Friday, October 12, 2012

3rd Grade- "Variations on America" by Charles Ives

Next week the Third Grade will be traveling to Wheaton College to hear the Symphony Orchestra perform.  One of the pieces the orchestra will be performing is Charles Ives' "Variations on America".  Ives wrote this piece when he was 17 years old!  It was then arranged for orchestra by William Schuman to "create more variety" (exerpt from Music Express Magazine October/November 2007).  We will hear the orchestral version next week at the concert.

"Variations on America" is based on the song "America (My Country 'Tis of Thee)".  This song is the theme of the piece can be heard in all 6 variations, each a little different than the one before.  Some variations are sad, some are fancy!  Some variations start sad and then become happy! 

The students use a listening map to help organize the sounds they hear.  The listening map for "Variations on America" tells students about the mood of the music using smiley faces (Music Express Magazine, Octoer/November 2007).

 Students moved bingo chips to show which part of the music was heard.  They especially loved the variation with the Spanish flavor!  There was much dancing!

Pictures of our field trip will be posted to the blog at the end of next week.  I am looking forward to our trip and hope the students are too!

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