CAPA – by Zana

(Crossposted from

Written and published by Zana

Every week, Belmore South Public School enjoys many things to learn about but one of the most popular is probably CAPA. Lately in CAPA we have been learning about major and minor in music. Major means higher notes that make you happier and minor means lower notes that make you sadder. Here’s a game you can play at home:


Get two or more people and take turns. One person plays some music and doesn’t tell you the name of it. The others have to tell the person who gave them the song if it is major or minor.

Sheet Music

Zachary Sumners via Compfight

Musical Structure

Structure in music is all about how different parts of the song or piece are organized.

  • Which parts are repeated?
  • Which parts are varied, or different?
  • How do the different parts change?

You might start by learning to pick the verse, chorus, and bridge sections in popular songs.

Sometimes, different parts are happening at the same time, for example the melody (the main tune of the song or piece), harmony (other notes that are different to the melody, but help make the song bigger and more interesting, but still sound nice), rhythm (the beat). In a vocal piece, you may add lyrics to the melody, and everything else in the music is the accompaniment.

Listen for the rhythm and melody in the song ‘Rush‘.

Revision of Term 2

Major or Minor?

If a song is played in a major key, it will sound happy. If it is played in a minor key, it will sound sad. Are the following songs major or minor? What connections or memories do they inspire?


Introducing the Stave

The stave (or staff, if you prefer) is a way of recording how high or how low a note is.

The lines on the treble stave are named for their matching pitched notes. Try the poem below to remember them:


Here’s where they match with a piano keyboard:


Try playing ‘Name That Note‘ to practise, or use Ms Salmon’s giant staff to play speed staff games, or musical twister.

Challenge 1 – Chords

Simple chords are made of the first, third, fifth, and sometimes eighth note of the scale (major or minor). If you don’t know the scale, then count:

  • MAJOR: the starting letter is the first note. 4 half steps up to the next note. 3 half steps to the next note. 5 half steps to the final note.
  • MINOR: the starting letter is the first note. 3 half steps up to the next note. 4 half steps to the next note. 5 half steps to the final note.

Choose a starting note, and in small groups, try to find which notes should be in the chord. Record on the whiteboard staves as letters or notes.

Challenge 2 – Scales

Starting on a different note each time, work out which notes ‘sound right’ in the scale. You will need to work out which ‘white’ notes are replaced with ‘black’ notes. Record on the whiteboard staves as letters or notes.

HINT: From easiest to hardest,

  • C – 1# (sharp)
  • G – 2 #s      F – 1 b (flat)
  • D – 2 #s
  • A – 3 #s
  • E – 4 #s
  • B – 5 #s

EXTENSION Challenge 3 – Pentatonic Scales

Penta means five, and tonic refers to tone. A pentatonic scale is made of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 6th notes of the scale. Starting on ‘C’, the pentatonic scale would be C, D, E, G, A. Can you work out the pentatonic scales starting on different notes, and record the pattern on the treble stave?

Tick, Tock, Goes the Clock…


How about some clock games?

Continuing with Pitch

We have been learning how pitch is made up of high notes, low notes, and notes in the middle. This week we will be learning to recognise patterns of pitch such as glissando, trills, and intervals (where you number the notes and see which number combinations sound best together).

Some classes will be revising how to use their singing voice to make interesting pitch patterns, and others will be learning about pitch contours, or mapping the ‘shape’ of the tune.

Aboriginal X-Ray Art

X-Ray art is a style or art that was developed many years ago in Australia. Cave paintings of this type have been found in Arnhem Rock, in northern Australia (east of Darwin). These paintings seem to show the outline of the animal, plus diagrams of the bones and some internal organs. There are solid colours, as well as patterns which can be layered over light colours. Earth colours such as orange, brown, yellow, red, black, and white are used. Backgrounds can include patterned borders and details, and there is often more than one animal sharing the space.

7353468188_1f99dac2f7_b Aboriginal-art

You will need: a picture of a reptile, brown paper, earth coloured pastels

  1. Look at a picture of your chosen animal – an anatomical drawing would be most helpful.
  2. Sketch the outline of silhouette using pencil or white pastel.
  3. Add lines showing the bone structure (eg. skull, spine, ribs) and any known organs (eg. heart, lungs) OR simply divide the inside of your animal into sections.
  4. Fill each section with a simple shape or pattern that repeats. Fine cross hatching called ‘rarrk’ is traditional to Arnhem land.
  5. Consider adding simple details to the background such as rows of dots or lines echoing the outline of your animal.


Pitch is how high or low/deep a sound is.

Listen to the following excerpts and determine if they are mostly high sounds, mostly low sounds, and how high or low. See if you notice any patterns of how the pitch of the notes change.

Try some match pitch or compare pitch. Then, listen to how the singers below combine the 7 standard notes to make songs. Do you hear any patterns of movement between notes, such as glissando, trill, steps, or intervals?

Dramatic poetry readings

Years 3-6 (and class Banks!) have been performing readers theatre and appreciating spoken word poetry. The following groups arranged their poem or verse, adding their own actions, body language, and expression to entertain their audience. For these performance, they were given 15-30 minutes of independent preparation time.

Poetry Theatre – Darwin from Ms Salmon on Vimeo.

Poetry Theatre – Morse from Ms Salmon on Vimeo.

Poetry Theatre – Banks from Ms Salmon on Vimeo.