Where are your music themes...?
...I was asked by a few subscribers some time ago.
Well, I didn't have any ! So I went to work finding out where the best resources are for teachers to add music themes to their curriculum.
Fortunately, whether kids are listening to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Hip-Hop, C & W, Gospel, Blues, Hymns, Heavy Metal, Jazz or any number of other "music" genre...
There is one thing in common - The instruments !
Have you ever seen an instrument you didn't know existed ? Odd Music offers a look, description and in most cases an audio file that let's you listen in.
Let's take a look at some of the great music theme resources available for all age groups.
Let's print out the dance cards, pick a song or two from the music box and go to town. At
you'll need Real Time Player but PBS offers a download link if you don't already have it installed on your computer.
Next, another music theme special... the symphony comes to your classroom with the New York Philharmonic Kidzone. And at NY Phil Kids can click on the Musicians' Lounge to interact with the musicians and hear each one play his or her musical instrument.
Additional biographical information adds to music themes preparation and by clicking on Dressing Rooms students can learn about the conductors and the soloists as they listen to the instruments they play.
The Instrument Storage Room lets students see the instrument families of the entire orchestra. Your music themes might be incomplete without the entire orchestra feature.
You can also listen to each instrument, get detailed data and see an illustrated guide about music pieces each instrument has performed.
Once students learn about potential musical theme instruments, they can create their own music at the Instrument Laboratory and Composition Workshop.
There's even a Composers' Gallery for researching composers and musicians that might be included in your music themes presentation.
The following three sites offer similar but unique presentations of music themes opportunities and I've provided their hyperlinks so please visit each one to observe their special contribution to music themes and your kids.
San Francisco Kids
For Students: A music classroom is the first screen you see. A piano links to an Instrument Encyclopedia where students hear and learn about more instruments. Music classes will never be the same.
The piano stool enables clicks on Music Theory providing lessons on scales, staff paper, and How Hearing Works.
The Computer connects students to music games where they can test their music knowledge with activities like Beethoven's Baseball on composers, or the Composer's Keyboard where they drag notes to a music staff to create and play their own songs. Music education has really gone digital.
There's even a Time Machine game - where students try to place 42 composers in their rightful place in history. This is another great opportunity to introduce composers through historical music themes material.
An Orchestra Seating Chart diagrams the location of instruments for the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Modern periods, all with an option to print.
The Radio links to a listening library alphabetized by composer with additional links to a short biography when you click on his name.
Don't miss the File Cabinet that has lots of take home lessons about instruments and the orchestra. I Am A Musician uses an orchestra diagram to introduce musicians to students with a short biography.
For Teachers: The Teachers Lounge features a Bookcase filled with books, Activities with searchable lessons, Composers with background information, Sheet Music for blank sheet music pages and Theory for music background. A real music themes and school songs special.
No matter what type of music it is... we have vocal chords, guitars, drums, flutes, piano's, saxophone's, clarinet's... etc to learn and teach about. Every instrument has sufficient history to support its own music theme.
Because music teachers focus on teaching music and performances at school or community functions for educational purposes, they often support exhibits, music festivals, competitions, student performances and other events designed to share the results of their music instruction with parents and the public in general.
These are all great opportunities to use themes - which are really just an extension of our other school themes (designed to promote your school spirit).
Because music can be such a powerful medium for positive change, we recognize its place in every school's curriculum, right alongside all our other school themes...
...helping promote a positive working and learning environment for all.
A music curriculum can vary by age group. For young children... singing, moving, listening, and playing instruments offers a stimulating environment that encourages their thinking and further exploration. The Magic School Bus Theme Song provides a great example.
At this age it's all about Play -and- Choice. We want to encourage their active involvement.
Moving up to about the 4th grade we recognize their "Learn by Doing" abilities. Singing, playing instruments, learning to read and create music become the building blocks helping them begin to understand their own historical and cultural heritage.
Music themes can focus on community or world events helping to bridge the gap in our global relationships.
Now we're moving (dancing), reading and notating music as we move (dance) up to about the 8th grade.
Music exploration becomes a bit more serious as students observe and respond to peers about music composition and preferences.
They also begin to make informed judgments over relationships between music and other disciplines.
And finally our Seniors... - Music really contributes to the quality of their lives. Memories really are a product of time and place. I'm sure you remember your high school music.
How often do you remember something you were doing everytime a certain song plays?
Maybe it was even something you shouldn't have been doing... but that song brings it all back like it was yesterday - every time you hear it!
This is the age of creative expression and performance. Students recognize and pursue excellence. Their lives are enriched by the tunes blaring on the radio or their favorite CD.
Music tunes supported by your seniors can really help drive school spirit.
They've acquired evaluation and analysis skills essential to their "Listening" habits.
Enjoy your music themes discoveries and you can download our other winning themes by clicking here.
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