I can’t believe it’s already July! It’s time for our July listening lessons playlist! Here’s June’s playlist, in case you missed it. It seems like our oldest just got out of school for summer, and now summer is halfway over! I feel like I am so behind on my different projects. I was hoping to have our outside music station ready to go by the start of summer, and we are still in the brainstorming stages of it.
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Each month, I like to give a playlist of listening lesson ideas to coincide with that particular month. Today, I have a list of songs to add to your July listening lessons playlist, including special dates and a composer of the month. During the month of July, we have a few holidays. We start the month off with Canada Day and the Fourth of July.
This month, we say “happy birthday” to a couple well-known composers: Gustav Mahler (July 7th) and Carl Orff (July 10th). If you can’t find a composer you would like to feature, you can always use a favorite musician. I like to use a mix of modern and older musicians in class. Current musicians with July birthdays: Carlos Santana (July 20th), Woody Guthrie (July 14th), Alison Krauss (July 23rd).
Suggested Playlist for July
- *Summer, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (included in June’s playlist, as well, since summer began at the end of June)
- Canon in D, J. Pachelbel (it is wedding season)
- *The Star Spangled Banner (For Star Spangled banner activities, check out this post!)
- The Stars and Stripes Forever (John Philip Sousa)
- The Washington Post (John Philip Sousa)
- O Canada (Canada’s national anthem)
- Down to the River to Pray, Oh Brother Where art Thou (performed by Alison Krauss)
- This Land Is Your Land (Woody Guthrie)
- Bridal Chorus, Richard Wagner (another traditional wedding piece they may hear a lot this month)
- Ding Dong, Diggy Diggy Dong (Carl Orff arrangement from Volumes for Children)
Choosing songs for listening lessons
When choosing songs for the playlist, I like to start by focusing on special days or holidays unique to that month. I also like to feature a musician of the month. I like to mix it up between famous composers and musicians from pop culture.
Once you have chosen your song, here are some questions to ask to get your children (or students) talking about the music:
- have you heard this song before?
- what kinds of things did you hear?
- did you hear any interesting instruments?
How to do a listening lesson
If you have never done a listening lesson before, check out some of my previous lesson ideas (here’s May’s list). It’s really easy to incorporate listening into your day.
Here are some simple tips for getting started:
*play the piece you’ve selected a few times
The first listening, play the piece once, having your child just listen.
The next listening, you can add background information on the music and the composer
for the last listening, add an activity:
- a listening log/journal
- coloring a picture as they listen
- movement activity or freeze dance
Hopefully, this gives you some fun ways to experience music together over this next month!