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Anyone ideas for using Holst's The Planets in music with KS2?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by donna1107, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. Hi all. Im a yr5/6 teacher and our topic after Easter is Earth and Space. Im planning on using Holst's The Planets in music lessons but not sure what to actually do with it, ie what the learnig objectives should be. Any ideas? We've done a lot of singing this year, and will be looking at cyclic patterns after half term with Indian music, so basically can pretty much do anything else. I know Mars has lots of ostinato, what could i do with that?
    Hope you can help?
  2. clear_air

    clear_air New commenter

    Which areas of music are you covering this term? Composition? Graphic scores? Listening and aprpeciating? There's so much in there you need to have a look at how your term breaks down in terms of the skills you are teaching.
    You could listen to all of them (or parts), and get responses - painting? poetry? how do they make you feel? research the historical setting for the compositions, and the classical stories they are based on? Do your own compositions based on the planets? make rhythm cards for composition/listening games eg. Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, Space rocket, Milky way, space explorer (minim, crotchet crotchet, crotchet, quaver, quaver, quaver, quaver, crotchet, quaver, quaver, quaver, quaver, quaver) - I have a set (or I did, I've leant them to someone and I can't remember who! grrr) based around minibeasts. Study of timbre? Which instruments suggest the stars, etc? TIme signatures are interesting with the planet suite - Mars is based on a 5/4 time (repeating 5 beats - it's quite difficult to count along to, but gives the disjointed feel that Holst was looking for). You could compare with other composers who have used planetart bodies as a starting point - for instance Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata and Clair du Lune by Claude Debussy. (thinks, Blue Moon by Showaddywaddy...!)
    You could do some creative dance?
  3. thanks for all the ideas, ive decided to go along the composition route, looking at timbre. eg y was the instrument chosen, how could u recreate stars etc
  4. clear_air

    clear_air New commenter

    You could link that to paintings too - I think I did it with Van Gogh 'Starry Night'. Graphic scores always go nicely with composition, and extend the topper juniors a bit more. eg. Compose music, score it, give it to another group to perform - is it the same?
  5. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Eh? You young thing, you!
    Think back further to Connee Boswell, Mel Torme or Elvis!
    If the OP is considering doing some composition with the pupils, the position of Pluto is still vacant, since Holst composed The Planets in 1916 and Pluto was not discovered until 1930.
  6. clear_air

    clear_air New commenter

    Gee, I've not been called that for a while! Thanks!
    Pluto's a really good idea. I shall file it away in my store of pinched ideas...[​IMG]

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