Lesson Plan

The Elements of Music—How do Composers Plan?

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This The Elements of Music—How do Composers Plan? lesson plan also includes:

The introduction to Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake and the finale of his Symphony No. 4 provide young musicians with an opportunity to investigate the music elements composers employ to develop the themes they want to create. They compare the pulse, melodies, tempo, and harmony Tchaikovsky choose for the two compositions and how these elements impact listeners.

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Instructional Ideas
  • Although designed to prepare children for a concert performance, the lesson may be used to launch a study of the elements of music
Classroom Considerations
  • Instructors must provide their own musical examples that highlight pulse, melody, tempo, and harmony, which may necessitate considerable prep time 
  • The warm-up activity compares the elements one must consider when planning for a trip with the elements a composer considers when planning a musical composition
  • No suggestions for the required musical examples are included