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Class/Ensemble: Elementary String Orchestra Grades 5/6

PA Standards:
National Standards:
Instruments to model violin, viola, cello, bass
Fiddles on Fire music

Goal for this unit:

The students will perform Fiddles on Fire by Mark Williams at the May 2016 Spring Concert
under my direction.
List the SWBAT objectives/behaviors that will result from these goals:
1. SWBAT use proper technique and set-up in learning to play the piece.
2. SWBAT play rhythms correctly as printed in the piece.
3. SWBAT play notes correctly as printed in the piece.
4. SWBAT play double stops and use string crossings correctly.
5. SWBAT identify and correctly play sharps and naturals.
6. SWBAT play bowings correctly as printed in the piece.
7. SWBAT observe and understand written dynamics printed in the music.
8. SWBAT observe and understand repeat signs printed in the music.
9. SWBAT recognize and draw connections between the same and different sections of this piece.
List the techniques/strategies you will develop and use to help the students accomplish the
1. Reviewing proper technique multiple times in each lesson, including proper set-up, left hand, bow
hold, and bow placement. Include technique reviews as part of the warm-up.
2. Assist students in understanding rhythms by breaking them down using rhythm syllables.
Students will say rhythms, clap rhythms, and play rhythms on open strings using echo patterns
initiated by teacher.
3. Guide students through recognizing pitches by using pneumonic devices to read notes on the
staves. Students will say pitches in the rhythm they are presented. Students will practice putting
their fingers down while saying the pitches. Teacher will isolate problem areas and use them as
warm-ups and echo patterns.
4. Students will identify all of the double stops in the piece by recognizing having two notes at once.
Direct students to play correct double stops by comparing bow arm height through technique in
relation to each string, then both at the same time. Students will play the double stops in context
in the rhythms printed.
5. Identify sharp and natural notes in the music, and show students what happens to each specific
finger resulting from the note change. Students will participate in echo and singing sequences by
teacher to help reinforce each note that is altered. After notes are learned, students will play
excerpts in context with altered notes, and teacher will isolate problem areas as needed.

6. Teacher will guide students through visually identifying a slur and playing examples on open
strings and notes students are already familiar with. Students then will play slurs in context by
breaking them down. Students will first identify notes in the slur, play them separately, play them
together, and then add the rest of the notes in context. Teacher will slowly speed up this process
so students can play excerpt up to tempo and eventually play the slurs with less assistance from
7. Teacher explains dynamics and how to achieve them on string instruments using technique
through bow weight, contact point, and speed. Near the end of the piece there is a piano and forte
marked that students will identify. Teacher models piano and forte relationship, has students
echo and then put in context.
8. Assist students in identifying repeat signs
Provide descriptions for the assessment tools/methods you will use to guide you through
this unit:
1. Students will have to answer Questions of the Day on a piece of paper whenever they walk into
the classroom. The Question of the Day will be on the board and the students will turn in their
answers to the teacher
2. For some of the easier sections of the repertoire, a process of checking off excerpts will begin once
students have seen and guided through all of the music. Students will have to play excerpts for
the teacher and receive approval and a grade for their practicing in preparation for the concert.
3. Playing tests on more difficult sections of the piece will be administered and video-recorded.
There will be a rubric assessing technique, bowing, rhythm, intonation, and musical elements
(dynamics, repeat signs, etc.). Having each test recorded allows multiple viewings focusing on a
different aspect of the rubric each time. Grades would be assigned based on the rubric and
students will be given feedback on their performance.
4. At the end of the unit, there will be a formal quiz given to the students on elements of the music,
notes, sharps and naturals, etc. Students will be graded on the quiz and given feedback by the