Looking for music texture lesson plan ideas? Music texture in the primary grades is all about training students’ ears to hear the different layers of sound, and to start to develop skills like part singing. Here are some tips and tricks to get you started with your lesson plans, even if you’re not a music specialist.
What is texture in music?
Texture is the layers of sound in a piece of music. (The different sounds that play at the same time, and which sounds are highlighted at any given time).
In typical pop music, for example, you’ll hear a simple texture that consists of one melody line (sung lyrics) with accompaniment (a mixture of instruments such as drums, guitar, synthesizer).
Common pitfalls when teaching music texture
Sometimes teachers get confused about the concept of texture and how it differs from tone color. It’s important to remember that every instrument in a piece of music is not necessarily adding its own texture.
Although students in the primary grades are likely not reading full notation yet, it’s important that by about grade 3 they begin to recognize that musical lines organized vertically are musical lines that are played at the same time.
Don’t leave out looking at examples of musical staves as the visual is extremely helpful for students as they are listening to examples, even if they can’t yet read the notation fully.
Music Texture in Grade 1
Ontario Curriculum: single melodic line in unison (monophony)
Melody – The main tune of a piece of music.
Monophony – Only one sound happening at a time
Notes for your grade 1 music texture lesson plans:
- Grade 1 students must train their ears to focus on a single melodic line before they are ready to describe more complicated textures. A great activity in grade one is to simply identify the difference between a single note vs a chord.
Music Texture in Grade 2
Ontario Curriculum: single melodic line in unison song with simple accompaniment (homophony), bordun patterns on “do” and “so”
Accompaniment – A line of music that plays underneath and to support a melody.
Bordun – Pronounced “bordune” – A simple ostinato (repeating accompaniment) using the 1st and 5th notes of the scale.
Notes for your grade 2 music texture lesson plans:
- In grade 2 we learn about the simplest kind of texture – melody and accompaniment.
A melody is the “main” tune that you hear (in a song with words, it will be the notes that the words are sung on) and the accompaniment is the music underneath that supports the melody.
Music Texture in Grade 3
Ontario Curriculum: simple two-part rounds, partner songs, canons
Round – A canon with a simple melody that repeats over and over.
Canon – A piece of music that has different parts starting at different times, but all playing the same melody.
Partner Song – A song that has two different melodies. When sung at the same time, they fit together.
Listening – Music Texture Examples
- Row Row Row Your Boat
- Pachelbel’s Canon in D
- Three Blind Mice / Are You Sleeping
Music Texture Lesson Plans by Grade
Need more help teaching music texture? These low prep, month-long units for each grade include 4 easy to follow lesson plans, visual aids, sound clips, worksheets & activities. So easy a sub could do it, but so high quality you’ll be proud to teach it yourself.