Preservation Hall Lessons – Treble Clef and the Bass Clef

Treble Clef and Bass Clef

  • INSTRUCTION
  • MEDIA
GRADE: 3-5
SUBJECT: Music, Reading
GENRE: All
TOPIC: Musical Staff, Piano
DISCIPLINE: Music

DESCRIPTION

In this lesson, students will apply a mnemonic device strategy to identify treble and bass clef names and spaces on the musical staff. Students will engage with an interactive tool to practice the lines and spaces on the musical staff.

 

OBJECTIVES

  • Students will be able to identify the features of the musical staff.
  • Students will be able to name the lines and spaces on the treble clef staff. 
  • Students will be able to name the lines and spaces of the bass clef staff.

 

STANDARDS

National Core Arts Standards

Music – Anchor Standard 4: Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.


Common Core State Standards

RI.3.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
RI.4.1 Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
RI.5.1 Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

 

INSTRUCTOR NOTES

Students should have some familiarity with general education music. Teachers should review the lesson resources, media, and websites prior to launching the lesson. Teachers have the option to evaluate the treble clef and bass clef separately. Students with disabilities may benefit from Adaptive Movements in this lesson.

 

MATERIALS

 

INTRODUCTION 

  1. Play a note in the treble clef for students on the piano or reference the video, Notes on Treble Clef and Bass Clef, on slide 3 of the presentation, Treble Clef and Bass Clef. Now, play a note in bass clef. Ask students to listen carefully and be prepared to compare the two clefs. Tell students that they are going to learn about the musical staff and the differences between the treble clef and bass clef. 
  2. Show students an image of the musical staff on slide 4 of the presentation, Treble Clef and Bass Clef. Ask: How do you think this image relates to what you heard on the piano? Have students elaborate on their responses. Identify for students that the upper staff is the treble clef and the lower staff is the bass clef. 
  3. Using a board or chart paper, model for students how to draw the musical staff. Reference slide 5 of the presentation, Treble Clef and Bass Clef, to identify each feature. Describe the features of the treble clef staff: five lines, four spaces, and the treble clef symbol. Then describe the features of the bass clef staff: five lines, four spaces, and the bass clef symbol
  4. Demonstrate for students how musicians use the musical staff to read music. Tell them that on the piano, musicians play the treble clef with their right hand and bass clef with their left hand. Play a melody combining the treble clef and bass clef notes.

 

APPLICATION

  1. Ask: What do you recall about the features of the musical staff? Tell students that each line and each space has a name. Display the treble clef on slide 6 of the presentation, Treble Clef and Bass Clef. Tell students they are going to first learn about the treble clef, then the bass clef.  
  2. Introduce the names of the four spaces for the treble clef, F-A-C-E. Show students the Treble Clef Spaces Animation on slide 7 of the presentation, Treble Clef and Bass Clef. Model for students how to identify writing the names on the spaces, then have them practice on the Treble Clef Lines and Spaces handout. Now introduce the five names of the Treble Clef Lines Animation, E-G-B-D-F on slide 8 of the presentation, Treble Clef and Bass Clef. Model for students how to identify and write the names on the lines, then have them practice using on the Treble Clef Lines and Spaces handout.
  3. Have students work with a peer to practice reciting the mnemonic phrases for the treble clef lines and spaces.
  4. Allow time for students to practice the mnemonic device memory trick on the Treble Clef and Bass Clef Interactive website.
  5. Tell students they are going to learn about the bass clef. Display the bass clef on slide 9 of the presentation, Treble Clef and Bass Clef
  6. Introduce the names of the four spaces for the bass clef, A-C-E-G. Show students the Bass Clef Spaces Animation on slide 10 of the presentation, Treble Clef and Bass Clef. Model for students how to identify the names on the spaces, and then have them practice on the Bass Clef Lines and Spaces handout. Now introduce the five names of the Bass Clef Lines Animation, G-B-D-F-A on slide 11 of the presentation, Treble Clef and Bass Clef. Model for students how to identify and write the names on the lines, then have them practice using on the Bass Clef Lines and Spaces handout. 
  7. Introduce the mnemonic device for the bass clef: All Cows Eat Grass and Good Boys Do Fine Always. Ask students to work with a peer to practice reciting the mnemonic phrases for the bass clef lines and spaces.
  8. Allow time for students to practice the mnemonic device memory trick on the Treble Clef and Bass Clef Interactive website.

 

EVALUATION

  1. In whole group, review note names with students using the Treble Clef and Bass Clef Interactive
  2. Distribute the Musical Staff Assessment. Using the handout, ask students to: Identify and label the note names on the treble clef and the bass clef.

 

ATTRIBUTIONS

Used with permission. Portions of this work are based on the National Core Arts Standards Copyright © 2015 National Coalition for Core Arts Standards/All Rights Reserved – Rights Administered by SEADAE.

© Copyright 2010. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers. All rights reserved.

Louis Ford, Curriculum Developer and Music Artist Liaison
JoDee Scissors, Editor and Content Curator
Meredith Sharpe, Adaptations Writer

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