How it Works
How it Works
Euterpe’s high calibre live performances of classical and jazz music introduce the students to music that most of them have never heard before. The children are enriched by these experiences in many ways. At the very least, the musical seed is planted, allowing the children the benefit of having experienced such a performance.
These interactive musical experiences excite their imaginations and allow them the chance to express their feelings in written words as well as in drawings and other art work while listening to the live performances. As well, the children have the chance to dance and participate with the musicians playing rhythm instruments and singing. The children are invited to express themselves by describing what instrument or instruments they liked best, what piece or pieces they enjoyed most, as well as having the chance to ask questions of the Euterpe musicians.
It is well known that exposure to classical music aids in learning on multiple levels, from reading and math to fostering self-esteem and a sense of purpose. Playing musical instruments in a group is known to foster empathy and other positive social skills. The earlier a child is exposed to these opportunities, the more enriched his or her life will be.
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The vast majority of children today are not exposed to high calibre, live, interactive performances of classical, jazz and related musical styles. Yet these musical genres are known to aid tremendously in the development of the young brain. An important part of Euterpe’s mandate is to ensure that these opportunities are provided. Euterpe collaborates with school boards across the country to create interactive musical performances at as many public schools as possible. Euterpe has developed a positive working relationship with school boards including the TDSB, DDSB, TLDSB and many others. With the support of the school boards, and the assistance of principals and music teachers, Euterpe has created a comprehensive teaching guide that is consistent with the requirements of the school boards. This guide is provided to teachers, upon request, prior to Euterpe School Concerts.
It is important to note that the reactions and responses of the children during and following the Euterpe musicians’ performances are all-telling. No matter the demographic, these performances awaken in the children the joy of this music, inspiring them to want to hear more of this music, to learn these musical styles, to play an instrument, and to make music with others. It is a rich and lasting musical experience for the children, and this is true regardless of pre-concert guidance. What is most important is consistent follow up referencing Euterpe’s study guides. As well, Euterpe musicians can be available for follow-up.
The Euterpe Study Guide for School Teachers follows the school board’s music curriculum very closely. This Study Guide is divided into two parts.
Both parts are important references following Euterpe’s performances.
1) Pre-Concert Preparation
The pre-concert portion of the guide includes CDs created by Euterpe which introduce the students to the sound of the instruments they will be hearing at the Euterpe concert – the piano, violin, cello, viola, bass, trumpet, percussion and more. A variety of musical examples are included.
The students are then introduced to the idea of the musical form called a Round. Examples of this form are included on the CDs and user friendly sheet music is provided for the teacher, allowing for in-class pre-concert singing of this form. For example, the Round entitled Three Blind Mice. The introduction of the Round conceptually prepares the students for the musical form known as Fugue. The difference between a Round and a Fugue is discussed. Listening examples are provided.
Along with the form known as a Lullaby, additional preparation includes the introduction of different types of dance forms that the students will be hearing at the concert, from Waltz to Ragtime and Tango and beyond. A variety of musical examples of these forms are included on the CDs provided.
The degree of analysis of these forms will depend on the age group/school grade. Exploration of these forms may ultimately include analysis of structure and musical motifs and themes as well as rhythmic structure and dynamics. All grades will explore the emotional response experienced by the individual for each composition – the mood created – sad, happy, relaxing, angry etc.
2) Post Concert Review
The post-concert review includes engaging the students in a discussion about the instruments and involves further listening to repertoire on the CDs provided. The various forms, styles and eras of music heard at the Euterpe concert are then explored further. This opens the door to a world of options which includes exploration in varying depth of the forms and styles as well as of composers from various musical eras. For example, the Fugues of J. S. Bach, the polyphonic compositional style, the Baroque era, the country Germany, what years, musical compositions by other Baroque composers, and other related art forms of that musical period.
Other post-concert study encourages students to write music. Some students may also be inspired to write lyrics. Comparative study of forms and styles from cultures around the world is included and encouraged.