Comments to Teachers

Thank you for your interest in the work of American composers and concert artists! This study guide has been designed to accompany "Celebrating Americans," the recording of piano music by Kirk Whipple & Marilyn Morales. It is our hope that the materials on this web site will provide a wealth of resources for you and your students. If we can inspire your students to further explore the work of the composers presented in this recording as well as the broad world of music by other composers of serious music we will have succeeded.

We suggest using these musical and educational resources as follows:

All grade levels: Find quiet times to play the audio CD for students. Be sure to allow at least two exposures to each of the pieces on the recording. More plays are better to familiarize the students with these works! Using instrumental music as background for other quiet activities is always a good idea, but we also highly recommend making the act of listening a primary activity. We want to promote the idea listening to music as an end in and of itself. With the omnipresence of elevator music, music while holding on telephone calls, music in the malls, behind television commercials, as a backdrop for staged shows (i.e. pop acts like Brittany Spears, Eminem and Madonna whose "art" is primarily concerned with increasing the cash flow to major record companies), it is increasingly important to advance the practice of pure listening!

K through 2nd: Use the biographies and other commentaries as source material for discussion and to answer questions that might arise from students. Encourage students to learn names of composers and performers as well as musical terms. Advanced students might be able to try the word search, given the word search list as an aid. The Level 1 quiz might be given orally after covering all of the music.

3rd through 5th: Listen to one or two pieces at a time in class, read the related biographical materials with students and then have class discussions about the materials. The Level 1 quiz can be used for grades 3 and 4, and Level 2 quiz for grades 4 and 5. Using the word search list as an aid, the word search can be assigned. The crossword puzzle is a good extra credit project.

6th through 8th: Assign related educational materials to students one or two days before classroom listening sessions. Listen to between fifteen and twenty minutes of the recording at a time in class and discuss the works. Using the word search list as an aid, assign the word search. The crossword puzzle can be assigned as an extra credit project or test. Use Level 2 and 3 quizzes as final tests, depending upon the scope of your class and pace of your students.

9th through 12th: Assign all educational materials as homework and/or in-class study. Listen to the recording in class — as well as recordings of other works by the composers presented in Celebrating Americans for comparison — and discuss them with students. The word search can be assigned as an in-class competition with the aid of the word search list or as homework without benefit of the word search list. The crossword puzzle can be assigned as an extra credit project or test.

Use the Level 1 quiz as a pre-quiz or as a pop quiz in the middle of studies. The level 2 quiz can be used as a preparation for the final quiz. Assign the Level 3 quiz as the final test. We additionally recommend assigning an essay on any of the composers or works in Celebrating Americans.

We grant the following limited license to teachers: Regarding copyrights, the print materials on this web site may be copied and distributed freely if — and only if - used in a classroom setting. These materials may not be sold or otherwise distributed for profit without the express written consent of the author(s).

Regarding the audio recording, Celebrating Americans, this audio recording may not be copied.

We encourage you to play this recording for your students in class in conjunction with the presentation of the enclosed educational materials. For the following reasons we hope you will share with your students the importance of observing copyright laws:

• There is no way for us to monitor the quality of unauthorized copies of our musical work. People copying our recorded performances without our direct supervision take then chance of introducing errors into our final product. The spread of these unauthorized "bootleg" copies exponentially increases the chance that our creative work will be misrepresented to the public.

• We (and other recording artists) derive income from our sales of recordings. People who copy and distribute published recordings without compensating artists cut into our ability to make a living - and produce projects such as this. Eventually music piracy does not only harm people who produce music but also music consumers!

• The benefits of listening to a quality recording far outweigh the low sales price. It is just ethically wrong to illegally copy and download recordings!

If you or your students would like to purchase copies of this recording, please contact us at the address below. Teachers and students will receive special pricing for CD orders in conjunction with this project. We also welcome communications regarding this project from students, teachers, parents and administrators. Please include as much of the following return contact information in correspondences: name, address, school, city, zip, phone, fax and email.

We thank you again for your support of the arts and education and people whose lives are dedicated to these pursuits!

Musically yours,

The Unconservatory

8035 S.W. 26th Street

Miami, FL 33155

(305) 266-9673 Phone & Fax ( Please call prior to faxing.)