The Music Workshop Company Blog 

Each month the Music Workshop Company publishes two blogs. One blog, written by the MWC team addresses a key issue in Music Education or gives information about a particular genre or period of music. The other blog is written by a guest writer, highlighting good practice or key events in Music Education. We hope you enjoy reading the blogs. 
 
To contribute as a guest writer please email Maria@music-workshop.co.uk 

Posts tagged “Model Music Curriculum”

A photograph of Saint-Saens
This month, in preparation for Halloween – our blog explores the spooky Danse Macabre by Saint-Saëns.  
 
The composition is familiar to listeners all over the world, thanks to its use on film and TV soundtracks, where it has frequently been employed to instil a sense of the uncanny. 
 
With its inventive instrumentation, cleverly arranged to evoke a scene of the dancing dead, the work is suggested as a piece suitable for Year 3 and above in the Music Model Curriculum. 
 
We suggest activities linked to the piece. 
A photograph of Gustav Holst
The Planets is probably Gustav Holst’s most famous work. It captures the essence of each Planet brilliantly; the musical themes are well known and have influenced later works. The piece has been described as an “orchestral suite” but it includes a wordless female chorus alongside the large orchestra. Holst is sometimes described as an underappreciated composer, but The Planets is a piece that’s still very popular – with Jupiter reaching number 7 in the Classic FM Hall of Fame in 2023. It’s a piece that is recommended in England’s Model Music Curriculum. 
 
 
Image: By Herbert Lambert (1881–1936) - National Portrait Gallery - Portrait NPG Ax7745; Gustav Theodore Holst, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7667183 
A photograph of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor seated looking at the camera.
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor is a composer whose popularity has grown and receded many times since he achieved fame with his trilogy of cantatas The Song of Hiawatha, which premiered in 1898. The Model Music Curriculum suggests listening to his Symphonic Variations on an African Air and possibly learning to sing the main melody, but this could also be a good introduction to starting to read a musical score. 
 
British musicologist Herbert Antcliffe commented: "To those who really wish to know Coleridge-Taylor... no single work of his will reveal him more fully." Here, we explore the work and the man behind the music. 
This month, we introduce Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with a focus on his popular serenade, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. Mozart’s talents gained him a reputation as a world-class musician during his lifetime, and he is still today regarded as one of the foremost composers not just of the Classical era, but of all time. 
 
Although he only lived to be 35, Mozart was a prolific composer, producing hundreds of works across multiple genres, many of which remain in the repertoire today. But of course, one of his best-known works, which was completed towards the end of his life, on 10 August 1787, is Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. The piece is not only a staple of the classical repertoire, but it has been used for decades in popular culture – from film to advertising – making it one of the most instantly recognised classical works today. 
 
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