Do you think Chopin enjoyed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?
Did Bach find those powdered wigs a little itchy?
Relating styles of music to events, fashion and food of the past helps students realize that much of the traditional piano repertoire was written by once living, breathing human beings!
Here are four, colorful infographics that will get your students thinking about and appreciating centuries of styles and legendary composers.
Each style period infographic features information about what it was like back in the day–an overview of the music and composers along with a peek at parallel events and the lifestyle of the times.
The color choices are on purpose and come directly from Karen Koch’s My Own Music History. The categories on each card are inspired by a VERY old Piano Explorer magazine article.
- Baroque = Gold because the style was rich and architecture and fashion were ornate (just like the music!) and often adorned with REAL gold.
- Classical = Blue because the style became more calm and elegant compared to the rich texture of the Baroque.
- Romantic = Red because music was closely tied to the emotions and passions of the composer.
- 20th Century = Green because so many new styles blossomed during this time–think spring!
How to use the infographics:
1. Dedicate a week or more to one style period, print the corresponding infographic, give one to each student and quiz them on the facts they read. In addition, assign students to study a piece from a composer from the time period.
2. If you have a place where students wait for lessons, make a poster of one or all infographics and hang it in the waiting area. Set up a listening center and invite students to listen to music of the time period as they wait for their lesson.
3. Dig deeper and dedicate a term to a style period, assign students to read various articles about the composers. I like the Meet the Great Composers Series from Alfred. As they read, ask them to make flashcards on index cards or in the app called Quizlet.
4. Assign students to watch the corresponding Get Inspired! Episodes I offer at the 88PK blog:
Baroque: correlates with my Go Baroque Resource
Classical: focuses on composers and forms
Romantic: includes Classics For Kids podcasts
20th Century: digs into Boogie Woogie–one of many styles during this time.
Important instructions about this product!
PLEASE note…the product is a ZIP folder of PDF files. This means that after your purchase, you will download a folder containing four separate files. Each style period file/PDF is provided in several variations:
- Full color
- White background with some color
- Black and white
- Black and white with no info to challenge your students to fill in as much info as they can remember.
The files are provided separately so that you (along with your favorite print center employee) can decide how you want them printed. It really depends on how you wish to use the files and share them with students.
Some printing ideas:
- Print three to a page (landscape) on glossy card stock and print the Baroque on one side and the Classical on another, and the Romantic and 20th C as another set. The print will be small but readable for young eyes.
- Print two to a page (portrait) on card stock or regular paper for larger print.
- Print the black and white “blank” pages and ask students to fill in the blanks.
TIP: An MTNA membership saves you 60% on printing fees at Office Depot. It makes colorful printing projects like this SO affordable.
Extra TIP: A wonderful Office Depot copy center manager spoiled me and created this 24″ X 36″ poster. It cost about $25 ($20 with your MTNA card.) I’ve included his file of the poster with this resource.