For many of us in the eastern U.S., it doesn't feel like spring right now! However, spring is just around the corner, and today I would like to share a spring-themed lesson plan including an elementary arrangement of the famous theme from Vivaldi's "Spring Concerto."
My students had fun at our most recent group class learning a bit about Vivaldi's life and how he incorporated the sights and sounds of spring into his famous concerto. However, these activities would work equally well in a private lesson!
First, head on over to the Classics for Kids website, HERE, to find plenty of great information about Vivaldi, including a kid-friendly bio and a recording of the first movement of the "Spring" Concerto. My students were fascinated by the fact that Vivaldi spent much of his life teaching at an orphanage for girls and writing music for the talented young musicians there to play.
Next, encourage students to think like a composer! What sights and sounds of spring do you think Vivaldi might have used when writing his concerto? Birds, bees, growing flowers, thunderstorms...encourage your students to imagine some of the sounds they might expect to hear when they listen to this famous piece. (There is also a link to a podcast on the Classics for
Kids website that discusses the sounds Vivaldi used, if your students need some help with this!)
Finally, listen to the first movement of the "Spring Concerto" found on the website. Vivaldi used the famous "spring" theme as a ritornello--a returning idea played by the entire ensemble that serves to unify a piece of music. Between these ritornellos, Vivaldi intersperses sections representing the sights and sounds of spring. How many of your students' guesses can you hear?
Once students hear the piece, encourage them to try the elementary arrangement found HERE. If you are doing this lesson as a group activity, you can have students sight-read the piece in groups as a duet, with one student playing the right hand and one student playing the left hand.
What do you think? Do you have any spring-themed activities planned for your students this season? Please leave a comment below!