Composer Challenge

Old sheet music that could have been written by the composer of the month.

DOMENICO SCARLATTI

CHALLENGE INSTRUCTIONS

To complete the challenge, begin by researching the composer of the month to find the information listed below. Next, memorize the facts. Finally, let your teacher know you are ready for the challenge. When prompted, recite the information for your teacher during your music lesson. To be entered in the drawing you must complete the challenge before the recital for the month.

  • The Composer of the Month’s full name
  • The Composer of the Month’s date of birth
  • The Composer of the Month’s date of death
  • Titles of three famous works by the Composer of the Month
A public domain portrait of the composer Domenico Scarlatti.

WHY A COMPOSER CHALLENGE?

The challenge exists to give students the opportunity to reach beyond their regular lesson assignments and learn about musicians. Every month, students who complete the challenge will be entered into a drawing for one free lesson at the studio. Winners will be announced at the monthly Vance Music recital, where they will be awarded a gift certificate. Winners can compete every month, meaning that they have the opportunity to win multiple free lessons throughout the year.

The challenge prompts students to explore music history via regular research. The University Of Reading states that “…life in the twenty-first century demands that citizens are able to judge evidence, make critical judgments and present ideas clearly and unambiguously in discussions. The ability to carry out research is thus a key characteristic of any citizen.” Vance Music students who complete these challenges are therefore not only building problem-solving skills and knowledge that they can use in their daily practice, but also building skills that help them to become more useful members of society.

Vance Music strives to integrate history into the learning process of its music students using two main methods. Students work to form a big-picture framework of musical history by completing history levels. Bain and Harris, in their article for “Perspectives On History,” the newsmagazine for the American Historical Association, write about the “instructional importance of having a “big picture” to help situate all the details that so define history at any level.” Vance Music history levels help students learn and memorize facts about musical eras: dates, characteristics, composers, events, and contemporaries.

Students fill in this music history framework with details by focusing on specific compositions, performers, and composers. The challenge can motivate students to explore further, expanding their music history knowledge, whether by listening to works by the composer or by investigating similar artists. Musicians selected for this challenge represent various time periods, genres, and cultures to help students learn about a wide variety of musicians from around the world. To explore more music cultures and genres, students may want to check out the websites below:

NEXT LEVEL: COMPLETE A COMPOSER FACT SHEET

Students who want to take their research to the next level may complete a Vance Music composer facts worksheet. This requires students to research and memorize additional information about the musician. Using their music history knowledge, students determine which era of music the composer belongs to and which characteristics of that era apply to the composer. Students list the composer’s famous teachers, students, and compositions. They also list the instruments that the musician played and wrote for, current events that may have influenced their work, and any additional facts that the student finds particularly interesting.

Things to know beads (in regards to Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina)