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Introducing Stomp!

Perhaps you'd like to build your Spring semester into a Stomp unit with performances in June.  Okay, where to begin?  How about critique?  The National Standards have "evaluating music and music performances" as standard #7.  In fact, the last 4 National Standards can be applied to critique.  
6. Listening to, analyzing, and describing music.  
7. Evaluating music and music performances. 
8. Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts. 
9. Understanding music in relation to history and culture.
No doubt, you have already had students observe one another and make comments on specific elements of performance.  Now they can apply these skills to a concert performance via youtube.  Here are some videos of different kinds of found-object percussion (I call it Stomp, which I know is a brand name.)  After each video I will have a set of questions for students to consider.  These questions are geared for students in 4th grade and above.  You can ask for more detail and more discussion with older students.

These videos and questions make excellent sub plans, assuming the sub can use the internet and project the images and sound to a large enough format.   

  1. What is the form of this piece?
  2. What are the different sections of the piece and how do you define them?
  3. How are transitions made from one section of the piece to another?
  4. What do you imagine to be the most difficult part of the piece to perform?
  1. How does facial expression and acting enhance this performance?
  2. If you look at the first performance, can you see ways that more acting could make that performance better?
  3. Did the acting detract from the performance?
  4. How much further would the acting have to go before it would detract from the performance?
  5. Answer video 1's questions for this video.
  1. A good story has an arc of action.  There is an introduction, rise of action, climax, then conclusion.  Watch the video with NO WRITING, afterwards, jot down the arc of the story in a small group.
  2. What were the emotions involved?  How could you tell?
  3. If you were to perform a piece like this, what other elements would you add?  What would you take away?  What would be the arc of your group's story?
  4. Go through the piece again, mark down how many people are on each rhythm part as best you can.  Note call and response sections, small group sections, and any solos.
  5. Brainstorm everyday situations where sounds could be woven into a performance like this?
Perhaps you could begin your lessons with a rhythm on the board and figure out a way for the class to stomp it.  You could add to this each week and work up a whole routine.  Later, each table could make their own pattern while the others do an ostinato holding pattern.  You could begin your own stomp from there.

Good luck!


Chris Heater said…
I love the final list of questions relating to the arc of the story line.

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