O Danny Boy | Free Music Lesson Plan and Game (Same/Different)

from the Lesson Zone


The following lesson will compare/contrast three versions of an Irish favorite, O Danny Boy, and will develop basic music listening skills in elementary school students. This lesson is designed to fulfill Standard #6 of the National Standards for Music: Listening to, analyzing, and describing music.


Three Circle Venn Diagram


Using a Venn diagram, ask your music students to note the musical elements that they hear in each example. When they have listened to each recording, ask them to compare what was the same about recording 1 and 2, 1 and 3, 2 and 3. Finally, in the center area, compare what is common about all three recordings.

Here's a list of questions that students can ask themselves as they listen. Write them on the board before the videos are introduced.

What is the tempo (speed) of the piece: Adagio, Andante, or Allegro?
Is the melody played by an instrument or is it sung?
It the song performed acapella or with accompaniment?
Some songs are written to different melodies. Is the melody the same in all three recordings?
What is the style of each performance? Ask the students to choose adjectives from a list that you provide: peaceful, funny, graceful, etc.

Version 1
Irish Whistle

Version 2
Celtic Woman

Version 3
The Muppets

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