Year 7 Classroom Ensembles
SCORCH and MIDI files
These are in the form of Scorchinteractive files; the Full scores and scores of Individual Parts. The files can be printed and/or listened to using Scorch, and the opportunity is given here to promote the aim of memorizing Parts, by following and playing at the same time as the Scorch files.
If you are not acquainted with Scorch files, click on one of the files and follow the simple instructions on how to download the software for free. The Scorch software is the property of the famous software company, Sibelius, and you can be confident about the safety of downloading it to your computer. Try to encourage the pupils also to acquaint themselves with this remarkable medium, so that they can practice their Parts – during school hours as well as at home, if possible.
These are digital files which contain all the information concerning the notation found in the Full Scores. The MIDI files can be opened on any music software, digital instrument or Media Player. Performance can take place at the same time as theMIDI files and they can be used as backing tracks.
Teaching and learning opportunities
The main aim of the ensembles is to motivate the pupils to experience and enjoy performing together in the classroom. However, as the ensembles are learned, opportunities to get to grips with a number of other aspects are also afforded e.g.
-An opportunity to perform the melody or another solo part;
-An opportunity to select one or two parts for smaller ensemble work;
-Singing with the ensembles or singing and playing in turn;
-An opportunity to discuss the use of Musical Elements;
-Practicing the key music skills – ascertaining, beating and maintaining a regular beat;
-An opportunity to ‘evaluate’ their own work and the work of their peers.
-An opportunity for questioning: How many different pitches are there in the bar? How many beats in the piece? What about the Duration of the notes in the pattern: are there any ‘ta’ notes (one beat) in the pattern? … ‘ta – a’ notes (two beats)? … ‘ta - te’ notes (half beat notes) …? What is the length of each section?
Having taught and learned the basic Parts correctly and confidently, feel free to experiment and extend, to increase the challenge and vary the experiences; this can be done by opening the ensembles as a MIDI file. The following are possible:
-varying the rhythms within the patterns found in the simple Parts;
-adding a new note or two to the simple content of the Parts;
-taking notes away from some parts, and introduce the challenge of reading and counting rests;
-singing the Melody, introducing vocal work to the Performing experience;
-creating completely new parts;