Category Archives: Grade 6

Snarky Puppy is your next favourite band

A friend just introduced the amazing band Snarky Puppy to me. The first time I heard the name I was reminded of another band and didn’t pay attention.

You will not make the same mistake [hand wave in front of your face].



Filed under For Teachers, Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 9, jazz

Who’s Gonna Stand Up?

Long time no talk.

Because my school celebrated Earth Day today, I decided to have Grade 2 listen to the three versions of Neil Young’s Who’s Gonna Stand Up (and Save the Earth)? They enjoyed the acoustic version, were humbled by the orchestral version, and rocked out to the live version with Crazy Horse – so much so that we made a rock video with them individually playing air guitar, air drums, or singing.
I wasn’t sure if they fully understood the message, since even most adults don’t understand the severity of the issue or are in denial to it’s causes.
As I was quietly finishing a rubric in my room, I heard a student sing the refrain from across the hall:
“Who’s gonna stand up and save the world?”
This quiet little boy’s voice singing the world’s biggest question suddenly struck me hard.
It continues to ring in my mind…
All the best,
Mr. Kozak

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Filed under Earth Day, Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 9, Neil Young

Teaching meter the easy way

Fellow Teachers,

My very first trial lesson for a music teaching job, the administration wanted me to teach meter. Nothing could have been easier.

Meter is one of the elements of music, and students can grasp this concept at a very early age. It can be mastered by grade seven without problem. Here’s how.

Play a sample of music with different meters and have students clap the beat. This prep exercise has nothing to do with meter, but warms up their ears by listening to the pulse of the music (which is the exact definition of beat, by the way).

My song list includes:
– 15 Step (Radiohead)
– Take Five (Dave Brubeck Quartet)
– The Blue Danube (Strauss)
– any pop song (let’s say “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles) or my begrudgingly favourite non-song to trot out and whip once in a while (for so many reasons-remind me to do a whole plog post on it), which is unfair, but a lot of fun – “Friday” by Jessica Black
– a polka
– and the grandaddy, The Rite of Spring

I usually leave the last one out until a few classes later. The idea is to build confidence, not confusion.

After the listening activity, we move to the clapping.

Pat your lap with your left hand (weak beat) with a constant tempo. Stress the downbeat (strong beat) with your right hand. Demonstrate 4/4 meter first and tell them.

Now the fun begins.

Call each student out of the room and tell them to demonstrate a meter of your choice. That new “conductor” sits in a chair at the front and taps out the meter while students count and figure out the meter. All students get a chance to be the conductor.

As they grasp the concept of strong/weak beats, eventually you can have someone do mixed meter. For example, a bar of 4/4 and a bar of 3/4.

That’s a simplified lesson plan for you. The next lesson, they write basic quarter note rhythms with mixed meter and melodies on manuscript paper.

Mr. Kozak

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Filed under conducting, For Teachers, Grade 6, meter

Don’t Be A Litter Bug – Mr. Eco

Students of Music,

This is a wonderful song promoting the environment. Don’t litter!

It’s from the site Mr. Eco. Check it out.

Mr. Kozak

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Filed under Beginner Band, Grade 6

Music and fire

Students of fire (and music),

This is a 2D Ruben’s tube with sound.

“Yes, I really want to light it up.”

Mr. Kozak

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Filed under Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 9

Eco-Music Festival Site Requirements – Part 3

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Filed under Grade 6

February 20 – Music 6-1 Lesson Plan

Here is the lesson plan for MUSIC 6-1 at 8:30 for February 20, 2014:

Students will begin their listening research, looking for appropriate Earth Day music. Students should find songs that sing about the Earth, the environment, nature, recycling, etc. Keep a record in your Music Journals regarding:
– the artist’s name
– the song title
– the specific theme of the song
– the lyrics to each song
– a short explanation of what Earth Day is

If students find ten songs, they may continue their theory study at

Start at the top (THE BASICS) with The Staff, Clefs, and Ledger Lines, and work down the page. Go through the lessons at your own pace.

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Filed under Grade 6

African dance tutorials

Grade 6,

In StudyWiz, watch 5 videos in the African Dance Tutorial Video gallery.

You will do a peer assessment.

Give them a mark out of 100 based on:
1) Amount of detail in the instruction
2) Professional-quality production (transitions, titles, timing, volume levels, etc.)
3) Overall artistic quality
Write two sentences about why you gave the mark.

Mr. Kozak

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Filed under Grade 6

The consequences of location and reverb when recording music

This video is an amazing demonstration of how the environment affects reverb. Fantastic editing.

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Filed under For Teachers, Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 9

Nelson Mandela – 1918-2013

A sad day for one of history’s most magnificent citizens, Nelson Mandela.

A great opportunity to listen to some music sung in the Xhosa language.

Rest in peace.
Chris Kozak

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Filed under Beginner Band, For Teachers, Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 9, Intermediate Band