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Rhinegold Education Key Stage 3: Lesson 7

From Rhinegold Education, Key Stage 3: Lesson 7 (ages 11-14) aims at improving your performance skills!

Learning Objective: Perform confidently in a range of solo and ensemble contexts using your voice musically, fluently and with accuracy and expression; use staff notation appropriately and accurately in a range of musical styles, genres and traditions.

Length: 45 minutes

1. Everybody loves harmony! Listen to the Camden Choir in Lockdown, singing ‘True Colours.’

In your view, what is this song about? How does the music communicate its meaning? 

2. Now listen again to the chorus of the song ‘True Colours’ (starting at 0.34) and sing along with the music.

Do this twice, once when you sing the melody, and once when you sing the harmony part. Before you do this, listen to this demonstration of the task.

3. A lot of songs (like ‘True Colours’) have a harmony part moves in parallel with the melody.

Parallel harmony is like train tracks. If the melody goes in one direction, the harmony goes in the same direction. ‘You are my Sunshine’ also has a harmony part that moves in parallel with the melody. Listen to Kina Grannis performing ‘You are my Sunshine’ and try to sing along.

4. Listen again and write down the order of the Chorus and the Verse.

(Stop the track at around 2.04.) It starts with the chorus:

5. Listen again and sing along with the harmony. Before you do, listen to this explanation of how to do this.

6. Now try something a little harder.

Listen to the chorus of ‘One Day Like This’ beginning at around 5.00:

7. Now try singing along.

The words are, ‘throw those curtains wide; one day like this a year will see me right.’ If you can, do this twice. First sing the melody, then sing the harmony.

8. Parallel harmony sometimes occurs in Classical music.

Listen to O Fortuna by Carl Orff. Can you follow the score as you listen? If you follow the CORO part, you will hear the singers sing in parallel harmony after 0:45 (just after the Figure 2 in the score).

9. Finally, listen to this explanation of parallel harmony.

True Colours


To write down harmony, write the harmony part below the melody (here, the harmony part is highlighted by being written in red):

To sing in harmony again, try the classic song ‘Bye Bye Love.’ Listen to this recording which features the original singers from the 1950s (the Everly Brothers) and the duo who covered the song in the 1970s (Simon and Garfunkel). If you concentrate hard, you will hear both the melody and the harmony.

Interested in GCSE Music next year and want to get ahead of the game?

Rhinegold Education’s Step up to GCSE Music is specifically designed to get you into the best possible place over the summer to start GCSE Music!

By Tim Cain for Rhinegold Education

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