Free Lesson Plan - Meter Mapping in Isle of Tune

What is Isle of Tune?

Isle of Tune is a fun, free interactive music website that allows you to compose melodies and percussive patterns in a visual format by using roads, cars, trees and buildings. Visit the Isle of Tune website to get started.

iPad users please note: Isle of Tune is a flash-based website so will not work on iPads. You will need to use the paid app version

1.Lay down some road:

Lay down some road

2. Add houses, plants or lamp posts along the road (there are extra options on the iPad app version)

Add houses

3. Place a car on the road:

Place a car on the road

4. Press Go! As the car drives past each element on the road it will make a rhythmic or melodic sound. At the end of the road, it turns around and plays your creation in retrograde (!).

Real-life version of this idea

The band OK Go – who are known for their innovative music video clips – did a real-life version of this idea in their Needing/Getting video. You might like to show your students this as a precursor to using Isle of Tune.

For some more Isle Of Tune tips, take a look at this blog post I shared back in 2014 (!).

Free lesson plan: Mapping Meter

Today I wanted to share with you a lesson plan that I created for the members of my online community – the Midnight Music Community (MMC). Sometime ago I decided to create a set of lessons plans for some of the cool, fun, interactive and free websites that work well in the music classroom. The collection of lesson plans (and full-length video tutorials) is titled Super-Simple Music Tech Lessons Using Free Resources and it includes resources for Incredibox, Beepbox, Chrome Music Lab, Youtube, Isle of Tune and others. The entire collection is available to members of the MMC, but I’ve decided to share one with you here.

In this sample Isle of Tune lesson, students will listen to some of the pre-made rhythmic and melodic patterns in Isle of Tune and identify the meter of each one.

What’s included?

  • Free booklet which includes the written lesson plan (downloadable PDF)
  • Full-length tutorial video in which I talk through the lesson and then show you exactly how to do it inside Isle Of Tune

ISLE OF TUNE: MAPPING METER 

Music Tech Lesson Plan

Grade level

Grades 3-7

Objective

To listen to pre-made rhythmic and melodic patterns in Isle of Tune and identify their meter

Materials/Equipment

• Teacher laptop or desktop computer, data projector and speakers
Isle Of Tune website
• If using iPads, you will need to use the paid app version

Notes about devices

• If you have a single computer: you can do this entire lesson as a class group
• If you have multiple devices, do Activity 1 as a class group and then ask students to work independently or in small groups to complete activities 2-7

Duration

1-2 lessons (it is not necessary to complete all 7 activities. I would suggest Activity 1, 2, 4 and 7 if you’re short on time)

Skills required

Students can keep a steady beat and are able to identify the number of beats in a measure when listening to a rhythmic or melodic pattern or phrase.

Procedure

Activity 1 (best done as a class group)

  • Open Isle of Tune 
  • Click on Create Empty Island
  • Click on Loops menu
  • Select Rebound Beat
  • Click in an empty space on island
  • Add a car
  • Click Go button
  • Listen to the rhythm and watch the car – can you clap along with the steady beat as the car drives along the road?
  • How many beats does it take for the car to reach the end of the road? [Answer: 4]
  • What is the meter of this pattern? [Answer: 4] You could give students multiple choice options instead – is the meter 3, 4 or 5?

Activity 2 (can be done in small groups or individually)

  • If you’ve just completed Activity 1, erase the car that you placed on the Rebound Beat in Activity 1 (but leave the loop there). Otherwise, start with a new, empty island
  • Click on the Loops menu and add select one of these loops: Light Beat, Low Beat or Squeak Beat
  • Add your new loop to an empty space on your island
  • Add a car to your new loop and click Go
  • Clap along with steady beat
  • How many beats on each side of the square road? [Answer: 2]
  • What is the total number of beats in this pattern? Hint: start counting when the car reaches a corner and stop counting when it gets back to that same corner to start the pattern again [Answer: 8]

Activity 3

  • Erase the car that you placed on your loop in Activity 2 (but leave the loop there)
  • Click on the Loops menu and add select Rainbow Sweep
  • Add the Rainbow Sweep loop to an empty space on your island
  • Add a car to your new loop and click Go
  • Clap along with steady beat
  • What is the meter of this pattern? [Answer: 5] 

Activity 4

  • Erase the car that you placed on your loop in Activity 3 (but leave the loop there)
  • Click on the Loops menu and add select Back ‘n Forth
  • Add the Back ‘n Forth loop to an empty space on your island
  • Add a car to your new loop and click Go
  • Clap along with steady beat
  • What is the meter of this pattern? [Answer: 3]
  • Add a car to one of the other loops on your island and click on Go to hear two loops play at the same time
  • Add your third car to another loop and click on Go to hear 3 loops play at the same time

Activity 5

  • Erase the cars that you placed on your loop/s in Activity 4 (but leave the loop there)
  • Click on the Loops menu and add select Wood Circle
  • Add the Wood Circle loop to an empty space on your island
  • Add a car to your new loop and click Go
  • Clap along with steady beat
  • What is the meter of this pattern? [Answer: 2 or 4] 

Activity 6

  • Erase the car that you placed on your loop/s in Activity 5 (but leave the loop there)
  • Click on the Loops menu and add select Flower Bounce
  • Add the Flower Bounce loop to an empty space on your island
  • Add a car to your new loop and click Go
  • Clap along with steady beat
  • What is the meter of this pattern? [Answer: 5] 

Activity 7: Create your own loop

  • Erase the car that you placed on your loop in Activity 6 (but leave the loop there)
  • Click on the Road button and lay down between 2-9 pieces of road. You can choose to lay them in a straight line, or in a square shape
  • Add some sounds to your road – click on the lamp, house, tree or flower buttons and add them alongside your road. You can use a combination of different shapes/sounds (tip: once you’ve placed an object on the road, click on it again to access more sounds)
  • Add a car to your road and then click on Go
  • What is the meter of your pattern?
  • Ask another student in your class to listen to your pattern and guess the meter
  • Add your remaining two cars to two other loops and listen to them play back at the same time

Extensions

  • Students could work in pairs to create original loops in meters of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 on a single island. They could play two different loops at the same time by placing a car on each one
  • Each student could perform the rhythm or melody they have created and play it along with the Isle Of Tune car

Evaluation

Students can clap along with beat and correctly identify the meter of a variety of loops. They can compose their own loop from scratch using rhythmic and/or melodic elements

USA Music Education Standards

  • Listening to, analyzing, and describing music
  • Composing and arranging music within specified guidelines

Australian Music Curriculum Standards

  • 4.1 Develop aural skills by exploring, imitating and recognising elements of music including dynamics, pitch and rhythm patterns 
  • 4.3 Create, perform and record compositions by selecting and organising sounds, silence, tempo and volume 
  • 6.3 Rehearse and perform music, including music they have composed, by improvising, sourcing and arranging ideas and making decisions to engage an audience 
  • 8.6 Analyse composers’ use of the elements of music and stylistic features when listening to and interpreting music

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Looking for More Resources for Music Teachers?

Hello! I’m Katie Wardrobe – an Australian music technology trainer and consultant with a passion for helping music teachers through my business Midnight Music.

I’m a qualified teacher but no, I don’t currently teach in a school. I help teachers through my online professional development space – the Midnight Music Community – where there are tutorial videos, courses, links and downloadable resources.

I like to focus on easy ways to incorporate technology into what you are already doing in your music curriculum through a range of creative projects. I also run live workshops and have presented at countless conferences and other music education events.

If you want simple, effective ideas for using technology in music education, I would LOVE to help you inside the Midnight Music Community.

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