Lesson 6: 15 Lesson Plans – Teaching the National Core Music Standards through Music Travel

December 7, 2015 Tori Cook


Ebook Blog 15 Lessons Featured Image - Lesson 6


Demonstrate, using music reading skills where appropriate, how compositional devices employed and theoretical and structural aspects of musical works impact and inform prepared or improvised performances.


Break the classroom into small groups for an outside class assignment. Assign each group two contrasting pieces of your touring repertoire to analyze. Establish necessary guidelines including a presentational format. Set up presentation schedule. After each presentation, do a wrap-up with the ensemble highlighting key takeaways from each piece. Then, spend 15 minutes rehearsing the new concepts discussed with the ensemble.


Outside of class in your small group, discuss the different compositional techniques used in each of your assigned pieces. Together, discuss how these techniques might affect the ensemble’s performance/interpretation of the pieces. Put together a 15-minute presentation for class based on your analysis. Presentations may include written notes in the score displayed on the board or students performing as an example of the concepts discussed.

Encore_General_Orchestra_Rehearsal_Timpani_Player_Close_Up (2)


  • What parts of each piece deploy important compositional techniques? Write down measure numbers for reference.
  • Why might the composer choose these techniques over others? What emotion do you think the composer was attempting to portray? Why?
  • How will these techniques translate in a performance? Individually? As a section? As an ensemble?
  • How do the compositional techniques vary from one piece to another? Are they similar or different?
  • Are there any key takeaways from each piece that the ensemble should focus on?

Since the new core music standards were launched in June 2014, music teachers across the country have been identifying ways to teach them in their classrooms. For ensembles that travel, some standards can easily be met through pre-departure preparations, while on tour and even upon return. This is the third lesson plan for a new e-book which directly addresses each new core standard while also incorporating touring elements. Download the full e-book here:

The post Lesson 6: 15 Lesson Plans – Teaching the National Core Music Standards through Music Travel appeared first on Backstage at Encore Tours.


About the Author

Tori Cook

Having grown up in a military family, Tori traveled the world at a young age and has visited over 25 countries to date. She is the former Director of Marketing and Business Development at Encore Tours and her passion for travel is matched only by her love of music. She holds bachelor degrees in Vocal Performance and Music Theory and currently performs with Chorus pro Musica in the Boston area. She also directs the Harborlight Show Chorus, a small barbershop chorus in the North Shore.

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