Teaching Classical Music to Children

 

Don't do too much in one class period.

Teach one or two sections, then go on to other activities. Teach the rest another time. As a general rule, I don't play the recording until the second or third day we've worked on a piece. The lessons are most successful when preparation time is adequate.


Teach to an objective.

These lessons are most practical when used to reinforce the concepts you are teaching.


Listen without the distraction of an activity.

Once the students are very familiar with an activity, have them listen without any activity. One “trick” I like to use is to have them listen to the parts they do NOT know.  Even after spending hours with a piece, I find that I hear new things when I decide to hear all the parts that are “new” to me. Try it!


Choose which parts to teach.

You don't have to do all of every piece. It's sometimes enough to teach the recurring theme, let the students find it in the piece, and have them discover the differences in it as it occurs.  You can also teach only a portion of a whole section -- teach the accompaniment or the ostinato, or teach the melody or the rhythm.  Depending upon your student’s age and inclination, lessons can easily be adapted by adding more or making them shorter.


Find an effective way to fit the classics into your program.

Having a Composer of the Month and playing the same songs for each of my grade levels has been very successful for me.  That way the entire school has the same listening experience.  At one school, the principal was very behind me on this, and he played the piece at the beginning of the school day over the P.A. -- before the announcements.  In a small town where I lived, the local radio station made Wednesday night their “Composer of the Month” night, and played whatever piece we were working on - as well as other pieces by that composer - every Wednesday starting at 7:00 PM. 


Write your own lessons – or get more of mine.

Using Singing, Speech, Body Percussion, Instruments, Mime, and Dance provides unlimited opportunities for active listening lessons. If you want more lessons like these, check out my links to free websites here on this site -- then join the Composer of the Month Club!

Tips

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Links to FREE LISTENING LESSONS

Brahms' Hungarian Dance #5 - Lesson Plan

Music History Connection -- Brahms

Free Music Lesson Plans - LIstening Lessons Unlimited


Dmitri Kabalevsky - Free Lesson Plans

Music for School - Free Lesson Plans

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