What is "Musicianship Monthly?" Each month, I share links to free resources you can use to focus on a specific musicianship skill with your students. (Want to see past skills we have covered? Click HERE!)
This month, we will be continuing our exploration of music history with resources that highlight the Contemporary period! Keep reading for fun, accessible resources you can use to introduce your students to this interesting and varied period in music history....
Be sure to encourage your students to check out the listening examples at the bottom of the page! How many of these famous Contemporary compositions do they recognize?
Download your free PDF copy of this information sheet HERE.
Next, here are a few resources from around the web you can use with your students! I've included resources from my own "Free Stuff" page, as well as a few of my favorite sites for finding free resources: Classics for Kids, G Major Music Theory, Making Music Fun, and IMSLP. Many thanks to the creators of these websites for generously providing these free resources!
Note: These resources focus on well-known composers of Contemporary Classical (art) music. If you are interested in exploring the works of contemporary composers from other genres (film music, pop music, pedagogical piano music) with your students, check out my "Living Composer Project" worksheets, which you can find HERE! You can also read more about my experiences doing the Living Composer Project with my students HERE.
- More information and podcasts about several Contemporary composers are available at the Classics for Kids website HERE.
- Several printable biographies of Contemporary composers, along with worksheets and games, are available at the Making Music Fun website HERE (scroll down to "Impressionist Era Composers" and "Modern Era Composers").
Activity Sheets and Listening Activities
- A practice packet for Scott Joplin is available on my "Free Stuff" page HERE.
- Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag" Activity Sheet from the Classics for Kids website: PDF available HERE.
- Leonard Bernstein's "Overture to Candide" Activity Sheet from the Classics for Kids website: PDF available HERE.
- William Grant Still's "Afro-American Symphony" Activity Sheet from the Classics for Kids website: PDF available HERE.
- Gustav Holst's "The Planets" Activity Sheet from the Classics for Kids website: PDF available HERE.
- George Gershwin's: "Rhapsody in Blue" Activity Sheet from the Classics for Kids website: PDF available HERE.
- Sergei Prokofiev's "Lt. Kijé Suite" Activity Sheet from the Classics for Kids website: PDF available HERE.
- Aaron Copland's "Hoe-Down" from Rodeo Activity Sheet from the Classics for Kids website: PDF available HERE.
- Dmitri Kabalevsky's "Galop" from The Comedians Activity Sheet from the Classics for Kids website: PDF available HERE.
Free Sheet Music
Since music published after 1926 is still under copyright in the US, most works from the Contemporary Period are not available for free. However, below are a few free options that are in the public domain for elementary through intermediate students:
- Maple Leaf Rag (late elementary, Arr. Chrissy Ricker) available HERE.
- The Entertainer (early intermediate, Arr. Chrissy Ricker) available HERE.
- Maple Leaf Rag and Easy Winners (early intermediate arrangements) available from Making Music Fun HERE.
- Clair de Lune (late elementary arrangement) available from G Major Music Theory HERE.
- Je Te Veux (early intermediate arrangement) available from Making Music Fun HERE.
- Gymnopedie No. 1 (original form/intermediate) available from G Major Music Theory HERE.
- "For Children" Volumes 1 and 2 (late elementary and up) available at IMSLP HERE.
- "Ten Easy Pieces" (intermediate and up) available at IMSLP HERE.
Finally, here are two fun videos to share with your students! First, Classical FM's Fast and Friendly Guide to the Modern Era, which provides a brief overview of the variety of styles in the Contemporary period.