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Musically Montessori: Children, Swan Lake Ballet and the Orchestra!

DID YOU KNOW THAT TCHAIKOVSKY'S SWAN LAKE BALLET HAS SOME ENGAGING AND BEAUTIFUL MUSIC  TO INTRODUCE YOUNG CHILDREN TO THE ORCHESTRA? 
Read on for some Montessori music activity ideas for your group!
****The content in this article is copyrighted and may not be reproduced in any form. Check out my Free Resource link at the end of this post so that you can download and create these activities yourself for your group!

Photo from Pixabay

I have recently developed some fun, Focused Listening and Large Movement Activities for little children to discover the music from the orchestral stage. Continue reading to learn more!

INTRODUCE THE COMPOSER
I think Tchaikovsky is one of the best composers for introducing children to all the amazing sounds that the orchestra can produce and to introduce those sounds through stories. 

Photo from Wikipedia

INTRODUCE THE STORY
The story of Swan Lake is filled with magic, and Tchaikovsky made this story into a wonderful ballet that can be presented to little ones in an appropriate way that makes the story short and sweet.

Here are some picture books that tell the ballet story of Swan Lake:

CLICK ON THE LINK to view these on Amazon Books.
This story does mention the "evil sorcerer" and works better for children who are 4 and older. The author researched Tchaikovsky's writing of the ballet and found that he did create a happy ending, so be sure to read the last page!

My groups over the years have poured over this book to the point that it is a bit dog-eared. All the 5 ballets in the book are interesting and presented nicely with actual photos. (important for young children)

I've just recently ordered this book because it is an actual children's picture book story and more appropriate for introducing the ballet to younger children.

PLAY HIGH QUALITY RECORDINGS FOR CHILDREN TO LISTEN TO AND CONNECT MUSICAL CONCEPTS

This is a nice recording of music from Tchaikovsky:
Available at Amazon

I also like these recordings (below) for encouraging children to move and dramatize the ballet story. The "Baby Ballet Class" is not orchestral but it is nicely done piano renditions of Tchaikovsky's music. 

I usually play recordings for about a minute or a little more, since children are not usually able to sustain the attention for much longer than that. You can always go back to the music again at a later time! This one is also available at Amazon:

Available at Amazon


SHOW VISUALS FOR CHILDREN 
TO CREATE MOVEMENT TO THE MUSIC 

I always begin by showing the children a large photo of an Orchestra. We talk about how many people are playing their instruments together and the children often compare this to a "band" of musicians.

Photo from Pixabay

I've also discovered that children need to see a photo of a swan so that they can understand the movements that swans make and this also helps the children understand the quiet mood in parts of the music for this ballet.

Photo from Adobe Stock

After the children have seen the photo of a swan, I show them photos of dancers in poses that might remind us of the swan gliding across the water.


Photo from Adobe Stock

Photo from Adobe Stock

Another photo offers the idea of the swan preparing to fly! This photo can give the children some ideas of how ballet dancers move to mimic these motions in the Swan Lake Ballet.

Photo from Adobe Stock

I also like to show children photos of dancers that might be more familiar to them if they watch music videos on TV. This photo of a hip-hop dancer reminds me of the motion of the swan about to lift off the water and fly.

Photo at Adobe Stock

More photos show dancers in actual Swan Lake productions that will give children more ideas of how dancers move in this ballet.

Photo from Pixabay

I have to include this darling photo of children moving in their own dance class. My groups love to see photos of children their age doing things we are learning about in our music lessons.

Photo from Adobe Stock

If you have feathers, paper, ribbons, and other sparkly materials, you can even create headbands for the children to create Swan Lake costumes for performing their own little ballet presentations in their outdoor playtimes. Here is a vintage photo of a ballerina from Swan Lake.

Photo from Pixabay

PROVIDE AN INDIVIDUALIZED SHELF WORK 
FOR MORE FOCUSED LISTENING FUN
"MAKE A STICK PUPPET"

I created a FREE packet of visuals and templates to download so that you can offer a fun lesson about the Orchestra using the music from the "Swan Lake Ballet." Several activities are designed for the children to listen to short excerpts from the ballet while moving their stick puppets to the mood of the music.  Children can cut out the swan (or other templates of a male dancer and/or a female dancer) and then attach it to a craft stick.  

I invite you to hop over to my MONTESSORI MAGIC FRIDAY post to see more ideas for Swan Lake activities for your group, including MY FREE RESOURCE! You'll find lots of the above visuals and templates for some fun stick puppets in this free activity pack!

CLICK HERE to access my freebie: "Introducing the Orchestra with Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake Ballet."


I am working hard on my upcoming Musically Montessori eCourse, "Instruments of the Orchestra", and one of the first lessons is about Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake Ballet. I have lots of instruction in the videos along with mp3 music downloads and pdf lesson plans in every one of the 12 lessons in the course. 
COMING SOON!

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE and see a sample video.

I am always so very glad to see you here visiting my blog! Thank you for the time and I hope you have gotten some ideas for music with your group!



YOU MIGHT LIKE SOME OF MY OTHER POSTS ABOUT THE INSTRUMENTS OF THE ORCHESTRA. CLICK HERE TO BROWSE THEM!


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