Advocate Support Inspire Create
Respond 8.1.jpg

MU:Re8.1.T.1a Explain and support an interpretation of the expressive intent of musical selections based on treatment of the elements of music, digital and electronic features, and purpose.

Songs Without Words

This lesson can be adapted for a beginning, intermediate or advanced level class. The lesson begins with a question: How do musicians create mood, intent or message using only sound without words? Students will use musical and digital vocabulary that they are familiar with to express the musical and technical characteristics of music examples and how those elements create mood, intent or meaning.  For a beginning level class, the teacher may choose familiar music from a popular movie series and discuss how different musical themes are associated with the different characters. How can you tell from the music who the good guy or bad guy is? How can you tell that two characters are in love? An intermediate level class may choose to listen to music that is more abstract such as instrumental music from the pop/rock genre. How to the creators use form, rhythm, melody, harmony and expression to create the mood for the song or intent? An advanced level class may dig into even more abstract "art" music examples or songs that use more unusual melodic, harmonic or formal structures and then use one of the examples as inspiration to create their own instrumental track.

Santana and Latin Rock

*This lesson was created by in cooperation with the PBS series “Soundbreaking”.

Teachrock is an incredible resource with excellent lesson plans and supporting media. It is highly recommended that teachers explore all of the resources located on their site. This lesson can be used as a continuation of the lesson “Single Ladies and the church” (adapted from the teachrock resources). Or it can be used as a lesson on its own. To teach the Santana and Latin Rock section of the lesson go to this link to the lesson here and scroll down to number 5 under procedures. Familiarize yourself with the lesson and media resources available and adapt the elements of the lesson that will fit your instructional goal and class level or use the lesson as is.

If you use this lesson as a foundation to have the students create their own compositions based on their personal experiences and cultural influences then it can be applied to a Create or Perform standard. If you use the lesson without a create or perform activity, then it can be used to address a “Respond” standard (MU:Re7.2 or 8.1)