Please find my other 2 files: 1. "when I'm gone" for violin, as this study guide is meant to encourage creativity suing the pentatonic scale as it is presented in the song, and 2. Cups improv/arrangement lesson plan- both are available for free download, and are meant to be used with this packet. Many of my students have learned to sing the tune already on their own, and can play it by ear with a little effort and a few tips about how to break it down.
This packet is designed to help teach a class of string players how to create their own arrangement of "When I'm Gone", made popular by Anna Kendrick, LuLu and the Lampshades, and Anna Burden, by taking them through a number of exercises that will strengthen their open string reading, string crossing technique, pentatonic note collection access on their instrument, and their creative improvisational skills within a manageable and limited framework. While I need to teach all of these skills to all beginning string players, I find that teaching them through the study of this song excites the students about the basics and shows them that the basics are quite interesting on their own. I have used this packet with several 2nd-6th grade beginners, and have had a truly energetic response to what would otherwise be an exercise they might think is "boring" without a practical, creative application that sounds cool right away. (the original song was featured in the movie "Pitch Perfect") I have organized these for string teachers who wish to teach this in a class comprised of any combination of violinists, violists, and cellists. The parts can all be played together, which is often on of the challenges in teaching a mixed strings classroom.(the cellists and violists play "c" when the violinists play "e", for example)The packet includes:
1. A sheet with links to the best performances, and a rhythmic breakdown (in classical notation) and tutorial of the cups accompaniment.
2. A three page sheet of open string exercises (post "twinkle" level) for beginning violinists, violists and cellists. Includes separate parts for each instrument, which can be played together in a classroom situation.
3. Each part contains pentatonic scale drills and blank staves to compose 8 bars of rhythmic/pentatonic material to be used in a classroom composition project. (each student's mini-composition can be combined into a unified class piece, which can also serve as a part of the accompaniment to the singing part of "When I'm Gone")
Please email me, if you think I could help add to this unit, or customize it better to suit your classroom.
For bassists and the learning of baselines:
"coming soon: "cups" bass lines for all stringed instruments.
Meanwhile- please check out my blues practice sheets. (these help in the development of basic bass line understanding)