Music Journal Prompts

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1 Music Journal Prompts Directions: Respond to the music journal prompts using your own paper. A minimum of three paragraphs is required to receive full credit. Journal responses are due at the end of each week regardless of how many times a week the class meets. Place your journal response in the basket designated for your class, or you may upload your assignment using the student portal or the school s website. Quarter 1 August 18, 2014: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A- List at least ten everyday sounds. Choose a musical instrument (or instruments) that could imitate one of the sounds, and describe what the performer would do with the instrument to produce the sound. For example, a person could play several brief high notes on a flute to imitate a bird s call. Prompt B- In previous generations, students of music were cautioned not to play jazz if they hoped to become performers of classical music. Do you think performing jazz would affect one s performance of classical music? Explain. August 25, 2014: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A- How is writing poetry similar to writing song lyrics? Which do you think is more difficult? Explain. Prompt B- Think of the term art in a musical sense. What makes a piece of music a work of art? What piece of music do you consider to be most artistic? September 2, 2014: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A - Do you think a theme park based on music could be successful? Explain your viewpoint. Prompt B -There are five basic elements that combine to make music: rhythm, melody, harmony, dynamics, and form. Describe one of these elements, and give an example of a song in which it is particularly effective. September 8, 2014: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A - List five activities you do during a typical day, and then identify the types of music that could represent those activities. For example, low notes played slowly on a tuba might be appropriate waking up music for someone who moves slowly in the morning. Prompt B - Imagine that you have been hired to help plan a Museum of Music. Brainstorm different categories of music that could be included in this museum. Choose one of those categories and write a description of it for a pamphlet promoting the museum. September 15, 2014: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A - Music often brings back memories and the feelings associated with those memories. What song reminds you of a certain time in your life? Why does this particular song bring back those memories? Prompt B - Certain pieces of music are considered timeless. They have remained popular through many years. Other pieces of music may be popular for a short time and then forgotten. Give an example of a piece of music that is timeless, and explain why it has remained popular.

2 September 22, 2014: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A - Describe the type of music that you think would be appropriate for a fashion show. Remember a fashion show has various themes to present various fashions. For example, cruise wear, athletic wear, business, casual, South Beach casual, etc. Prompt B - Music can paint a scene in a person s mind. Imagine a scene you could create with music. Write a description of the scene, and explain the feeling you wish to communicate. What instruments would you use to create the image? September 29, 2014: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A - Song lyrics can express emotions, such as love or sorrow. What song do you feel clearly communicates a particular emotion? Write the lyrics from that song that you feel express the emotion best. Explain why. Prompt B - Explain some reasons for performing music. October 6, 2014: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A - How is rap music different from other types of music? Write a rap song about a teacher and the excuses he or she hears from students who have not turned in homework. Prompt B - A piece of music may appeal to one person but not to another. What factors do you think influence a person s feelings and thoughts about music? October 13, 2014: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A - List the things that help you determine whether you are pleased with your own performance of music. Are you more critical of your music than that of others? Do you listen to other people s suggestions for improvement? Prompt B - The ancient Greeks introduced music to enhance the drama of stage plays. Imagine you are creating a stage performance of your favorite book. Describe an important scene from the play and the music that it involves.

3 Directions: Respond to the music journal prompts using your own paper. A minimum of three paragraphs is required to receive full credit. Journal responses are due at the end of each week regardless of how many times a week the class meets. Place your journal response in the basket designated for your class, or you may upload your assignment using the student portal or the school s website. Quarter 2 October 27, 2014: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) - (On a keyboard or other instrument, play a major chord, arpeggio, and/or music in the major tonality. Then play a minor chord, arpeggio, and/or music in the minor tonality.) Prompt A -Describe the differences in sound between major and minor music. Which do you prefer? Prompt B - A company has hired you to select the music that customers will hear while they are placed on hold during a telephone call. Write the names of the top five songs you would suggest, and explain why you chose those songs. November 3, 2014: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A - Some parents play or sing lullabies to help a baby sleep. Name two others types of music, and brainstorm general uses for them. Prompt B - How would you define music? November 10, 2014: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A - Imagine you are writing a book about your favorite musician or composer. Think of a creative title for the book, and explain why that title is appropriate. Prompt B Tell how music is different from sounds you hear on the street or in nature. Can these sounds be considered music? November 17, 2014: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A - The lives of a concert musician, a composer, a ballerina, and an opera diva are all demanding. Describe what you think a day in the life of one of these music people would be like. Prompt B Describe the appropriate behavior of a person attending a symphony? November 24, 2014: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A - (Have the students complete this journal activity as they listen to Beethoven s Fifth Symphony.) Describe the scene that comes to your mind as you listen to and concentrate on this music. Prompt B What does it mean to have musical talent? Do you think a person is born with musical talent or it is learned? December 1, 2014: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A - The ABC song helps children learn the alphabet. Why do you think the song makes it easier to remember the letters of the alphabet? In what other ways can music be helpful? Prompt B Name a type of music you dislike, and explain why. December 8, 2014: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A - Often jazz performers get together in a group for a jam session, improvising fresh new music as they go along. Describe the qualities and abilities a person needs in order to improvise in a jam session. Prompt B - Brainstorm the qualities a person needs in order to have a successful career in music. December 14, 2014: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A - Do you listen to music while you study? Why or why not? Prompt B - Do you think the synthesizer/mixers, which duplicates the sounds of musical instruments and human voices, will ever replace people performing? Why or why not?

4 January 5, 2015: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A - It is said that composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart predicted Beethoven s musical future in this way: He will give the world something worth listening to. Was Mozart correct? Explain. Write a more accurate statement about Beethoven. Prompt B - : Music is an active experience lived through by composer, performer, and listener alike. Do you agree with this statement? Does each person have an equal part in the musical experience? January 12, 2015: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A - Pitch is term that refers to the high or low quality of a sound (not to be confused with loudness). List five musical instruments and five everyday sounds that typically have a high pitch. Do you feel that pitch affects the pleasantness of sounds? Explain. Prompt B - Imagine you are hired to write the music for an upcoming movie. Explain what you need to do to guarantee that the music will help make the movie a success.

5 Directions: Respond to the music journal prompts using your own paper. A minimum of three paragraphs is required to receive full credit. Journal responses are due at the end of each week regardless of how many times a week the class meets. Place your journal response in the basket designated for your class, or you may upload your assignment using the student portal or the school s website. Quarter 3 January 20, 2015: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A - Choose a band and create a make-believe story that explains how the band was created and received its name. Prompt B - It has been said, Music is an abstract way of expressing what the mind thinks. Name several cultures, age groups, or types of people that can be better understood by listening to their music. Explain what the music reflects about the groups you have chosen. January 26, 2015: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A - What are the differences between classical music and popular music? Prompt B - Some people perform music for pleasure. Others are paid to perform. Do you think one reason for performing is better than the other? Explain your answer. February 2, 2015: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A - Ludwig van Beethoven carried a notebook with him. When he came upon a sound he liked, he wrote it down to be included in one of his great symphonies. Pretend you are a composer. Describe five sounds you would like to include in your music. Prompt B - A capella is a term applied to vocal music (singing) which is performed without instrumental accompaniment. Do you think singing a capella is more difficult than singing with accompaniment? Why? February 9, 2015: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A - Describe the music you would select to be played at the award ceremony for Musician of the Year. Prompt B - The term acoustics has to do with the accuracy with which sound can be heard in a room, auditorium, etc. Imagine you have been hired to design an auditorium for concerts. Describe your design. Consider the size of the auditorium and what materials will be used to construct the walls and ceiling. (This is a very short week. Use if needed) ***February 17, 2015: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A - Do you consider yourself open-minded about music? Describe your taste in music. February 23, 2015: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A - A man who was aggravated by his noisy neighbors recorded the sound of a running lawn mover and played it every day to get back at them. What sounds do you find particularly aggravating? Why? What are some better solutions to this problem? Prompt B - Explain how you would encourage a younger person to become interested in music. March 2, 2015: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A - Describe your feeling when you have successfully sung or played a piece of music. Prompt B - People learning to read music sometimes find these hints helpful for remembering the letters for the notes on the staff, like the sentence Every good boy does fine. The letters in the spaces spell the word face. Create some other ways to remember the order of the notes on the staff.

6 March 9, 2015: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A - Recall music you have heard that caused you to laugh. What characteristics of the music caused your laughter? Prompt B - What would a person learn in a class called Music Appreciation? Do you think all young students should be required to take this class? Why or why not? March 16, 2015: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A - There are four types of music listening attitudes: passive, sensuous, emotional, and perceptive. A listener may use a combination of these attitudes when listening to a long composition. Describe two listening attitudes you have experienced. Prompt B - ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) was founded in 1914 to protect copyrights and performing rights. Explain why such protection is needed.

7 Directions: Respond to the music journal prompts using your own paper. A minimum of three paragraphs is required to receive full credit. Journal responses are due at the end of each week regardless of how many times a week the class meets. Place your journal response in the basket designated for your class, or you may upload your assignment using the student portal or the school s website. Quarter 4 March 30, 2015: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A - Some instruments generally sound better when they are part of an orchestra or band rather than when they are played alone. Which instrument do you think sounds best alone? Create a description for a solo performance on that instrument. Your description should encourage music lovers to attend the performance. Prompt B - Imagine you have been asked to start a music club at your school. Brainstorm activities that members of the club might participate in. Select the three activities you feel would attract the most students to join the club, and write brief descriptions of those activities. April 6, 2015: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A - Is it possible for any person to learn to sing well? Why or why not? Prompt B - Movies are sometimes created with only music and animation, but these movies still have a plot. Imagine you have agreed to design and write the advertisement for a new movie of this kind. Write the advertisement, and in it describe the music that is used to bring the animation to life. April 13, 2015: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A - An ensemble is a group of singers or instrumentalists who perform together. A string quartet is an example of a chamber ensemble. A symphony orchestra is an example of a large ensemble. Brainstorm events at which each of these types of ensembles would be appropriate. Which group would you hire to play at a wedding reception? Why? Prompt B - There are many styles of singing, such as gospel, country and western, operatic, rock, folk, Latin-American, barbershop, etc. Choose a style that you like, and explain why you like it. April 20, 2015: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A - Professional music critics write their opinions about musical performances. Brainstorm some things a music critic needs to know and do to be effective at his or her job. Prompt B - Invent the words to a song that could be the national anthem of a new country. April 27, 2015: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A - What are some reasons for composing music? Prompt B - How are classical music, rock and roll, and rhythm and blues (R & B) music alike? May 4, 2015: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A - Many songs are intended to be uplifting such as Happy, I Believe I Can Fly, and Roar. Invent titles for three new uplifting songs. Brainstorm some of the phrases their lyrics might include. Prompt B - Imagine you have been asked to design a calendar for music lovers. Describe the calendar month by month. May 11, 2015: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A - Some people believe that playing music for plants will help them grow better. What do you think? Brainstorm five ways music can be helpful. Prompt B - Identify a composer, musician, or singer that you think best represents a particular type of music. Explain why you feel that person is appropriate.

8 May 18, 2015: (LACC.6-8.W.2 (a-f)) Prompt A - The piccolo is a very small instrument, yet it can be heard above an entire band or orchestra playing in full force. Give your opinion of why one tiny piccolo can be heard above all. Prompt B - Most people have a genre of music that just does not appeal to them. What is yours and why? Create a dialogue between two characters: one who loves that genre and one (like you) who hates it.

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