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Mini-Unit of Work: Hawaiian Chants



Students learn E Hō Mai aurally and through imitation – Melody line, harmony part, meaning, and context of performance. Perform the chant as a class, teacher joining with students.

Invite Cultural Informant to demonstrate ‘voice cracks’ and vibrato (‘i’i’). Discuss use of vibrato and ‘voice cracks’ that are in the style.



Students learn Oli Mahalo – Melody line, harmony parts, meaning, and context of performance.


Comparison between the different chants, focusing on structure and melody. Students to draw the melodic contour of Oli Mahalo.



Discuss the pitch slide at the end of E Hō Mai which causes the entire verse to be sung higher by a semitone: What is the aural effect? (increasing intensity)

Relate this use of slides to other songs that use the technique (eg. Beyonce Love On Top, Whitney Houston I Wanna Dance With Somebody, Michael Jackson Man In The Mirror).


In groups, choose a song and learn the chorus, vocals only. Sing the chorus 2 times, raising or lowering the pitch by a semitone, by sliding on the last syllable.



Students discuss the phrase structure of Oli Mahalo.

Using this phrase structure, students create their own melody with the period phrase structure (in groups or individually). This is then to be sung or performed on an instrument of their choice.


Identify the same phrase structure used in other pieces of music (not just acapella – eg. Haydn's Feldpartita, Beethoven Ode To Joy, Beatle’s All My Loving).

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