The Beethoven Project – Part 2

Yesterday I told you I have a brand new idea of how to help people fall in love with classical music and described how I, myself fell into it. My theory is that repetitive listening to one piece is how the love begins.

So here’s how I envision “The Beethoven Project” working. We start with one elementary school. One Beethoven symphony. Beethoven 7. Take a two month period. What do we do? Beethoven immersion. How? 2nd graders get the 2nd movement. 3rd graders get the 1st movement. 4th graders get the 3rd movement and 5th graders get the finale.

During art class, they paint while listening to “their” movement. In music class, they could learn about Beethoven himself, or the instruments in the orchestra, or learn to clap rhythms from his works. But the most important class would be P. E., where they would work on a choreographed routine to “their” movement of the symphony. Long ribbons on sticks could be used (like in rhythmic gymnastics, or flowing scarves or a parachute, etc.) as they learn “their” motions to the piece. In each session they would execute the same movements to the music, beginning to know and love it intimately as they memorize the routine.

I can see them in circles, moving inward and outward in precision as they move in sync with the music. Consider the popularity of ‘High School Musical’ – kids watch the dancing and singing portions of that over and over, and memorize the words and choreography as they fall in love with it. It becomes PART of them, and classical music could be learned the same way! Students could be given CD’s to bring home so they can share Beethoven with their parents, too.

Tomorrow I will describe how I envision the culmination of the project.


Comments: 1

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  • Carolyn Goldstein

    There would have to be some orientation for the teachers. (I bet, someone will ask for money. Sorry, but i wouldn’t be surprised .) You might check with Music teachers, who will be displaced if DSO Musicians consent to going into the schools.
    Repetition is exactly how dance and music and sport, even, are taught.I think, you are talking about integrated studies. It isn’t new, but for many, it can work.There isn’t a area that would be left out, history, geography, English(poems, drama, and literature-all the great works), social studies, science, astronomy, foreign language studies,civics, etc. Classical Music covers the entire spectrum as it does Life.It would be a great curriculum on which to work. The history of our DSO can be integrated into part of it.
    It just must not be dummied down. It’s a path to reinvigorate and elevate school curriculli.

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