Reception l10: Background Information

The aim of lesson 10 is to learn the definitions, appearances and functions of the ‘3 Beats’ and ‘Pause’ signs in a piece of music. This is a lesson on rhythm and is designed to help improve concentration and coordination, as well as counting and is a great way to test the child’s development so far through the course. Firstly, we will look at ‘3 Beats’ – or the Beat Beanies. Every piece of music has a time signature that helps musicians keep in time with the music and gives it a natural rhythm. In Voyage to the Moon, we will look at the chorus/Prince’s song to introduce the children to the 3 Beat rhythm – this is where the rhythm is easiest to follow. As you will see in the video, you are able to clap the beat 1-2-3 throughout the whole chorus (and rest of the music). This is a fun exercise aimed to engage the children with the basic background of the makeup of the piece. You can have the class use their hands, untuned instruments, stamp their feet etc. to make the beat so it’s a chance to become creative too!

The second part of the lesson introduces Petal Pause – the pause sign is a way to have the children further their concentration and understanding of beats and timing as they must respond to the pause sign through various activities in the lesson. One activity will have the children create their own rhythms with untuned instruments, standing alone or with others and when the teacher holds up the pause sign, they must stop playing until the sign is hidden. Another will introduce concepts of spatial awareness through a game of musical statues. Have the class move around the room to the music – just like musicians in an orchestra they must not bump into each other by keeping a slight distance to avoid injury, and when the music pauses, they must stop still! The last child to stop moving will have to sit out until there is only one child left standing. This game gives all children a chance to be equally involved. They can join in to catch out who wins the game.