“The Planets – Gustav Holst”
Purpose: To increase the awareness and appreciation of the students to subjects in classical music, and one composer’s interpretation of the planets.
Introduction: Present the following question to the class: “What is modern classical music?” As the students answer, focus on the suggestions that explain how modern classical music is often story telling. One possible example of this is Aaron Copland’s “Rodeo” suite.
1) Ask the class for examples of modern classical
composers. Remind them that modern can mean in the last 150 years. Introduce
Gustav Holst as an English composer who wrote a group
of musical pieces that he called “The Planets”. Interestingly, he
left out planet Earth and Pluto (only because it wasn’t discovered until
after Holst wrote the music.)
2) Pass a copy of the handout to all students. As you play the first two minutes of each selection, they are to try and fill in the blanks. Instruct the students to focus on mood first, and then try to fill in the title.
3) Go over the handout, again focussing on the moods of each of the selections.
4) Have a discussion on how various lines and colours can represent moods. Students are then to draw and colour an abstract art work that represents one of the planets, as it is depicted by Holst.
1) The handout should
be completely filled out by all students.
2) Each student should have their own piece of artwork.
1) Formative assessment of the handout should be done
by the teacher. (Answer Key)
2) Both teacher and peers should evaluate the artwork once it is completed. The teacher should offer advice as the students are working on the artwork.
A recording of Gustav Holst “The Planets”