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Johannes Brahms Lesson Plan

Instructor: John Hamilton

John has tutored algebra and SAT Prep and has a B.A. degree with a major in psychology and a minor in mathematics from Christopher Newport University.

Educate your students about composer Johannes Brahms with the help of this lesson plan. They will study a text lesson, take a follow-up quiz, and then participate in three activities that will help to reinforce newly-learned material.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, your students will be able to:

  • explain how Johannes Brahms' style differed from that of his contemporaries
  • name some of the greatest works of Johannes Brahms
  • recount important facts from Johannes Brahms' personal life

Length

60-90 minutes

Materials

Key Vocabulary

  • Absolute
  • Bach
  • Beethoven
  • Brahms
  • Lieder
  • Hemiola
  • Hungarian Dances
  • Romantic era

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.1

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.2

Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.

Instructions - Day One

  • Inform your students that they will be studying the composing legend Johannes Brahms. Display an image of Brahms.
  • Hold up the globe and show the students where Hamburg, Germany, is located (where he was born) and where Vienna, Austria, is located (where many classical musicians studied.)
  • Hand out copies of the text lesson Johannes Brahms: Biography, Music & Facts.
  • Preview the vocabulary terms.
  • Read the introduction and the first section 'A Brief Biography of Brahms.'
    • Where was Brahms born?
    • What were the occupations of his parents?
    • With which three people did he study?
    • What job did he perform to assist his family?
    • At what age did he become a concert pianist?
    • What was his personality like?
    • What was his relationship with Robert and Clara Schumann?
  • Now read the section 'Brahms' Music.'
    • Who were the three Bs?
    • Was Brahms a perfectionist?
    • Why did he consider his music absolute?
    • Was his music similar to his contemporaries?
    • What is a lieder?
    • What is hemiola?
    • Which of his works made the most money?
    • What are some of his vocal pieces?
  • Read the section 'Lesson Summary', review the entire text, and answer any relevant questions.
  • Have students take the lesson quiz to reveal their understanding.

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