Romantic Music 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 Romantic music with this lesson plan. They will view a video lesson, take a related quiz to follow up, and participate in activities to reinforce some concepts they learned.

Learning Objectives

After studying this lesson your students will be able to:

  • Define several musical terms related to Romantic music.
  • Explain some of the surprise tactics used by Romantic composers.
  • Name two traits common to Romantic era music.

Length

1-1.5 Hours

Materials

  • Audio copies of the 1812 Overture, In the Hall of the Mountain King, Symphonie Fantastique, and the William Tell Overture (videos are optional)
  • Copies of the video lesson Characteristics of Romantic Era Music: Emotion & Dynamic Contrast along with the related lesson quiz, one copy per student
  • Internet access
  • Two preprinted worksheets, one containing 15 Romantic era terms, and one containing 15 related definitions, but not in the correct order

Key Vocabulary

  • Flexible forms
  • Forte
  • Fortepiano
  • Fortissimo
  • Pianissimo
  • Piano
  • Sforzando
  • Subito

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.9-10.3

Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.

Instructions

  • Inform your students they will be learning about Romantic music.
  • Ask them if anyone is familiar with this music, or even likes to listen to it.
  • Review the eight vocabulary terms.
  • Read the introduction.
  • Start the video lesson Characteristics of Romantic Era Music: Emotion & Dynamic Contrast, and pause for the first time at 0:24.
    • What were two trends inherent to Romantic Music?
    • In what century was the Romantic era?
    • Was Romantic music similar to the music that was played prior to it?
    • Did Romantic music involve extremes?
  • Restart the video, and pause this time at 2:27.
    • Which genre used to tell stories before Romantic music?
    • Did the emotional music succeed in replacing words?
    • What are flexible forms?
    • How did Berlioz employ them in his music?
    • What three examples of the Romantic era are still popular?
    • What three forms of entertainment use Romantic music? Why?
  • Restart the video again, and pause for the final time at 4:49.
    • What is another word for dynamics of music?
    • How are loud and soft sounds portrayed?
    • How did Verdi and Mahler utilize them?
    • What does sforzndo mean?
    • What does forte piano mean?
    • What does subito mean?
    • What two loud instruments were used?
    • What two soft instruments were used?
  • Lastly, restart the video, and view the section 'Lesson Summary.'
  • Review the entire video lesson, and ask your students if they have any more questions.
  • Have your students take the lesson quiz to show their overall grasp of the material.

Activity One

  • Let your students know they will be playing a 'matching' type game involving terms related to Romantic era music.
  • Divide your students up into pairs.
  • Pass out two preprinted worksheets, one with the following 15 terms, and one with the corresponding 15 definitions, but in mixed order.

1) Forte piano - first play loud and then play soft

2) Subito piano - play soft suddenly

3) Berlioz - wrote the opera Les Troyens

4) Mahler - wrote Song of Lamentation

5) Celesta - resembles a piano

6) Sforzando - Great force should be used when playing

7) Pianissimo - an extra soft sound

8) Fortissimo - an extra loud sound

9) Piano - a soft sound

10) Forte - A loud sound

11) Dynamics - another term for volume

12) La traviata - opera by Verdi

13) Tchaikovsky - wrote the ballet Swan Lake

14) Grieg - wrote Look to the Sea

15) Rossini - wrote The Silken Ladder

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