The summer Olympics are here! Such an exciting time! As a child, I loved watching the summer olympics. My favorite part was watching the gymnastics, but over the past few years, I have become really fascinated by watching the swimming. Today, I have a fun listening lesson you can use with the Olympic themes, Olympic Fanfare and Bugler’s Dream.
I have seen a few different listening maps that go along with the pieces. If you have older children, you can definitely check out a listening map to print off at home and use (or just project from your computer screen). Here are a couple:
- free listening activity from make music rock
- Olympic Fanfare listening lesson from Claire Burns at learn me music
For younger children, you can have them do a movement activity along with the music. First, play the piece for your children, without adding movements. After they have listened, you can discuss the Olympics, what things they know about the Olympics, their favorite sports, etc. Then tell them a little about the music.
- composer is American composer John Williams (who has composed many film scores, such as …)
- composed in 1984
- composer is French-American composer Leo Arnaud
- composed in 1958, and made its Olympic debut during the 1964 Winter games
- the form is ABCBA
- scarves (change movements of the scarves depending on the music)
- alternate walking and jogging in place
- have children act out different olympic sports and see if you can guess what they are (then switch)
- children can draw a picture while listening (can be of their favorite sport, or what they think the music is representing)
You can play both versions, and have children discuss which one they liked better and why. You could also play the medley version, in which they are combined.
Leo Arnaud’s Bugler’s Dream is often mistaken as John Williams’ piece, as his fanfare is played in a medley with his own arrangement of Bugler’s Dream.
After listening to the Olympic themes, you can talk about how they will hear the national anthems played from many different countries throughout the Olympic games. If you haven’t introduced the Star Spangled Banner yet, this would be a perfect time! As you watch the games, have them listen for how many times they hear the anthems played.
Hope you enjoy watching the summer games!