You might remember from last week that I was pretty excited about the composer Handel. That's because he's one of my favorites! Kids can learn so much from listening to his music about rhythm, dynamics, and texture. I think he is a great choice for a first composer to study.
Even though there is so much we could study through Handel's music, today we'll wrap up our week of focusing on steady beat for kindergarteners and first graders.
Handel's The Messiah is typically sung at Christmas and most people think that the Hallelujah Chorus is a Christmas song.
But actually, did you know that Handel originally wrote The Messiah for Easter?
That's right. It just changed to being sung at Christmas over time because the first half has to do with Jesus being born. (For our purposes though, you can sing the Hallelujah Chorus any time you want. :) )
Handel had a very interesting life story. He actually worked for King George. When King George heard this chorus we're about to listen to, legend says that he stood to his feet there in the audience right in the middle of the song. The tradition continues to this day.
Here's the Hallelujah Chorus by Handel:
The first time you listen
Try to pick up any parts of the song you can already sing by heart. Chances are good that you already know the opening phrase.
Listen a second time:
The second time you listen, stand to your feet just like King George. Keep a steady beat by marching as you listen. When you hear a melody that you can sing, stop marching and switch to "catching the words" just like you did in our last posts.
A great composer, a great piece, a great way to wrap up our week of rhythm vs beat.