Monday, April 6, 2015

Timelessness of Music

As my student teacher teaches the students about Ludwig Von Beethoven today I reflect on the timelessness of music.  Music is an ever changing and evolving medium of expression.  That being said there are pieces of music that, thanks to modern media, are interwoven into all of our lives.  As a music educator I feel it is important that students understand that songs like the theme from the Hallelujah Chorus did not "come from Spongebob".  Students and consumers alike must understand that quality music is enduring.  The Hallelujah Chorus was written in 1741 by Handel.  I ask my students, 'don't you think that it is a pretty well written piece if people still know it today'?  They generally agree.  With this realization and the fact that some students will receive no music education after elementary school, I decided to change my focus of music listening.  Each week students listen to a piece of music that they will recognize.  We always relate the time period of the piece to something they know.  For example when people had cars, electricity, or if the United States had become a country yet.  Sometimes we dance, sometimes we tap, sometimes we watch a video.  Sometimes we listen to an original interpretation and sometimes we compare that one to a modern version.  My students often ask if there is a Piano Guys version of the song!!  Today they listened to Moonlight Sonata and then to the Piano Guys Version.

Moonlight Sonata on Piano

Piano Guys Moonlight Sonata

Music Listening
I saw several ideas for SQUILT (Super Quiet UnInterrupted Listening Time) on the internets so I took that idea and revised it to be my own.  I developed a Powerpoint of all 32 weeks of the school year including songs that the students will recognize from hearing somewhere other than school.  For example The 1812 Overture by Tchiakovsky, Stars and Stripes by John Phillip Sousa, Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by Bach, Selections from the Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky, Peer Gynt Suite by Edvard Grieg and Star Wars by John Williams.
The slide of my SQUILT program look like this.

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