Introducing the Young Student to Master Works and Master Composers
Teacher Enrichment Blog
Sonata Allegro Form
Sonata Allegro Form
Many musicians play sonatas. These must be differentiated from sonata allegro form. A sonata is a piece for instruments and derives is name from the Latin, sonare, meaning “to sound”. The term refers to a piece that is sounded forth by a non-vocal instrument. Cantata refers to a piece that is sung, stemming from the Latin cantare meaning “to sing”. Sonatas can utilize sonata allegro form.
One of the first steps in teaching students to understand art music and listening is to acquaint them with the unique characteristics and timbres of orchestral instruments and instrumental families. Students can explore each of these instruments on the Classics for Kids website. Easy navigation tools lead them to information, pictures, and sound clips of each instrument. The site also provides other interactive musical activities including games.
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:
“A Night on Bald Mountain” by Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky
STOP! Before reading any further, listen to this piece with your eyes closed using the following link!
What pictures or storylines come to you? What could this piece be about?
Leonard Bernstein remains a true American legend for his excellence in conducting, lecturing, and composition. Ask your late elementary or early middle school students to check out this excerpt from "Mambo". The energetic beat will peak their interest right away! Use the listening questions below to introduce the basic elements of music to the students, and, after they listen to the music "as an event", challenge them to answer the questions.
Piece: Mambo from ‘Westside Story’ by Bernstein