Music Repertoire Project

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

 Music specialists often spend a great deal of time selecting music for their students. They often choose music that is useful for exploring a particular musical concept or musical element (See descriptions of various musical concepts.) For example, if the teacher wanted students to explore different tempos (speed of the underlying pulse), it would be useful to find a piece of music that used contrasting tempos. This may or may not, however, be a useful way for you to select music to share with children. For example, your students may be studying Australia, and you would like to have them experience an Australian folk song. This would certainly be a worthwhile activity, and by engaging the students with listening and perhaps singing a folk song, they will not only learn about Australia, they will also experience, to a greater degree, what it feels like to be in Australia. The following is a list  of criteria to consider when selecting music to share with your students. These criteria were adpated from Musical Growth in the Elementary School, 6th Edition, by Bergethon, Boardman, and Montgomery.

1. Musical examples must be appropriate for the age and interests of the learners.  If, for example, music is selected that the learners consider babyish or boring, they will be unlikely to pay attention to those characteristics you would like them to notice. Carefully review the appropriateness of the lyrics in all vocal selections. As a rule of thumb, try not to select music that lasts more than 3 minutes. If you find a longer piece that you would like to use, consider a shorter section of the piece that could stand on its own.

2. Musical examples must include a variety of genres. If the goal of music learning in elementary 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.A genre will often refer to the timbres used but also the function the music serves within the culture. Some genres you are familiar with would be: lullabies, children’s songs, marches, polkas, love songs, hymns, string quartets, chorus, 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 (1770-1827), the style of Elvis Presley (ca. 1965), Classical European Music 1750-1800 or The "Golden Age" of South Indian Classical Music (1750-1850). Consider 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.


Find 10 musical selections that you would consider sharing with your students. Consider the criteria above and develop your list. From this list, you will choose at least one of the works to complete the Facets Model assignment, the Lesson Plan assignment, and the Evaluation of 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 email and give me a hard copy of this assignment on or before the date specified in the syllabus. I prefer not to receive attachments to the email message, instead, copy and paste your finished assignment into the body of the email message. Write "Music Repertoire Project" in the subject line.

1. Your list should include the title of the selection, the name of the composer(s)  (if known) or genre, and the length of the selection in minutes and seconds. (15 points)

2. Your list should include no more than three selections that would be considered "children’s music." Exceptions will be made, however, for children's songs sung by native singers from outside of the United States and Canada. (5 points)

3. Write a statement about each selection that describes why you are interested in the selection and/or why you would like to share it with your students. (20 points)

4. Write a paragraph that describes your attempts to meet the four criteria from above. (10 points)

Example I (Elise Moab)

Example II (Roberta Scherzando)

Example III (Wanda Wasatch)

Example IV (Delta Dynamic)