Study Guide, Section 5: Ideas For Classroom Study and Discussion
- Learn about musical periods, dates and biographical facts surrounding the lives of the
- Discuss similarities and differences in styles between composers and musical periods. A
few starting points:
Baroque: Bach, Handel, Scarlatti, Vivaldi
Classical: Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert
Romantic: Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, Schumann, Tchaikovsky
French: Debussy, Poulenc, Ravel, Satie
20th century: Bartok, Gershwin, Hindemith, Rachmaninoff
- Where possible tie discussion into pieces presented by the performers.
- Listen to and discuss recordings. Become familiar with some of the pieces. Where
possible compare differences between live and recorded performances of the same works. Be
sure to talk about the stereo presentation and other aspects surrounding the quality of
- What are the similarities and (especially) differences between live and recorded
performances. What are the advantages and disadvantages to both. A few starting points:
"Live" sound of the music
More contact with artists
Social aspects of attending
Exposure to new music
Much new music is unrecorded, and
the only way to hear it is at concerts.
Ability to listen to favorite
Easy accessibility of recordings
* As the authors of this study guide are both performing and recording artists, we do
not want to be of any assistance in these categories.
- Discuss the live performances. Which pieces did you like the most? Were there any pieces
you did not like? Why? Why not?
- Discuss the lifestyles of student and professional musicians. What personal
sacrifices must a person make to become a serious musician (or other artist)? What are the
rewards? Students who are serious about their musical studies and those who play music as
a hobby can share their experiences with the class.
- What goes on behind the scenes to produce live acoustic concerts? Talk about
community awareness of the arts, fund raising, concert volunteers, publicity efforts and
so forth. Discuss the differences in the public perception - and support - between
acoustic "classical style" concerts and amplified "rock" or
"pop" concerts. Why are amplified music concerts popular and profitable when
acoustic (especially symphonic) concerts depend heavily upon financial support aside from
ticket sales? Also, members of the student concert committee can be invited to discuss
their contributions with the class.
Poetry, Art, Dance...
- How has music affected the other creative disciplines? This is a good point of departure
for classes which focus on artistic disciplines other than music. How have you been
inspired by music? How does it fit in to your life?
- Chosing a composer (or two or three!) in the "biographical snapshots" (in
section three), write a detailed biographical report. Include references to other events
of historical significance in the life (or lives) of your selected composer(s). Also
discuss musical works and significant artistic contributions made by your selected
composer(s). *Extra credit: Select a composer that is not listed in section three.
**Double extra credit: Select a living composer. ***Triple extra credit: Get an interview
with a living composer!
- Using a living concert performer (or ensemble) as an example, write a report discussing
the lifestyle of a performing concert artist. Your report should include problems faced by
your selected performing artist(s) in pursuit of goals as well as stories of public
success. *Extra credit: If the subject of your report is a local performer, (and if
possible) get an interview.
- Find an interdisciplinary art work that involves two or more of the following art forms:
music, dance, poetry, literature, theater, visual art - (choose one or more: painting,
sculpture, drawing, computer art, film). Discuss how the art forms affect each other and
how the artist(s) combined them. Give your detailed opinions about what you feel is
successful and unsuccessful about your selected art work.
- Find two (or more) recordings of the same piece of music. Write a review comparing the
two recorded performances.
- Go to a concert of acoustic music (i.e: symphony, recital, jazz performance), and write
a review. Include a copy of the concert program with your report. If no program is
available, include the titles of all announced works.
Music on the web
- Anybody surfing for music? A good starting point: Check out the web site of "The
There are interesting articles and links to other musical sites.
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Updated: January 25, 2001 (KB)
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