Reading Level: 6. 0 Interest Level: 3-6 Genre Historical Fiction Annotation Anna Harebell Clean tells the story behind the music in this flannelled account of the creation of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. Every elementary music teacher will want to thank her for creating an interesting exciting resource to use in his or her classrooms. While based on actual events, the author recreates conversations that may have taken place.
George Gershwin reads in the paper that e is to perform a new composition at a concert at Aeolian Hall In five weeks. The problem is that he has not started writing it yet! George goes to Harlem to tell his friend Paul Whitman that he can’t do It. Paul gives him a pep talk and convinces George that he can compose a concerto in five weeks. Being a musical genius, George tries to compose the concerto but he has no ideas. He listens to the great composers of the past and he tries to improvise, but still, nothing. Finally, on his way to Boston for rehearsals of his new musical, George Is Inspired by the sounds around him.
He members the music of his youth and decides to use the music that is already in his head! Sleeker, foxtrot, ragtime and blues are incorporated into his new concerto. Still, George feels that something is still missing. Buddy invites George to join he and Air at a swanky party on Madison Avenue. While at the party, George begins to Improvise on the grand piano. Inspired by the lights of New York City, he creates his missing theme for his concerto. Originally George named the piece, American Rhapsody but his brother Air suggested that It needed more pep and the title was changed to Rhapsody in Blue.
The sold out concert takes place on February 12. The audience is bored with the same old fare and they begin to get restless and start to heckle the orchestra. Others begin to leave, Paul rushes George to the stage and the orchestra starts to perform the new concerto. The music stops the fleeing audience in their tracks. I can feel the electricity of the moment in the author’s words. I can hear each note as she describes the scene. The accompanying CD is still in Its case In the back of the book. Perhaps it is because I remember this music so well. Or perhaps it is because I am fan of Gershwin’s music.
It has been years since I listened to this concerto, but I can hum the tune and I remembered this from my childhood. I am so glad that it is included Just in case you do not know this American classic. After all this Is why It was created, so that our children will know the music of our great composers. Bookstall Do you have a tune that sticks in your head and you hum it all the time? Some days I hear a song on the radio and it plays over and over again. I have a favorite tune that I would like to share with you today. But before we listen to the music, I want you to know the story behind its creation.
George Gershwin was a casual genius that created a lot of music we still sing today. (This is probably where I would break Into a few bars of Celestial Bloomfield Indian Creek Elementary School celestinebloomfield@msdlt. Kill 2. In. Us summertime. Or “Bess, you Is my woman now. ” or “l got plenty of nothing, nothings plenty for me. ” Pick your favorite tune to sing. Kids always get a kick out of this! ) The Play the CD. It is almost 14 minutes long so you could Just play a part of it. About the Author QuickTime”* and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompress are needed to see this picture.
Author Website http://www. Charbroiled. Mom/contribution. CFML? Contrition=26 Our author grew up on a farm in Pleasant Garden, North Carolina. Music and the arts have always played an important part of her life. In high school she played drums in the Jazz band and in the marching band. She also plays the cello. Anna Harebell Clean holds a B. A. In art history from the University of North Carolina, and a MA and a Ph. D. In musicology from Duke University. Anna began writing children’s books in order to make classical music more accessible to young people.
A list of her additional books and their awards follow: Bach’s Goldberg Variations A Notable Social Studies trade Book The Farewell Symphony Independent Publisher Book Awards Bank Street College of Education’s Best Books of the Year The Heroic Symphony Parents’ Choice Silver Award Winner Anna and her husband Chris live in Baltimore. She is the Stacker Professor in Music and Director of the Music Program at Georgetown University. Publisher Website http://www. Charbroiled. Com/ Celestial Bloomfield Indian Creek Elementary School celestinebloomfleld@msdlt. Kill 2. In. S Summary Using a true story, the author recreates conversations that may have taken place when George Gershwin created the American classic, Rhapsody in Blue. Gershwin reads in the paper that he is to perform a new composition at a concert at Aeolian Hall in five weeks. The problem is that he has not started writing it yet! George goes to Harlem to tell his friend Paul Whitman that he can’t do it. Paul gives him a pep talk and convinces George that he can compose a concerto in five weeks. Being a musical genius, George tries to compose the concerto but he has no ideas.
He listens to the great composers of the past and he tries to improvise, but still, nothing. Finally, on his way to Boston for rehearsals of his new musical, George is inspired by he sounds around him. He remembers the music of his youth and decides to use the music that is already in his head! Sleeker, foxtrot, ragtime and blues are incorporated into his new concerto. Still, George feels that something is still missing. Buddy invites George to Join he and Air at a swanky party on Madison Avenue. While at the party, George begins to improvise on the grand piano.
Inspired by the lights of New York City, he creates his missing theme for his concerto. Originally George named the piece, American Rhapsody but his brother Air suggested that it needed ore pep and the title was changed to Rhapsody in Blue. The sold out concert takes place on February 12. The audience is bored with the same old fare and they begin to get restless and start to heckle the orchestra. Others begin to leave, Paul rushes George to the stage and the orchestra starts to perform the new concerto. The music 1924 in New York City Theme You never know what you can do until you try to do it. Inspiration comes from all sources.
Composers-fiction Conflict George Gershwin needs to compose a new concerto to perform in only five weeks. Conflict Resolution George tries to back out without trying because he needs more time to compose a concerto. His friend encourages him and inspired by sounds and music around him, he creates a masterpiece. Characters George Gershwin- American composer Air Gershwin- brother and partner B. G. “BuddY’ Deserve- friend and lyricist Paul Whitman-friend and orchestra leader celestinebloomfield@msdlt. Key. In. Us Discussion Questions What did Paul mean when he asked George, “Are you going to sit in with the band? Explain what Paul means when he tells George, “Just imagine you’re Rachmaninoff and then Jazz it up a little. ” Who is Rachmaninoff? Have you ever been stumped for a new idea? What kinds of things did you do to stimulate your creativity? What did George do? George remembers the music he listened to as a kid. What kind of music do you listen to and describe it? Why did the audience get restless? How did the audience feel at the end of the show? Anticipation Statements Agree Disagree Talented people don’t have to work very hard. Classical music is boring. Inspiration comes from everywhere. Music is everywhere. Jazz is for my parents.
Agree Disagree Page 1 a small group of people within a larger group who have more Social standing, lath or talent Concerto 2 an instrumental work that highlights a soloist or group of soloists Composers 2 someone who creates music Gig 3 a musical performance or Job Premiering 4 appearing on stage for the first time Classical 5 serious or intellectual music composed in 18th and 19th century in Europe Vaudeville 7 a satirical popular song performed in cabarets in the 19th and 20th centuries Enthusiasm 8 passionate interest or eagerness to do something Phonograph 8 a record player Improvise 8 to compose without a text to follow Sleeker 11 Bar Mitzvahs 11 the ritual ceremony that arks the 13th birthday of a Jewish boy Syncopated 11 modified musical rhythm that shifts the accent to a weak beat of the bar Foxtrot 12 a ballroom dance Intoxicating 12 capable of making someone intensely excited or overjoyed Kaleidoscope 13 a complex, colorful and shifting pattern or scene Swanky 16 very stylish Nocturnal 19 occurring at night Heckle 20 to shout remarks or insults at a person giving a performance Celestial Bloomfield Indian Creek Elementary School Vocabulary Elite 22 23 25 suggesting passion great skill or technique shown by a performer an exceptionally good piece of creative work
Read Alike Non-fiction books about composers The Life and Times of George Gershwin by Jim Whiting Fictional Stories about composers Bach’s Goldberg Variations by Anna Clean The Farewell Symphony by Anna Clean The Heroic Symphony by Anna Clean Pictures at an Exhibition by Anna Clean Read Aloud Pages 1-2 This sets up the premise for the story. It’s how George found out he was to perform a new piece in five weeks. Pages 25-28 These pages describe the performance of Rhapsody in Blue. It is electrifying. I can’t decide if you should play the music first and then read the book or read the book and then play the music. You decide. Book Activities Book Activity 1 with Across the Curriculum Suggestions Composers Research This title makes a great collaboration project. Student groups can complete the research on each of the composers in the media center. They can hear and study the music in music classes.
In the art class they can create illustrations to go along with the music and in our Media Tech classes they can use their research to create a Powering, Keynote or movie presentation to show over the air on the school news broadcast. There may be a chance to dance in the combined physical education and music class. This is how I could use this book at my school. I am sure that others could adapt sections that would meet their student population’s need. This project can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. Each year our students complete a research project for music. They study composers and their music and they make a presentation during their music class.
With a rigid schedule I have been unable to utilize many of our previous successful collaborations and without open periods for research so this unit was dropped. The key to this unit is to keep things going in the order of the class schedules. Students begin the unit in the media center with the sharing of the book. They hear the music in their music class. They are assigned composers to research by the music teacher. Students create their artwork in their art class. They come to the media center the next week and gather information about their composers. They Celestial Bloomfield Indian Creek Elementary School celestinebloomfleld@msdlt. Kill 2. In. Us will take notes to make sure they have enough information to use in their Media Tech classes.
They will use two media tech sessions and two media center sessions to complete their projects. After the projects are completed students will present them in their music class for a grade. Finished projects will be broadcast on the morning news show. This activity could be expanded to include more than American composers so that each student has their individual presentation. Pairing up students or having small groups provides a cooperative environment that allows each child to contribute. Suggested composers are as follows: American Leonard Bernstein Phillip Souse William Grant Still Classical Johann Sebastian Bach Ludwig van Beethoven Johannes Brahms Frederic Chopin Antonio Dobra George Handel Joseph
Hayden Franz List Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Sergei Profiles Franz Schubert Robert Schumann Pivot Litchi Tchaikovsky Giuseppe Verdi Antonio Vivaldi Dallas Symphony Kids This website provides a brief biography of composers divided by historical periods. Http://www. Disks. Com/2001 [compromisers. HTML Use the Inspire databases to search for composers. Http://login. Inspire. Net/ Use books from your library media center on individual composers. Book Activity 2 Listening Appreciation Materials: Celestial Bloomfield Indian Creek Elementary School CD of Rhapsody in Blue You could do this as a whole class activity. Students could ark individually if you use this as a center or find a way to have each student listen to the music by going to the Gershwin website so that several students can use this at the same time.
Play the concerto with the following directions. Listen for the components of the concerto. Can you hear the train? Do you hear the blues? Can you hear the ragtime? Can you pick out the foxtrot? Can you hear the sleeker influence? Which part of the concerto captures the spirit of Manhattan? What section has the theme? Students need to listen and find the part of the concerto that demonstrate each of the parts discussed in the book. Book Activity 3 Sound Harvesting Materials: Portable tape recorders and microphones Flip Video Cameras Digital Video Cameras Take students on a walking tour of your building. Listen for sounds that could inspire a musical composition.