What resources have you found to be useful? I teach at a school in Brisbane, Australia. We are currently implementing a Classical Curriculum but struggling to find good music resources for Prep – Year 12.
I’ll take a stab at this, even though I can’t claim this is classical per se. I’ll confine my answer to young ones (up to age 8 or so); I’ve spent about 5 years with a group of 50 preschoolers through 7 year olds, with me on the guitar.
getting their bodies moving is key. I’ve found sign language dictionaries to be helpful with hand motions (e.g., handspeak.org. Look up “Jesus.” Why does Jesus look like that?) The hand motions are lessons unto themselves; singing the songs with the hand motions simply reinforces the lessons and gives you many opportunities to quiz them on the meanings.
The “fruit of the spirit” song is a classic (Gal 5:22 Love Joy Peace Patience Kindness Goodness Faithfulness…) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gA-TMUDQ7us I’m working on a similar song myself that teaches Phil 4:8. Anything that gets kids to memorize otherwise-monotonous lists is a win.
I love the Hallelu song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuODF9Kbgnw I’ve made it a contest by dividing the group into two (my Hallelus on the Left, and my Praise Ye the Lords on the right). Whenever it’s their part, I look at that half of the room and they stand/sing, and we go faster and faster (kinda like that “tastes great / less filling” Miller beer commercial in the US…not sure if you’ve seen that down under, but you can google it). There’s a lot of standing up and sitting down, and usually I make a mistake by the end of the song by looking at the wrong side of the class; the kids love that I make mistakes. Any opportunity to demonstrate humility is good. Then we talk about the difference between the meaning of Hallelu and Praise Ye the Lord. (there is none…)
This is already kinda long, so I’ll stop now. But I’d love to talk about Latin liturgical music for older kids (chorus) as well as teaching math + music (harmonics, overtones, timbre…) using oscilloscopes. Good stuff.
Hi Ronan and Steve, I am currently teaching 7-12 music in Queensland and although I’m not in a Christian school I have been attempting to integrate classical approaches to my classroom. Deep listening to pieces, teaching context and stories behind composers and I have begun to integrate elements of character formation into our units. For example, after the holidays, next week, I will begin a unit called the ‘the Heroes journey’ where we will explore how composers communicate the idea of the heroes and villains in film, musical and opera genres. I hope to engage students in some great stories such as Lord of the Rings, Narnia, Star Wars, Hamilton to look into these characters and perhaps use this to help them create a motif for their own character.
I have a colleague who has used a character traits survey and connected these to music elements in a junior class, whereby students develop their own superhero theme. I would love to gradually develop an Australian classical curriculum.
Ronan I am keen to connect as I didn’t know there were any classical schools in operation in Brisbane and I really want to help develop and promote CCE in Australia
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