The purpose of this activity is to provide background knowledge on the waltz, march, and polka.
1. Obtain recordings of Strauss waltzes, marches, and polkas from your school or local library.
2. Select and play a piece of music from each musical style.
3. Ask the students to stand up and move to the music.
4. After playing each piece, discuss how the music influenced the movements that the students made when they heard it.
5. Discuss the history of waltzes, marches, and polkas. Information on these topics can be found at the following Web sites:
Centralhome: The History of Dance
Classical Music Pages: Musical Form: March
The purpose of this activity is to develop an understanding and appreciation for the cultural importance of Vienna.
1. Divide the students into small groups and tell them that a travel agency has just hired them. Their job is to create a presentation that will entice people to visit Vienna and explore the history, art, and music of the Austrian city.
2. Tell the students to include as many of the following topics as possible in their presentation:
3. Explain to the students that they should use varied sources for their research. These sources could include books, magazines, videos, the Internet, and the annual GREAT PERFORMANCES program FROM VIENNA: THE NEW YEAR'S CELEBRATION. The following Web sites on Viennese history and culture would be good starting points.
- the history of Vienna
- the music of Vienna (focusing on the Strauss family, but they may also include the works of Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart, and/or Schubert)
- the Vienna Philharmonic
- the Musikverein concert hall
- the Vienna State Opera Ballet
- the visual arts and architecture of Vienna
4. Tell the students that their presentation should include the following:
5. Explain to the students that they don't need to limit themselves to an oral or written presentation. Presentations can be in the form of a video, a PowerPoint presentation, or a Web site.
- photographs (if possible)
6. Provide time for the students to share their presentations.
The purpose of this activity is for the students to create a musical arts program.
1. Divide the class into small groups.
2. Tell the students that they are going to create a musical program along the lines of GREAT PERFORMANCES' FROM VIENNA: THE NEW YEAR'S CELEBRATION.
3. Tell the students they should include the following components in the program:
Music: Titles of the music that will be performed and the names of the individuals who will perform each piece.
Dance/Movement: A description of the dance and the names of its performers.
Visual Art: Title, name of artist, and a picture or description of the work.
Venue: Name of the venue and the reason for choosing it.
Free Choice Item: An item of your choice that will enhance the program.
Include an explanation of the reasons for your choice.
4. Have the students create a poster announcing the program.
5. Provide time for the groups to share their work with the class.
Invite a member from the community to teach the students how to waltz, polka, and/or march. The school band director might be able to provide instruction on marches. Another option would be to rent how-to videos or visit this Web site to learn the waltz steps: http://www.dancetv.com/tutorial/waltz/
| Top banner photo: Cast from the Met Opera's production of "The Barber of Seville." (credit: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera)
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