Play verse 1 of the music; as it plays point to the 3-beat rhythm and have pupils clap. At the pause, point to the ‘pause’ sign’. Immediately after the pause, 3 notes play followed by a ‘rest’. There is a crescendo just after this set of notes and before the chorus.
  3. Ask if anyone recognises the ‘forte’ symbol and what it might mean in music.

3. Introduce Frederick Forte:
  1. Introduce the Frederick Forte symbol.
  2. Read the word forte together as a class.
  3. Explain that ‘forte’ is the Italian word for loud (here you can ask if any pupils know the word for ‘loud’ in another language).
  4. Explain that when the orchestra plays loud music, it is because Frederick Forte has appeared to tell then to play loudly. Musicians play loudly when they want to tell us something exciting is happening in the music or in the story.

4. Responding to Words:
  1. Hand out untuned instruments to the pupils.
  2. Ask an individual to read one of the scenarios out loud.
  3. Have another individual play their instrument either loudly or softly to match how they would act in that situation.
  4. Discuss as a class if they think loud or quiet noises are appropriate for that scenario and why e.g. we would be quieter during a car journey it would be dangerous to be loud.
  5. Repeat with the other scenarios.
 5. Recap the Crescendo Symbol: Recap the meaning of a crescendo sign (getting gradually louder).

Invite a volunteer to demonstrate a crescendo on an untuned instrument.

Ask the pupils if they think Frederick forte would appear at the beginning or the end of the crescendo (the end – that is where the music gets loudest. He could even appear in the middle if the music was loud enough).

You can draw a forte symbol on the board in the position you believe the forte should be placed.


 6. Responding to Signs:
  1. Hand out untuned instruments to each child.
  2. Have everyone create a three-beat rhythm together.
  3. They should play the beats and say the beat names (louder on number 1).
  4. You will hold up music signs (or point to) for the class to respond to. When the signs are down, resume normal playing. For example:
    1. After 4 bars of 3 beats have been played, hold up the forte sign
    2. After another 4 bars, hold up the crescendo sign – keep it up for 2 bars so they have to keep getting louder.
  5. Call out the names of pupils for them to perform changes alone.
7.  Performing exercise: Responding to music:
  1. Hand out untuned instruments
  2. Play the music (beginning until final verse) – discuss which instruments are playing and what events are happening.
  3. When the music is loud, hold up the ‘forte sheet’ for the class and they must play loud music, playing quietly and engaging in discussion about what is happening in the music when the forte sheet is not being shown
  4. When there is a crescendo, hold up the ‘crescendo sheet’ for the class and they must play their instruments in a crescendo

Sing the song with actions during the chorus OR sing the rhythm (numbers of beats instead of words).

Only the first part of the chorus is display to work on memory!


8. Recap rhythm, introduce different time signatures:
  1. Explain that before we explore playing forte in the music, we need to recap our work about ‘rhythm’.
  2. Recap knowledge about ‘beats’ and rhythm in music.
  3. Explain that a 1 Beat note is called a crotchet (have the class repeat the word, clapping for each syllable).
  4. Recap time signature and have the class clap the 2 bars, counting to 3 in each bar.
  5. Show the class how the time signature changes from 3 to 2 beats in the bar.
  6. Ask for a volunteers to come and draw the number of crotchets needed for the final bar.
  7. Clap the whole line as a class, counting out loud (the final bar will need to be slower, as there are only 2 beats to make up the bar).


9. Introduce ‘quavers’:
  1. Explain that a note with a tail is called a quaver. A crotchet = 1 and a quaver = 1/2 (have the class repeat the word, clapping for each syllable).
  2. Ask the class how many quavers = a crotchet (2 as there are 2 halves in a whole).
  3. If fractions are yet to be studied (or for visual learners), use the cake pictures to explain this further e.g. if a crotchet is like one whole cake, I cut the cake in half and have 2 halves.
  4. Once you arrive at the music written on staves (on music paper), explain this further. Point to the first bar and show the class how to count it: hold up your hand to the class in a fist. Hold up first your thumb, then index then middle finger, saying ‘1, 2, 3’ slowly for each finger (do this twice).
  5. For the second bar, Keep the pace of your fingers as above, but instead say ‘1 and’ for you thumb ‘2 and’ for your index finger, and ‘3 and’ for your middle finger.
  6. Clap and say beat numbers together as a class (repeating each bar twice), then ask for individuals to demonstrate alone 1 bar after another.
  7. Have a volunteer come to the board and draw the correct notes in the blank spaces (crotchet crotchet quaver quaver).

10. Introduce Joined Quavers:
  1. Explain how the tail joins 2 quavers together. So if you see this in music, it just means 2 quavers.
  2. Clap bars 1 and 3 with the class, counting out loud.
  3. Ask for a volunteer to fill in bar 2 with notes (2 sets of joined quavers followed by a crotchet) and to write the values below the notes in bar 3.
  4. Hand out untuned instruments and play the whole line as a class (softly!)

 11. Rhythm Work using Part 1 of Verse 1:
  1. Explain how Frederick Forte appears on written music with music notes. This is how the musicians know when to play loudly.
  2. Play the music and explain that the written music is what musicians would see when they play this part of the music (when the king held the party awaiting the arrival of Prince Caprice).
  3. Ask the class to point out where the 3 beat rhythm changes in each line.
  4. Without music, clap slowly as a class (point at each written note in turn), counting out loud. (Tell pupils to count and clap loudly, but not shouting).
  5. Invite pupils up to the front of the class in groups of 3 and hand the 3 an untuned instrument each.
  6. Play the music and have each trio play loudly in turn. Other pupils to clap softly along, to prepare for their turn.

12. Composition Activity Part 1:
  1. Split pupils into pairs.
  2. Hand each pair a plain sheet of manuscript paper, a pencil and a beat sheet.
  3. Pupils are to write their own 3-bar rhythms and add dynamics (crescendo and forte) and pauses (rests and pauses).
13. Composition Activity Part 2:
  1.  Teach the words to the ‘make a beat song’.
  2. Sing the song for each pair (only singing one persons name in the song), handing an instrument to the pair for them to play their composition to the group.

Downloadable and Printable lesson content

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