Want to incorporate classical music appreciation as a weekly component in your homeschool schedule? Come check out my kid-friendly, easy-on-the-parents Music Curriculum. You can try a free sample lesson HERE.
We are continuing to work through the January playlist, and today will be our last lesson. How is it February already? I will be posting the February playlist tomorrow, so make sure to check back!
I’ve saved my favorite winter piece for last: Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. As the name indicates, this is a collection of music intended to evoke the feelings of the changing seasons. Winter happens to be my favorite of the four:
Vivaldi was ahead of his time, as many legendary composers were.
The idea of program music (music intended to represent something else) didn’t really flourish until the 19th century, which means our pal Tony was roughly 100 years ahead of the curve. Impressive, right?
First some music terms, loosely defined:
- The Four Seasons is a set of concertos. When I teach my students about a concerto, I describe it like this: one instrument gets to be the star and the other instruments are the helpers. The actual definition is slightly more nuanced, but that is pretty much it. The Four Seasons happen to be violin concertos, which instantly tells you which instrument is the star.
- Also this: concertos typically have “movements” which is fancy for saying they have different parts. In The Four Seasons, each “season” has three movements. The 1st and 3rd movements are fast, and the 2nd movement is slow.
See, classical music isn’t confusing at all!
Well, actually it is, but I am here to help.
My favorite part of Winter is the 2nd movement, which begins at 3:30 in the video above. Have your kids do some Musical Sketching, but don’t tell them what they are listening for.
Now, listen again and make observations about how Vivaldi recreates the sound of dripping water on the roof. Did you hear it before? Can you hear it now? Cool, right?
And now that you have listened to the real thing, how about a little Baroque meets Disney mashup: