July 27, 2020
Discovering Great Melodies
Our encore broadcast of Discovering Great Melodies, designed for children in grades 3 to 6, explores why some melodies are so wonderfully memorable. Investigate the five key components of an unforgettable melody—rhythm, mood, communication, repetition and, our favorite, the element of surprise.
Tune in Thursday, July 30, at 11 a.m. for the concert. Learn more about the program here.
We hope that your family enjoys watching the concert together this summer and we encourage you to explore the following ideas for engaging more deeply with the theme and music. Feel free to tailor these suggestions to fit your family’s ages and interests, or come up with your own activities for before, during, or after the concert.
Try These Activities at Home
Curriculum Explore composer and artist biographies, program notes, and music education activities designed for students in grades 3 to 6.
Make Instruments at Home so that composers can perform their creations for friends and family.
Exploring Emotions Go on an interactive musical journey exploring joy, sadness, surprise, and the other emotions.
We would love to see your creative responses to the music!
Additional Ideas and Resources
Make and Respond to Music
- Try the activities on pages 26-29 of the concert curriculum to write a memorable melody or experiment with changes to a familiar folk tune. Then follow our instructions for making instruments at home so that you can perform your creations for friends and family.
- Check out our Exploring Emotions activity to practice identifying emotions in music, describing how these emotions make you feel physically—using a variety of emotion words to label feelings—and experimenting with strategies for using music to boost your mood. Although the activity comes with a different playlist, it also works well with the music in this concert or any other pieces that you’d like to choose.
Engage in Activities Inspired by the Featured Pieces or Composers
- One piece on the program, Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations, was composed to paint musical portraits of the composer’s family and friends. Think about people that you know and find a way to represent them through music, visual art, movement, the written word or any other medium of your choice. Be sure to share your work with featured family and friends once you finish!
- Another piece, Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 94, earned the nickname Surprise because of the loud chord that seemingly comes out of nowhere to shock unsuspecting audiences. See if you can make a piece of art in any medium that surprises friends and family.
- Get to know the featured composers’ home countries, which are listed in the biographies on pages 16 and 17 of the curriculum. Tour one or more of those countries without leaving the house. Your itinerary could include listening to music from that country, looking up facts, making traditional crafts, learning folk dances, making recipes, reading books, watching movies, or engaging in other projects that explore the country’s history or culture.
Talk about Music
There are many thought-provoking questions that you can ask to get everyone in your family talking about their experience with the concert. Try some of the following questions or come up with your own conversation starters:
- What do you notice in the music? How would you describe the sounds of the different instruments that you hear?
- What comes to mind when you listen to the music? What about the music reminds you of those words, images, stories or memories?
- How do you think the composer wants to make you feel? What makes you say that? (Check out our Emotion Word List if you would like additional ideas for describing the way in which the music makes you feel.)
- What do you want to know about the music? What do you think some of the answers to your questions might be? How can you learn more?
Whether you try any of the activities or conversation starters, or simply watch the concert together, we hope that Discovering Great Melodies will spark curiosity and joy for your family. Enjoy the concert!