Unit 1, LESSON 1:


Central Focuses:


The primary focuses of this lesson are to concentrate on Melody and Rhythm. Under melody, students will notate notes C, D, E, and G (do tetratonic) on the staff and identify the same and different phrases. Under Rhythm, students will locate one and two sounds in one beat. The secondary focus is to expose students to Major and Minor scales.


Learning objectives:

  • Students will be able to notate notes, C, D, E, and G on the staff; and identify different and same phrases. (Mary Had a Little Lamb) (Pr: 4.2)
  • Students will be able to perform and demonstrate their roles, contributions, and importance of performing Samoan Sasa with the correct intent as a group. (Re 7.1)


The focuses of this unit are to guide students to explore self-awareness, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.


Learning objectives:

  • Students will be able to explore their habits when listening and making music. 
  • Students will be able to discover their roles, contributions, and importance of sharing and making decisions as a group.







  • Notate notes: C, D, E, and G on the staff
  • Expose to Major and Minor scales
  • Do Re Mi
  • Mary Had a Little Lamb 
  • Samoan Sasa


Key Questions:
  • How do these different styles of music make you feel?
  • Why is it important to listen to different styles of music?
  • Do students prefer to share with peers when listening and making music." Is this a result of isolation during the pandemic or being self-conscious? Especially for middle school aged students. What can teachers and peers do to create a safe environment for sharing?

Class format: ftf Think/ Pair /Share, Modeling, Discussion Questions

Entrance Task/Check-In: (be sure to review virtual class norms)

Activity #1: "Do-Re-Mi" - THE SOUND OF MUSIC

Please watch the below video:


Rodgers & Hammerstein (2018, August 3). "Do-Re-Mi" - THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965). [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drnBMAEA3AM

Teacher-led Instruction (“I do”):

  • Explain to the students that a musical is a play in which singing and dancing play an integral part. It also developed from opera.  
  • The Sound of Music is a musical composed by Richard Rodgers with lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. The main character, Maria, sings the song “Do-Re-Mi” to teach the children she’s taking care of about music. <Play the above video “Do-Re-Mi” from The Sound of Music.>
  • A melody is the main tune of the song (the part you usually sing). Ask the students if they can hum the melody with Maria.
  • Inform the students that when the children in this movie sang do re mi fa so la ti do’, they are using solfege – musical syllables assigned to each note.


In this video, Maria sang the Do-Re-Mi melody with her beautiful voice and the children sang and danced with her. Do Re Mi is a famous song from the musical the Sound of Music.

  • A melody is what you usually sing from a song. It is the main tune. Can you hum the song with the video?

When the children in this movie sang do re mi fa so la to do, they sang in a major scale. We will explore the major scale later in this unit.


Guided/Collaborative Practice (“We Do”):
Independent Practice (“You do”) or Group-work with deliverable: Think/Pair/Share

SEL - Self-Awareness:

  • When you are listening to or experiencing music, do you do it indoors or outdoors?
  • How do you feel when you see the siblings making music in the nature? (For example: When you see the siblings making music together does it make you feel jealous? Does it make you feel sad because you don't have siblings? How does it make you feel?)
  • When watching the video, do you think the siblings enjoyed themselves singing and dancing together? Do you enjoy making music with your peers in the music classroom/ensemble? Why?

Activity #2:


Teacher-led Instruction (“I do”):

Now let’s listen to music that uses four of the notes/solfege that we heard in “Do-Re-Mi”. Do you recognize it? <Play video “Mary Had a Little Lamb”> If students do not know the song, teach it by rote.


Let's notate Mary Had a Little Lamb on the staff. (Pre-requisites: Staff, lines and spaces)


Guided/Collaborative Practice (“We Do”):

  • Teacher leads students in do tetratonic echo patterns on a neutral syllable. Teacher leads students in do tetratonic echo patterns using solfege hand signs (do, re, mi, so). Show notation on staff.
  • In solfege, C = do, D = re, E = mi, G = so. Have students abstract the melody.
  • Guide them by thinking about phrases and same/different. How many phrases are there? (4) Which ones are the same, and which are different? (a b a’ c).
  • Now your teacher will play Mary Had a Little Lamb on a piano/`ukulele, can you sing with the hand signs and solfège?
  • Now your teacher will play Mary Had a Little Lamb on a piano/`ukulele, can you use your fingers to show and count the four phrases.

Independent Practice (“You Do”) or Group-work with deliverable: Self-reflect/Assess

  • Once students have abstracted the melody, have them practice reading the notation while signing and singing using solfege. Students self-reflect/assess how they did. Ask for a few volunteers to share. Do one final time as a whole class.

Style: Jazz

Teacher-led Instruction (“I do”):
Now listen to this jazz version of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and hold up your fingers as you count/identify each phrase. You will hear many “extra” notes – these are embellishing notes that make the piece sound more attractive or interesting.

Independent Practice (“You Do”) or Group-work with deliverable: Class discussion

SEL - Self-Awareness: 

  • Compared to the first video of Mary Had a Little Lamb that was played in a major key, how do you feel when you listen to the jazz version?
  • Here are some keywords that you might use:
    • Sad, happy, slow, fast, sophisticated, simple, calming, exciting, melancholy, cheerful, sleepy, awake, lazy, energetic. 
  • Tell me why you chose those terms and why the jazz version made you feel that way.

Activity #3:

Rhythm: Samoan Sasa

Teacher-led Instruction (“I do”):

Music can create different emotional feelings. Below is a Samoan Sasa that can make your peers and you feel different from the above pieces. 



The Sasa comes from Samoa and is a dance traditionally performed as a communal activity. Sasa in Samoan language means to “hit or strike.” It is usually performed sitting down with the participants patting their bodies (chest, shoulders, laps) and clapping their hands. The motions typically depict activities from everyday life. Whole villages would perform the dance simultaneously. Please learn the sasa by watching the below videos. 

Guided/Collaborative Practice (“We Do”):
Teach the students the motions to the Samoan Sasa. Use the video if needed. Perform the dance by applying “hit and strike” energy. It is important to make all the motions uniform because you want to look like one entity.  

Next, perform the Samoan Sasa by applying “hit and strike” energy. This is important to make sure you all made the motions in uniform because you want to make you all look like one entity. 


  • After performing the sasa, try to identify the rhythmic patterns of the piece.
  • Do you notice that some of the rhythmic patterns have one sound on the beat while others have two? Perform the sasa again as a class using “short-short” (two sounds) and “long” (one sound).  



SEL: Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Relationship Skills:


  • When you performed the sasa dance with your peers, did you feel that you received support from your peers? Did you feel the group energy? Did you all look like one entity when performing “hit and strike” energy?
  • How would you feel if you performed the sasa yourself versus in a large group with your peers?
  • How would you feel differently as a performer instead of an audience watching the performance?
  • Why is it critical that you all perform the same motions?
  • When you have to give a speech or play in sports events, do you feel nervous? How do you wish you could provide yourself with confidence?
  • How would you give support and confidence to your friends if they need help?

SPED Supports

  • Allow SPED students to share verbally or to draw responses.
    Students may sign with hand signs by modeling the teacher (no notation).
    Depending on ability level, they may abstract just a chunk of the song using manipulatives.  
    They may also utilize a feelings chart when discussing musical style and feelings.


Formative - student’s written notation of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” if you are having them do it individually (answers); informal observations of students singing and signing with solfege; Google Form responses to Sasa SEL Questions.

Summative - Unit Summative will come at the end of Lesson 3.
Exit task: Reminders: Have students complete SEL questions for the Samoan Sasa for homework (same as above).