IDIOM CONNECTION

Lesson 8

Music Idioms and the School Band

Introduction

Do you know how to play a musical instrument?

Reading

I love music and I learned to play the violin by ear when I was a child. As long as there is music in my life, I am happy. That is why I joined the school band. The school band practices every morning in the school auditorium. Everybody tunes up his or her instrument soon after they arrive. After a few minutes everybody is usually in tune. Except for one person - the band leader’s son. He is a good singer and can carry a tune easily but he cannot play any instrument well. No matter how hard he tries, he is always out of tune with the rest of the orchestra. He never seems to improve and everybody thinks that he will have to leave the band for good soon.

Reading Questions

Answer the following questions. The answers can easily be found in the reading above.

1. When did this person learn to play the violin by ear?

2. As long as there is music in her life, is she happy?

3. Who tunes up their instruments?

4. When is everybody in tune?

5. Who can carry a tune easily?

6. Who is always out of tune with the orchestra?

7. Will the band leader's son probably have to leave the band for good soon?

Making Connections and Idiom Meanings

Some of the idioms have another meaning or are connected to another meaning. Use this information to help you choose the correct meaning for each of the following idioms:

1. to play by ear
a)    to be not properly adjusted for sound
b)    to play a musical instrument by remembering the tune and not by reading the music
c)    to carry a tune

Your answer:   ___  out of 1

2. as long as
a)    provided that
b)    including
c)    regardless

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

3. When you tune up a car, you adjust certain parts of the engine so that the car will operate well. What do you think that to tune up a musical instrument means?
a)    to adjust a musical instrument for the correct sound
b)    to be able to sing accurately
c)    to repair a musical instrument

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

4. Synchronized swimming is a type of swimming where everybody moves together. The word sync comes from synchronize. When you are in sync with others, you are working together in harmony with them. In tune is similar to in sync. What do you think that to be in tune means when you are talking about musical instruments?
a)    to produce the correct sound
b)    to be permanent
c)    to be broken

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

5. to carry a tune
a)    to play a musical instrument by remembering the tune and not by reading the music
b)    to be able to sing musical notes correctly
c)    to sound terrible

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

6. no matter
a)    regardless
b)    provided that
c)    sometimes

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

7. When you are out of sync with something, then you are not working together with it or in harmony with it. Out of sync is similar to out of tune. What does to be out of tune mean?
a)    to produce the correct sound
b)    to be not properly adjusted for sound
c)    to sound great

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

8. for good
a)    permanently
b)    regardless
c)    recently

Your answer is: ___  out of 1



Multiple Choice

Choose the correct idiom for each sentence:

1. The singer is not able to sing accurately.
a)    tune up
b)    carry a tune
c)    be out of tune

Your answer:   ___  out of 1

2. We plan to stop using our car permanently. We will use the bus.
a)    for good
b)    for the best
c)    no matter

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

3. Provided that my friend agrees, we can use his truck to move the sofa.
a)    Longer than
b)    As long as
c)    No matter if

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

4. All of the violins were producing the correct sound. They sounded great.
a)    in tune
b)    out of tune
c)    playing by ear

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

5. The concert was very good although some of the instruments were not producing the correct sound.
a)    in tune
b)    playing by ear
c)    out of tune

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

6. It took the man a long time to adjust our piano for the correct sound.
a)    tune up our piano
b)    be in tune with our piano
c)    carry a tune for our piano

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

7. The piano teacher is very good and she can play without reading the music.
a)   usually be in tune
b)   play out of tune
c)   play by ear

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

8. Regardless of how often I try to contact my friend, he is always busy.
a)   For good
b)   No matter
c)   As long as

Your answer is: ___  out of 1




Grammar Focus

Choose the word or expression that makes each of the following sentences correct:

1. The man in the singing group could not _______________ at all.
a)    carry a tune
b)    carry tune
c)    carry tunes

Your answer:   ___  out of 1

2. I am going to stop learning the trumpet ________________.
a)    not good
b)    too good
c)    for good

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

3. _________________ I have time, I will help my friend.
a)    As long that
b)    As long for
c)    As long as

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

4. Our piano is ________________ and we must get it fixed.
a)    out in tune
b)    out of tune
c)    out to tune

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

5. I learned how to _______________ when I was very young.
a)    play by ear
b)    play to ear
c)    play for ear

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

6. _________________ where I go shopping, I cannot find a jacket that I like.
a)    The matter
b)    No matters
c)    No matter

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

7. The violin was not _______________ with the other violins.
a)   in tune
b)   it tune
c)   in tuned

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

8. The piano tuner worked hard to ________________ the piano.
a)   tune down
b)   tune over
c)   tune up

Your answer is: ___  out of 1




Discussion Questions

Answer the following questions using the idioms from this section:

1. Can you play music by ear?

2. Do you know anyone who can play music by ear?

3. As long as you have music in your life are you happy?

4. As long as the weather is good, do you like to walk outside?

5. Do you know how to tune up a piano?

6. How often do you think that a piano should be tuned up?

7. Was everybody in your school orchestra always in tune?

8. Have you ever heard an orchestra that was not in tune?

9. Can you carry a tune easily when you sing?

10. Do you know anyone who cannot carry a tune?

11. Have you ever done bad in a class no matter how much you studied?

12. Do you know anyone who, no matter how hard they try, can never do well at sports?

13. Do you know anyone who has played a musical instrument that was out of tune?

14. Have you ever played an instrument that was out of tune?

15. Would you like to move to a different country for good?

16. Do you know anyone who has stopped smoking for good?

Role Play

Student A: You are trying to convince your friend to join the school band. You think that he or she is quite good at playing their instrument.

Student B: You believe that you are not good at music and you will never be able to play well even if you become a member of the school band.

Lesson 8