ALEX Lesson Plan


The Voice……What does it consist of, and how does it work?

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Amy Lee
System: Shelby County
School: Chelsea High School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 3758


The Voice……What does it consist of, and how does it work?


Students will essentially take a tour of the human voice in this interactive lesson. They will learn the anatomy and physiology of the voice and also how vowel sounds are produced using two educational web sites. They will hear and analyze voices of various musical artists with different timbre and will analyze their own voice.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
Arts Education
AED (2006)
Grade: 6-12
Vocal Music: Level I
7 ) Evaluate performances of self and others to determine accuracy of pitch and rhythm and clarity of diction.

Arts Education
AED (2006)
Grade: 6-12
Vocal Music: Level I
12 ) Identify various composers and stylistic periods of the literature being performed.

Examples: "Psallite" from Michael Praetorius' Musae sioniae, 1609, late Renaissance; "Alleluia" from Johann Sebastian Bach's Cantata No. 142, Baroque period; "Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel'," traditional spiritual; "All Things Bright and Beautiful," John Rutter, contemporary music

•  Comparing music of several cultures of the world
Examples: Japanese folk song "Sakura, Sakura," South African folk song "Siyahamba," Russian folk song "Tum Balalaika," Mexican folk song "Cielito lindo"

Arts Education
AED (2006)
Grade: 6-12
Vocal Music: Level II
1 ) Produce a characteristic tone throughout the vocal range.

•  Describing the function of the diaphragm as related to singing
•  Singing legato and staccato articulations
•  Supporting tone with proper breath control for 12 beats
•  Singing with correct diction and intonation
Arts Education
AED (2006)
Grade: 6-12
Vocal Music: Level II
5 ) Critique vocal performances to determine the accuracy of intonation and vocal techniques.

Arts Education
AED (2006)
Grade: 6-12
Vocal Music: Level III
1 ) Produce a consistent blended vocal sound individually in classroom and public performance groups.

•  Supporting tone with proper breath control for 16 beats
Arts Education
AED (2006)
Grade: 6-12
Vocal Music: Level IV
1 ) Demonstrate technical expertise in producing a characteristic vocal sound individually and in groups.

Arts Education
AED (2006)
Grade: 6-12
Vocal Music: Level IV
3 ) Produce mature tone quality, accurate pitch center, and proper balance while performing in a group, small ensemble, or as a soloist.

Arts Education
AED (2006)
Grade: 6-12
Vocal Music: Level IV
6 ) Evaluate vocal performances to identify accuracy of tone and musical effect.

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will examine the voice—the anatomy of it and the vibrations that produce sound.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

Students will determine what makes voices different and how to keep a singer’s voice healthy.

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

61 to 90 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Students need pencils, notebook paper, manuscript paper, and their music books.
Sing! Hinshaw music textbook division ed. Charles Fowler Houston, Tx 1988

Technology Resources Needed:

Computer with Internet access, overhead projector, stereo system, cassette/CD of Louis Armstrong, Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion, and Mariah Carey.


1.)Students will arrive in class with the voice of Louis Armstrong playing on the stereo. When they are seated they will be asked to listen to an excerpt of “What a Wonderful World,” and then to write down what they think about his voice. (Is it strong, weak, breathy, loud, soft, etc.)

2.)Students will then examine the website article displayed by the overhead projector.

3.)They will copy the diagram of the voice, including the mouth, larynx and vocal cords, windpipe, lungs, and diaphragm.

4.)Students will then be directed to do the breathing exercise activity. They should feel their diaphragm expand and fill their lungs completely if done correctly.

5.)Students will discuss why they think it is important for singers to do breathing exercises.

6.)Students will read in their Sing! textbook on page 6 the section about breathing to confirm their discussion on the importance of breathing to keep the voice healthy.

7.)Students will write down what they think would happen if Louis Armstrong never exercised his voice. What would he sound like?

8.)Students will then listen to Aretha Franklin singing “Respect.”

9.)Students will write down her vocal characteristics and timbre.

10.)Students may wish to engage in a discussion about Aretha Franklin's voice.

11.)Students will then be told to read pages 7 and 8 in the Sing! textbook.

12.)Students will then be asked to stand up and do a few vocal exercises—concentrating on proper vowel sounds.

13.)Teacher will demonstrate the proper way of singing them, and the class will echo.

14.)Teacher needs to be sure to assess every student’s vowel sounds and listen to them individually.

15.)Students will then be told to sit down and observe the following website:
("Vocal Vowels)
This site has sound bites that demostrate the different vowel sounds of the voice

16.)They will see how the tongue placement, soft palate, and lip structure all contribute to producing vowel sounds.

17.)Students will then listen to Celine Dion’s “Power of Love” and compare her vowel sounds to Mariah Carey’s vowel sounds in her song, “Vision of Love.”

18.)Students will discuss whether or not the two singers would sound good together in a choir setting.

19.)Students will then discuss why it is important to practice matching vowels sounds when singing in a choir.

20.)Students will then make up a vowel vocal exercise and write it down on manuscript paper and turn in before leaving class.

21.)After this lesson, have students take turns leading the vowel vocal exercise during daily warm-ups.


Assessment Strategies

Teacher will assess the student's ability to do the correct breathing exercises and proper vowel sounds when singing. Teacher will also assess the student's learning by the open class discussions about the different singers observed. The teacher may want to ask pertinent questions to get more feedback from the students. The final assessment will be the completion of the vocal vowel exercise the students were asked to compose. A quiz on all of the information would also be an appropriate assessment strategy. For example: Students could be asked to draw the diagram of the voice including the mouth, larynx and vocal cords, windpipe, lungs, and diaphragm.





Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.