February 2017 -- Teaching Young Students about Ensembles
Part of the art of listening stems from an understanding of not only the elements of music, but of the different types of ensembles that make concert music. Choosing fun, short, and exciting pieces that are relevant to the younger student positively introduces them to the sounds different ensembles create, while planting seeds for interest in participating in these very ensembles beginning in the upper elementary years.
The following links introduce children to Band, Orchestra, Choir, and Percussion Ensemble:
BAND: A band is a group of instrumentalists who come together to create music. There are many types of bands. This performance showcases a wind ensemble made up of instruments that are ‘blown’ by the performer. The University of North Carolina’s Wind Ensemble plays the Overture to Candide by Bernstein.
ORCHESTRA: An orchestra is a group of string, brass, woodwind, and percussion instrumentalists who come together to play concert music. This performance is a medley of songs from The Wizard of Oz played by a children’s orchestra!
CHOIR: A choir is a group of singers who perform either a cappella (without instruments) or with accompanying instruments. This performance is by the One Voice Children’s Choir. They are performing Children Will Listen from “Into the Woods”.
PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE: A percussion ensemble is a group of instrumentalists playing percussion instruments only! Does this mean there isn't a melody?? No! Several instruments in the percussion family are melodic instruments such as the marimba and xylophone. Check out this performance of innovative percussion music by the Percussive Arts Society!