Fifth Graders: here are those selections for you to consider :)
Forgotten Dreams by Leroy Anderson I love this piece of music. The dynamics help set up a dreamy, wistful mood. Did you have hopes and dreams for the school year that changed due to the school closure? I know I did. Perhaps you could draw a picture of them while you listen.
William Tell Overture Do you remember what dynamics are? Dynamics are the musical words for volume:piano (p) means quiet, forte (f) means loud. There are many variations of these words. For example, mezzo fortemeans medium loud. It's represented by the letters mf.
Check out this great listening map for the William Tell Overture posted below. Notice how the dynamics make it sound like a real storm: it starts out quietly (pp)with just a few sprinkles of rain. There is a large crescendo (<) and the music gets louder. I love the part where the brass instruments are so loud (ff) ~ it reminds me of the thunder I heard last night. Try following the map the first time you listen. Perhaps you could draw a picture of the storm the second time Or maybe you could act out what you would do if you were caught outside in such a fierce storm!
This piece is from Saint-Saen's Carnival of the Animals. He wrote this to be like a musical trip to the zoo featuring all kinds of cool pieces that make the listener think of different animals. An aviary is an enclosure that holds birds. What instrument would you choose to play the part of a bird? Why? Draw your own picture of a bird or download / print and color the one below.
Students in third and fourth grades spent NOT NEARLY ENOUGH time on one of my favorite stories / pieces of all time: The Firebird by Igor Stravinsky. We heard the finale in the Link Up concert a few weeks ago. Here is the story:
A hunter named Ivan who gets lost in the woods. Ivan comes across an unusual bird, who is the Firebird. He captures her. In return for her freedom, she gives him a feather and promises she will help him if he finds himself in need.
Ivan follows the Firebird to a castle surrounded by stone statues. He enters and finds 10 beautiful maidens. They warn him of the wizard Kastchei who will turn him to stone (like all of the other brave men before him) if he tries to rescue them.
Ivan decides to be brave and try to rescue the maidens. He enters the courtyard and is quickly met by Kastchei's army of minions (not the twinkie kind!) who attack him. He fights them the best he can but Ivan is sadly outnumbered. He quickly remembers the feather hidden in his shirt. He waves it in the air and the minions run away in fear. Kastchei arrives on the scene and he tries to turn Ivan to stone. Suddenly, the air becomes hazy as the Firebird arrives. She brings Ivan a golden sword which he uses to defeat the wizard, Kastchei. The stone statues slowly come back to life and all is well.
Check out these two listening sections from the Firebird Suite. The first is where Ivan is facing Kastchei's army and then King Kastchei himself. It's very exciting! The second is the finale.... can you hear the stone statues slowly coming back to life?
What do you think the Firebird looks like? Draw a picture and send it to me if you'd like. Or you can print and color the glyph below while you listen. It goes with the first listening selection.
Antonio Vivaldi was an Italian man who lived in Venice, Italy in the 1700s. He was a Catholic priest and a composer. His music is still very popular today ~ 300 years later! My favorite thing about Vivaldi is that he was a music teacher in an orphanage for girls. Not only did he teach the girls how to play string instruments but he also wrote many pieces of music for them, including The Four Seasons, his most famous work. I bet many of you will recognize this piece: Spring.
Listen for the violins pretending to be birds around 30 seconds in. Look out for the rainstorm at 1:30! Listen to the loud and quiet dynamics in the piece. If you'd like, print one of the glyphs below to color while you listen!