We did a brainstorming activity as a review for their listening test. Students would list everything they know about Romantic Music. Their answers ranged dynamics, composers, different musical forms etc. However, when we placed all the headings on the white board, it was a complete picture and the students bounced their ideas off each other to complete this ‘picture’. Next students heard 2 ‘unknown pieces’ from this era, and had to circle all the elements or observations on the board that would be relevent to the pieces that they heard. It was nice to see students applying their own brainstorm to the pieces of music that they hear to conclude that it is Romantic Music.
Students here are beginning to understand how to do structural analysis of pieces, and so to practice this, I gave students blocks of paper with A, A, A, A, B, B, B, B C, C, C, C, D, D, D, D, E, E, E, E, Transition, Transition, on them. As a class they would listen to the piece of music (without the score initially — it was Schumann’s character piece: Fantasiestuke no 2), and arrange the blocks in the right order (working on the carpet) as they listen. After they agreed on the order, Each student was assigned to 2 blocks. During the 2nd listen, they would now write the musical elements that they hear in these sections of the pieces and would write them down in the blocks. Now they are given the musical score and must identify these blocks/structural sections on the score, making notes of the musical elements that they have already written on the blocks. Great way for students to transfer what they hear, what they agree on as a class, to how it physically looks in score form.