Mozart, the World and Vocal Squiggles

Wolfgang and Maria Anna Mozart, c. 1763, by Eusebius Johann Alphen (1741–1772)

In music class we continued our work on music vocabulary, learning through play and experiment rather than rote memorization. We talked about musical phrases, a series of notes strung together, and the shape they should create, an arc. First we explored phrases in speech by reciting a short rhyme in two groups, taking turns saying the phrases. Next we walked while saying our assigned phrase so that our bodies could feel the arc as we said the phrase.

At last to music! We looked at a short theme by Mozart (ask your child to sing the tune!), decided where the phrases were, and sang them the same way we practiced our speech phrases. On an important note, we discussed Mozart’s big sister, Maria Anna, whom Mozart called the talented one, and came up with reasons why her music wasn’t saved and why she isn’t well known like her baby brother, Wolfgang Amadeus.

After weeks of hard work on the rondo I Saw Esau, the children learned the song I’d Like to Teach the World to SingBut, they did so much more than just learn the notes! We analyzed the form to understand how the song is ‘mapped.’ We discussed the text and it’s meaning. We also took the text out of it’s musical context and recited it as prose to feel how it would sound were it not broken by lines of music.

Finishing the class, we had fun with Vocal Squiggles. These are cards with shapes and directions. The children were asked to sing how these shapes would sound!



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