Using Modern Tools to Create Excitement for Old Masterworks & Their History

A couple weeks ago, I attended the Arizona Music Teachers Association conference held in Tempe, AZ. The theme was “Breathing New Life into Old Masterworks.”

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Here I am with my roomie, Lynnette! Lynnette and I have been conference roomies for 6 years now! So fun!Roomies

Initially I wasn’t going to submit an application to present this year as I had a lot of my plate and didn’t really want to add one more thing. But then I heard what the theme was and it sparked an idea of a presentation topic that would be relevant to the theme. So needless to say one thing led to the other and before I knew it, I was planning and presenting on, “Using Modern Tools to Create EXCITEMENT for Old Masterworks & Their History.” And I just have to say how thrilled I was when Helen Marlais with FJH Music (who gave a fun masterclass, relating so well to the kids performing!) told me afterwards how much she enjoyed my presentation. 🙂

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Getting creative with Kahoot Photo credit: Lianna Rivera (Thanks Lianna!)

This presentation covered the following questions…

What do you do to help inspire and motivate students who might be against learning the classics? 

How do you help them connect with a composer that has been dead for over 100 years? Or in their mind isn’t relevant?

I ended up dividing my presentation into two main categories.

  1. Get to Know the Composers
  2. Get Creative!

Get to Know the Composers

It’s important students know some of the history so the composers are more relatable and interesting. Which in turn makes their music more relevant and interesting.

In this category we learned some neat things about Bach. I shared resources, both tech (we had some fun with Kahoot), and non-tech resources, that teachers can use when teaching students about composers.

Having fun with Kahoot Photo credit: Lianna Rivera
Having fun with Kahoot Photo credit: Lianna Rivera
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Going “Bach” in Time… Photo Credit: Lianna Rivera

GET CREATIVE!

It’s equally important to be creative in the learning process. This will keep students engaged and motivated to learn more.

In this category we shared some hands on examples that teachers can do with their students such as using musical maps, movement, fun lyrics, classical improvisation, mashups and practice tools. Many of these ideas are not normally thought about when it comes to learning the old masterworks and their history yet very relevant.

A musical map example
A musical map example. Can you figure out what piece this might be?

When students learn about the composers from the music they are playing and getting creative with it (remember a lot of improvisation was used in those days!) this creates EXCITEMENT! And that’s what we want!

I included the resources and video links to things I shared in my presentation handout below if you are interested.

OldMasterworksExcitementHandout

Also I shared a SQUILT freebie you can download that was also included in the June newsletter. If you missed it, just click the picture below to download.

SQUILT

I’d love to hear from you now! So…

What do you do to help inspire and motivate students who might be against learning the classics? 

How do you help them connect with a composer that has been dead for over 100 years? Or in their mind isn’t relevant?

Please comment below! (And if you have a conference coming and would like me to present, click here.)

 


BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! Creating a Studio Policy and Sticking to It is here! If you have seen me present on this subject, this course goes much deeper! Click here for more information.

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