The teacher will play three brief excerpts of music (one to two minutes in length) from one particular genre and/or style period, selected by the teacher based upon genres/style periods that have been studied closely in class.
For classes oriented toward Western art music, a teacher might play examples that students will recognize as Baroque, such as a movement from one of Bach’s Brandenburg concerti, a chorus from Handel’s Messiah, and another example.
In classes oriented toward popular music, teachers might choose a specific style movement (e.g., early blues) and play selections by three of its iconic artists such as Son House or Robert Johnson. Examples will vary according to the focus of the particular class.
The teacher will share with students that these samples are tracks that will be featured on a new radio station that is being started locally. Students will be asked to identify what kind of radio station this will be (classical, country, alternative, hip-hop, etc.) by describing the common stylistic characteristics they hear in the examples. Then they will suggest two other selections for the radio station to add to its playlist.
This activity can be adapted for third- and fourth-year (Level 3) students by requiring more detailed, specific knowledge of genres or styles and their characteristic features (e.g.., not just identifying the station as a jazz station, but instead identifying it as a cool jazz, bebop, or big band station).
This item has been voluntarily field-tested by Michigan teachers with a non-representative sample of students.
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