As children come to learn more and more about how music is put together, they will begin to have new ears to hear any music. They add critical thinking skills to their musical experiences and will enjoy many kinds of music. They also come to understand and love music as they have hands on experiences creating their own music. They can have that experience through private lessons or by just doing some of the fun lessons that I will share.

The lessons will center on the Elements of Music: Beat, Rhythm, Style, Melody, Expression, Form, Timbre, Harmony, and Texture. You can watch as children become confidant at discussing these elements and hearing them in the music they listen to each day. They will enjoy using these elements to create their own music.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

In the Hall of the Mountain King - Lesson 2

In lesson one, we got acquainted with this wonderful piece of music.  Now we will have some fun as we examine the elements that helped create the piece: rhythm, tempo and dynamics.  The picture you see is a graphic illustration of this music - a music map.  You'll need to print out the three pages. The task now is to first focus on how this music repeats over and over a very simple rhythmic pattern. Ti-ti ti-ti ti-ti ta, ti-ti ta, ti-ti ta, Ti-ti ti-ti ti-ti ti-ti ti-ti ti-ti ta.  The task for this lesson is to be able to "follow the dots" on the chart until Peer Gynt finds himself safely out of the mountain. By the time you have done this enough to be able to touch each dot without getting so excited by the music that you get silly about it, you will know that rhythmic pattern well.  Remember, you MUST touch each dot along the way, hopping from dot to dot, not just sliding your finger along the path!

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Pages 1 and 2 repeat THREE times before you do the final page.  I prefer this version without the vocals as you do this exercise.  The beginning is really soft so you have to listen carefully.


Now, that you have accomplished this first part, it is time to discuss this question:  How could this composer keep repeating the same pattern over and over and yet we were never bored?  If I was talking to you and I keep saying the same thing, over and over and over, you would die of boredom.  But this piece is exciting.  Why?

This will lead to a discussion of tempo (the speed of the music) and dynamics (how softly or loudly the music is played)  The children will figure those two things out without your help.  It is so obvious.  It is your job to introduce them to the correct musical terms.  You may enjoy printing out the rhythm,  tempo and dynamics posters for future reference.

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