Music Repertoire Project

The purpose of this assignment is to help you select music to share with your students.


Find 20 musical selections that you would consider sharing with your students. Consider the criteria* below and develop your own list.

1. Musical examples must be appropriate for the age and interests of the learners.  Carefully review the appropriateness of the lyrics for all vocal selections. Consider length and the challenges (listening, performance, or composition) the piece might offer to the students. As a rule of thumb, try to find listening selections or excerpts that are 3 minutes or less.

2. Musical examples must include a variety of genres. If the goal of music learning in schools is to help children gain musical knowledge that will allow them to become musically independent and continue to participate in musical activities throughout their lives, then music should be selected from a wide variety of genres. A genre is a classification of a kind of music. Some genres you are familiar with would be: lullabies, children’s songs, marches, polkas, love songs, hymns, string quartets, choruses, and band music. Consider music from small and large ensembles as well as vocal and instrumental music, and consider music from many different cultures.

3. Musical examples must reflect all musical styles. Although "style" is often interpreted differently by different people, for our purposes we will use the term "style" to refer to music that has become associated with a certain time and place. Therefore we may refer to the style of Beethoven (ca. 1800), European Romanticism (1806-1920) or the style of Elvis Presley (ca. 1965). There are, however, three broad categories that help us to choose music from a diversity of styles:

4. Music examples must be "music of value." Ultimately, the test for inclusion of any musical example must be based in its power to help individuals find music to be a source of beauty and joy, to provide the freedom to participate in the special kind of immediate, personal expression that no other form of communication can emulate. It would be wonderful if there were some hard and fast rules as to what makes one piece of music more meaningful than another. Sadly, there are none. However, some guidelines may be used to help you make choices. The first is, "Does the music stand the tests of time?" We are not only talking about great musical works that have remained in a culture’s repertoire for centuries. We are also talking about current time. How many times can you listen to a particular selection without becoming bored? "Great" music is meaningful enough that we can listen to it many times and each time find something new that attracts our interest.
     A second question that may be asked is related to the first. "Does the music possess a balance between repetition and contrast?" Songs that are highly repetitive, with the same melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic ideas repeated over and over with little variation soon lose their meaning. Conversely, if there is no repetition, if each phrase of the song introduces completely new ideas, there is nothing to "hang on to," and the music seems to become gibberish. It is important, of course, to recognize that musical examples drawn from an unfamiliar style might seem boring or meaningless, simply because we are not accustomed to the musical organization used. In this case, it would be wrong to reject the music as having no value without immersing oneself in the music and other customs of that culture long enough to be able to make informed choices as to its musical value.

Evaluation Criteria:

From your list, you will choose works to complete the Facets Model assignment and the Unit Plan/Teaching Episode assignment. Since we are trying to develop interdisciplinary lessons, it is important that you select music that will provide connectability. Therefore, try to answer some of the questions posed by the Facets Model as you develop your list. It is in your best interest to have a pool of quality musical works to choose from. Please turn in a hard copy of your assignment on or before the due date in the syllabus and copy and paste this assignment into the body of an email. Don't be concerned about formatting in the email version.Write "Music Repertoire Project" in the subject line of the email.

  1. Your list should include the title of the selection, the name of the composer(s) (if known) or genre, and the publisher (if it is a piece to be performed) (20 points)
  2. Your list should include 10 recordings, include title of CD and length of the selection in minutes and seconds.Use your field experience to help you do this. If possible speak with middle school or junior high teachers about appropriate repertoire. (Pass or Fail)
  3. Your list should include 10 selections that middle school students could perform. Use your field experience to help you do this. If possible speak with middle school or junior high teachers about appropriate repertoire.(Pass or Fail)
  4. Write a sentence about why you are interested in each selection and/or why you would like to share it with your students (20 points)
  5. Summarize: Write one paragraph that describes your attempts to meet the four selection criteria for your listening selections and one paragraph that describes your attempts to the meet the four slection criteria for your performance selections. Include all four criteria in each of your paragraphs: (a) appropriateness; (b) composer and/or genre; (c) style; (d) value (10 points).

    *These criteria were adpated from Musical Growth in the Elementary School, 6th Edition, by Bergethon, Boardman, and Montgomery.

Examples of Repertoire Projects:

Melissa Tschaikovsky

Dimitri Sostenuto(pdf)