Lesson Plan

LESSON: GETTING TO KNOW THE BANJO ORCHESTRA
Grades 5 or 6
Download Lesson Plan as a PDF

LESSON OVERVIEW:
Using the Forgotten Wisdom Website String Stories: Chapter 1 The Banjo Orchestra the student will become familiar with the instruments of the banjo orchestra and their history.

STANDARDS ADDRESSED:

MUSIC
History and Culture
Students in Wisconsin will relate music to history and culture.

Rationale:
Accepting the growing diversity of our culture and understanding one another can often be accomplished through music. Music reflects significant historical events and cultural relationships. By relating music to personal history and culture as well as the history and culture of others, students will understand and connect historical events of the world, as well as music's functions within various cultures.

HISTORY
  1. The students understand and know how to analyze chronological relationships and patterns.
  2. The student understands patterns of change and continuity in the historical succession of related events.
LANGUAGE ARTS
A.8.1 Use effective reading strategies to achieve their purposes in reading. Use knowledge of sentence and word structure, word origins, visual images, and context clues to understand unfamiliar words and clarify passages of text.

MATERIALS REQUIRED

  • Computer with internet access and earphones
  • Student worksheet, pen or pencil
  • Lessons A and B

 
LESSON A
The student will listen to and describe the musical sounds of the banjo orchestra instruments.

Directions to the student

  1. Put this address in your Web browser: www.forgottenwisdom.com/banjoorchestra
  2. Click on each of the instruments and listen to the music.
  3. Listen again to the Piccolo Banjo and the Second Banjeaurine. Of these two:
    1. Which one is playing the melody?
    2. Which one is playing the accompaniment?
    3. Which one has the higher pitch?
  4. Listen again to the Second Banjeaurine and the First banjeaurine. Of these two:
    1. Which one is playing the melody?
    2. Which one is playing the accompaniment?
    3. Which one seems to be playing the easier part?
    4. Scroll down to the description of the Second Banjeaurine
      Listen: First and Second Banjeaurine playing together.
  5. Listen again to the Second and First Banjo. Of these two:
    1. Which one is playing the melody?
    2. Which one is playing the accompaniment?
    3. Scroll down to the description of the Second Banjo
      Listen: First and Second Banjo playing together.
  6. Look at the picture, describe the differences between the Banjeaurine and the Banjo.
  7. Read about the First Banjeaurine. How is it tuned differently than the Banjo?
  8. Listen to the Cello Banjo, then read its description. Why does it have a lower sound?
  9. What is the title of the music you have been listening to? Who is the composer?
  10. Listen to the whole orchestra again.
 
LESSON B
The student will read about the history of the banjo and answer the questions.

Directions to the student

  1. Put this address in your Web browser: www.forgottenwisdom.com/banjoorchestra
  2. Click on the link history and read the History of the Banjo. Answer each of the following questions using complete sentences.
  3. Who invented what we now call the banjo and in what year?
  4. During what historical period were people hearing the banjo for the first time?
  5. What purpose did adding frets to the fingerboard serve?
  6. Name the banjo manufacturer from Philadelphia? What did he invent in 1885?
  7. How is the banjeaurine different from the banjo?
  8. Who started one of the first banjo clubs? Where did this happen? How many were in the first club?
  9. Listen to Invincible Guard March and Let Her Go Gallop. Compare them using as much musical vocabulary as you can.
  10. When did the popularity of the banjo orchestra start to decline?
  11. What instruments replaced them in popularity?