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Vivaldi's Four Seasons Lesson Plan

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons' is an important composition that students need to become familiar with. In this lesson plan, they will practice critically listening to Baroque music, and will learn how this composition was structured.

Learning Objectives

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

  • Recognize and understand Antonio Vivaldi's The Four Seasons
  • Appreciate the structuring of musical compositions
  • Listen to Baroque music critically

Length

45-60 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • 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.

  • 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.

Materials

  • 12 audio files of Antonio Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, either as 12 individual movements or paused at the start of each of the 12 movements.
  • Paper and drawing/coloring utensils (colored pencils, markers, etc).

Instructions

  • Play the very first few seconds of Antonio Vivaldi's The Four Seasons. Ask students if any of them are familiar with this melody.
  • Ask students if they know anything about the Baroque period of art/music. Write their answers on the board.
  • Explain that the early 18th-century composition The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi is one of the Baroque masterpieces
  • Play the video lesson The Four Seasons by Vivaldi: Analysis and Structure. Pause it at 1:12.
    • How is Vivaldi's composition organized?
    • What do you think the tempo pattern of fast-slow-fast sounds like? Why would this help create a ''compelling composition''?
  • Play the video lesson, pausing again at 2:16. Write the word SPRING on the board.
    • What sort of ideas did Vivaldi associate with spring?
    • What are the sounds we should listen for/ feelings we should associate with this section?
    • Write student answers on the board under the SPRING category.
  • Play the video lesson, pausing it at 3:18. Write the word SUMMER on the board.
    • What sort of ideas did Vivaldi associate with summer?
    • What are the sounds we should listen for/ feelings we should associate with this section?
    • Write student answers on the board under the SUMMER category.
  • Play the video lesson, pausing at 4:14. Write the word FALL on the board.
    • What sort of ideas did Vivaldi associate with fall?
    • What are the sounds we should listen for/ feelings we should associate with this section?
    • Write student answers on the board under the FALL category.
  • Play the video, pausing at 5:26. Write the word WINTER on the board.
    • What sort of ideas did Vivaldi associate with winter?
    • What are the sounds we should listen for/ feelings we should associate with this section?
    • Write student answers on the board under the WINTER category.
  • At this point, ask students to look over all four categories. Ask them what they think that the overall message is, and why Vivaldi would spend so much effort in creating an entire 3-section movement for each season. Write their answers on the board.
  • Resume and finish the video lesson.
    • What was the meaning? What was Vivaldi's goal? Is there anything the class needs to add to its list on the board?
  • You can check student comprehension with the lesson quiz

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