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For Teachers

Welcome, teachers! On this site you'll find resources to help you energize music education in your classroom.

  • Watch Season 1 and Season 2 episodes now as streaming video. The educators' index will help you find content by instrument, genre and composer.
  • Learn more about each episode's featured musicians on the program pages.
  • Download podcasts from Seasons 1 and 2.
  • Enhance your curriculum with the Season 2 activity guides and lesson plans below that you can incorporate directly into your classroom.

Season 2 Educational Resources

Episode 13: Copland Tells a Story Episode 13: Copland Tells a Story

Through this writing activity students will explore how Aaron Copland uses music to convey a sense of landscape and time.

Episode 13: Appalachian Spring Episode 13: Appalachian Spring

Students will explore the connection between music and movement through choreographing aspects of their everyday activities.

Episode 12: Round and Round (and Round) Episode 12: Round and Round (and Round)

In this activity, students will learn about the canon as a compositional form and connect what they know about singing rounds to the classical canon form.

Episode 12: We'll Improvise Episode 12: We'll Improvise

Students will compare jazz and classical performances by the same trumpeter, 15-year-old Kyla Moscovich, and will improvise a jazz version of a familiar classical tune.

Episode 11: Theme and Variation Episode 11: Theme and Variation

In this activity, students will learn about theme and variation as a compositional form and put their own spin on a familiar melody through group improvisation.

Episode 11: Inside Out Portrait Episode 11: Inside Out Portrait

In this activity, students will explore what it means to express their own authentic voices by examining Shundeena Beard's relationship to the viola as a vehicle for self-expression.

Episode 10: Jazz Connections Episode 10: Jazz Connections

Students will examine an artist's connection to a piece of music and how the musician can communicate such a connection through her performance.

Episode 10: We'll Improvise Episode 10: We'll Improvise

Students will watch an inspired jazz-style performance of "Old MacDonald" and then try improvising on their favorite children's songs.

Episode 9: Pictures in Sound Episode 9: Pictures in Sound

In this activity, students will explore two different pieces of classical music, both written to convey a specific mood, image, or sensation. They will compare these to familiar music that has similar goals - like movie soundtracks.

Episode 9: Mercutio Episode 9: Mercutio

In this activity students will listen to "Mercutio" from Prokofiev's ballet score for Romeo and Juliet and experiment with creating musical themes for different characters. They will also listen for themes from a movie soundtrack - modern "program music"!

Episode 8: It's a Song Episode 8: It's a Song

In this activity, students will compare the human voice and the piano and experiment with adapting songs written for the voice for different instruments.

Episode 8: Folk Meets Classical Episode 8: Folk Meets Classical

In this activity, students will compare classical music and folk music and explore the differences between consonant and dissonant sounds.

Episode 7: Exploring Excellence Episode 7: Exploring Excellence

Through group discussion, individual reflection and a short writing exercise, students will explore the qualities, characteristics and skills necessary for excellence in any field by examining Kimani's high achievement in both music and sports.

Episode 7: All Things Change Episode 7: All Things Change

In this activity, students will connect the idea behind a choral piece - change - with its musical characteristics, using appropriate musical terminology such as rhythm, tempo, and dynamics. They will then work in groups to create short pieces that express similar feelings.

Episode 6: One String, Many Sounds Episode 6: One String, Many Sounds

In this brief activity, students will listen closely to a young cellist perform a piece played on only one string of the instrument and identify the variety of sounds he produces.

Episode 5: Innovation through Experimentation Episode 5: Innovation through Experimentation

Students will learn how composer Fran├žois Rabbath developed innovative ways to play the double bass as a result of not having any formal training, and they will invent their own creative learning processes.

Episode 4: Teamwork Episode 4: Teamwork

In this activity students will observe, discuss, and practice interpretive and communications skills related to music.

Episode 4: Musical Journey Episode 4: Musical Journey

In this activity, students will watch a video segment about a young Mexican-American musician and the role of music in his life, looking for social, cultural, and emotional connections that support his musicianship. They will write about how their experiences are similar to and different from his.

Episode 3: Guitar Is Everywhere! Episode 3: Guitar Is Everywhere!

A quick activity (10-15 minutes) in which students watch a guitar performance and discuss the versatility of this amazing instrument.

Episode 3: Marimba Beat Episode 3: Marimba Beat

In this activity students will develop ideas and plans for constructing their own marimbas using readily available materials. As a variation, students could construct other percussion instruments such as xylophones or drums.

Episode 2: Mad Hot Tango! Episode 2: Mad Hot Tango!

In this activity students will listen to and analyze characteristics of tango music, especially rhythm, and experiment with variations in tempo.

Episode 2: Listening with Your Eyes Episode 2: Listening with Your Eyes

Students will compare the experience of listening to a piece of music (without video or other visual accompaniment) and the experience of watching a performer as the piece is played.

Episode 1: Found Sound Episode 1: Found Sound

Students work in small groups to compose and record a "found percussion" piece using materials at hand in the classroom, their bodies, and rhythms they identify in their environment.

Episode 1: Gypsy Airs Episode 1: Gypsy Airs

A listening activity that focuses on how traditional, folk, and classical music influence one another, as exemplified by Sarasate's "Gypsy Airs" (Zieguernewisen).

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