Do you know the theme songs for any of the cartoons you watch? How many can you sing? Make a list. Or better yet, give it a try!
Why do you think the "Baby Shark" song became so popular? Do you think it would have been as popular without the colorful animated video? Why or why not?
According to the article, the song "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" was published on its own after appearing in a cartoon film. It was an instant success. What other movie songs can you think of that were huge hits after they were released on their own?
If the "Silly Symphonies" songs and videos were released today, do you think they would still be a hit? Why or why not?
- Invite volunteers to share the different ways music impacts their lives. Encourage students to describe where they hear music, the types of music they listen to and any musical instruments they know how to play.
- Discuss how music fits into your school. For instance, does your school have a music program? If so, does it include singing, band and orchestra? Does it explore different types of music? Do you have designated music teachers? Are music classes part of the curriculum or is music only available as an after-school program? Can all students participate?
- After a thorough discussion, encourage students to evaluate the answers and assess the status of music in your school. If your school doesn't have a music program, how can you get one started? If you have one but it is at risk of being discontinued, how can you convince people to keep it? And if you have a music program and it's already successful, how can it be even better?
- Once students fully understand the status of music in your school, encourage them to brainstorm ideas about how it can have an even larger presence. Challenge them to create a comprehensive plan for incorporating music more thoroughly into the curriculum. Then have them identify key people they would need to contact to make their plan a reality.
- Give students time to create a promotional campaign to support their cause.
CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:
Did you know that the Smithsonian’s combined musical resources constitute the world’s largest museum of music? Music is an integral part of the Smithsonian’s connective tissue, spanning a remarkable number and diversity of collections, programs and exhibitions. Visit this site, created for the 2019 Year of Music, to tap into the Smithsonian’s bounty of educational resources, music videos, collection spotlights and more.
From 1948 to 1986, Folkways Records produced over 2,000 recordings of remarkable breadth and diversity. This virtual exhibition from Smithsonian Folkways presents the look of Folkways through an exploration of the cover art and design of this extraordinary recording company.
In this lesson from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, middle school students will learn about the life and art of Piet Mondrian, his style influenced by jazz music and his technique using spatial concepts. Students will create a painting in Mondrian’s non-objective style.
This History Explorer kit of guided listening activities and streaming music offers an engaging way of introducing students to jazz. It traces Louis Armstrong’s career as a musician, from influences in African rhythms and New Orleans marches through performances in the 1960’s and 70’s. It could be used as an introduction to using music and sound recordings as primary sources.
Use this History Explorer resource to introduce students to audio samples of Celia Cruz’s music and video clips of her life and performances. In addition to salsa, Cruz performed many genres of Afro-Caribbean songs. Her repertoire showcased the power of her voice, as well as her skill and mastery of rhythmic complexities.
Through the years, hip-hop has created new traditions and furthered musical and cultural traditions of the African diaspora. Visit this site to explore hip-hop and rap-related collections from across the Smithsonian.
In this online History Explorer resource, students will learn how the need for louder guitars led to the invention and proliferation of the electric guitar. They’ll also learn how the emergence and popularity of rock and roll led to the guitar’s commercial success and more innovative designs.
Across 60 cultures, songs sung in similar social contexts have shared musical features. Read this Smithsonian magazine article to learn why that is significant.