It has been a productive and fun autumn in the music room! At the beginning of the year I sat down with Mrs. Lowe to discuss classroom goals. One thing I wanted to improve on or expound upon was our students’ music listening skills. I believe that it is important to be able to understand and explain what we hear in music in accurate and intelligent terms. Every month, each class listens to one well-known and well-loved example of “Classical” music. I use the word “Classical” in the broad sense, because our listening examples have been taken from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Modern eras.
I was surprised by how much the students have enjoyed this new practice. It was a delight to watch the Kindergarten class discover the main subject of Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumble Bee” and to have the first grade class count every repeated theme in Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King.” One sixth grade listening lesson was particularly memorable. We listened to Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D minor.” The students were surprised that they already knew the song—they had heard it in movies, commercials, and television shows. The students described the organ piece as “terrifying” and “eerie” and associated it with Halloween programs and commercials. We read a little about the composer and when we discovered that Johann Sebastian Bach was primarily a church musician, one student suggested that “Toccata and Fugue” could actually be a musical representation of God’s power and wrath. Wow!
In the next few weeks, we will be listening to and creating some beautiful Christmas music and I encourage you to do the same! Music is a precious gift—take the time to enjoy it!