Classical Music Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

How is classical music different from other genres? A video lesson gives students a background on classical music while a project gives students a chance to learn more. Relevant lessons and additional activities are included for related study.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • identify classical music when they hear it
  • outline a brief history of classical music
  • report on one well-known composer of classical music


  • 30 minutes for instruction
  • Up to 1 week for the activity

Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.


Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.


Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on the same topic.


  • Audio for three selections of classical music
  • Slips of paper listing names of well-known composers of classical music


  • Begin by playing the three audio selections of the classical compositions for the class.
  • Now ask the students what the three pieces have in common. Discuss this as a class.
  • Now play the video lesson What is Classical Music? - Definition, History & Composers, pausing at 00:48.
  • Now that the students know what classical music is and why these three selections represent it, ask them if they can name any composers of classical music. Write their ideas on the board.
  • Play the rest of the video lesson for the class now.
  • Were any of the composers named by the students mentioned in the video lesson?

Discussion Questions

  • Could it be true that listening to classical music can make you smarter?
  • Why is classical music a popular background for movies and plays?

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