Making Music in the Garden, Part 3

This post is a continuation of a lesson from June called Making Music in the Garden: A Summertime Lesson in Music Integration.

How do you think nature and music are connected?

Peas don’t just come from the frozen section in the groceries store, and music isn’t just for professionals on the radio. In the hustle and bustle of modern life, it is easy to forget where the things we enjoy come from, and how we can take part in bringing these things to life.

Do you, or I, or anyone know how oats, peas, beans, and melodies grow?

We’re big into music integration at Music in Schools Today. Even though school is out and music programs are on a brief hiatus, it’s still important to integrate music into children’s everyday lives.

Here is a taste of one of our programs, Nature of Music. This lesson integrates music into learning about nature in the garden, by planting seeds that will grow into delicious snacks in just a few weeks time. It’s a good way to get kids outside learning about the world around them, and about science and music. Try it this summer! Get outside, make some music, and learn something!

In our last lesson, we planted pea plants and learned about the parts of a plant and what they do through singing the song Roots, Stems, Leaves. In this lesson, we will build on that knowledge, and introduce new information about how to take care of our pea plants!

You will need:

  • Xylophones, drums, or other percussion instruments

  • The song Decomposition

  • The Carrot Seed By Ruth Krauss

  • "Plant parts" paper from the lesson before, including the one bar rhythmic phrase the class composed.


Review parts of the plant and rhythm activity from last week. 

Initiate a discussion about nurturing and taking care of plants. What is involved in caring for a plant? Discuss and take notes in journals.

Next, read the story "Carrot Seed" and discuss the themes in the book as it relates to growing plants. Focus on patience, nurturing and caretaking. Ask students how this applies to their pea plants. What can they do to make sure their plant grow big and healthy?

Transition into Rhythmic Composition Activity:

Sing through the songs learned in previous lessons: Roots, Stems, Leaves and Oats, Peas, Beans, and Barley Grow. Next, review the Decomposition song, singing along with and xylophones, drums, or other percussion instruments. When you are finished, continue with "Rhythmic Composition" lesson from lesson before, reviewing the definition of the word “bar”, meaning four-beat phrase.

Guide the class into making a four-bar phrase using the same technique as the day before, making combinations of 1 syllable/2 syllable/4 syllable words and then convert them into a rhythm. Practice playing the 4 bar phrase as a whole class.

Next, have one group play the one-bar four-beat phrase repetitively. Explain that this is called an ostinato. Have the other group play the 4 bar phrase at the same time. Have students discuss how this sounds and experiment with other four-beat phrases.

Finish by caring for the pea plants and perhaps playing with ostinato in their performances of songs from previous lessons.

Music in Schools Today