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Celtic Music Lesson Plan

Instructor: Christopher Sailus

Chris has an M.A. in history and taught university and high school history.

Through this lesson plan, students learn about Celtic music and the instruments it commonly uses. Students then engage with the instruments and the music to gain a greater understanding of the sounds and techniques typical of the genre.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Explain the origins of Celtic music.
  • Recognize the major instruments used in Celtic music.

Length

45 minutes

Materials

  • As many of the instruments noted in the lesson as you can gather
    • If this is not possible, print photos or pictures of these instruments
  • Celtic music CD (or example on the Internet)
  • Printed copies of the lesson What is Celtic Music? - Types & History

Key Vocabulary

At the conclusion of this lesson, students should be able to identify and define the following vocabulary terms:

  • Celtic music
  • Celts
  • Highland Clearances
  • Great Irish Famine
  • Fiddle
  • Celtic harp
  • Irish flute
  • Tin whistle
  • Uilleann pipes
  • Bodhran

Curriculum Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language of a court opinion differs from that of a newspaper).

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.2

Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source.

Instructions

  • Turn on some Celtic music - via a CD player or accessing a sample online - so that it is playing when your students enter the classroom.
  • Turn the music down (or off, depending on your preference) and have students read the lesson What is Celtic Music? - Types & History.
  • Stop students when they get to the 'Instruments & Styles' heading.
  • Hold a short class discussion to ensure students understand the history (and controversies) behind Celtic music. Some example discussion questions include:
    • Who were Celts? Do you think 'Celtic music' is representative of who they were?
    • What are some of the issues regarding the name 'Celtic music'?
    • What events caused Celtic people to disperse over the globe and inadvertently spread Celtic music?
  • Have students finish reading the lesson.

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