It’s my favorite time of the year! I love Fall & Halloween! There’s so much folk and classical music to draw from for your classroom. One of my favorite tunes to use during the month of October is In the Hall of the Mountain King by Edvard Grieg. It’s the fourth movement of the Peer Gynt Suite. What I love about In the Hall of the Mountain King is that it is such a simple piece of music with so many concepts to teach from it.
Melody – Does the melody move by step, skip, repeat or leap?
Rhythm – Look at the rhythmic structure of the song. Can your students identify the meter? The key signature? Read the rhythms with solfege? Could they write the rhythm of the theme?
Form – Can your students identify how composer uses repetition of a theme? How many times is the theme repeated? Does it ever get boring? Why? Why not?
Timbre – Can your students identify instruments within the piece? Can they identify the ensemble as an orchestra? Can they hear how the composer groups different instruments together during each repetition?
Dynamics – Can your students identify the dynamics in the piece? How does the composer use dynamics to create interest throughout the composition?
Tempo – Can your students identify the tempo of the piece? How does the composer use differing tempi to create interest throughout the composition?
There are some great activities to get your students engaged with this song. One of my favorites is doing a hand jive using a puppet. I’ve seen it done with a variety of puppets, but in my classroom, it’s all about “The Wizard!” The Hand jive is simple: 4 claps, 4, fist pounds (2 times left hand on top, 2 times right hand on top), 4 scissoring of the hands (2 times left hand on top, 2 times right hand on top), 4 thumbs back (2 times with left thumb, 2 times with right thumb). Do the hand jive 17 times, increasing the tempo each time and hilarity ensues!
Another favorite activity is reading the story In the Hall of the Mountain King
by Allison Miller Flannery. We love this version in our room. It’s about an adventurous little boy who travels a bit too far from home and meets…The Mountain King! My boys (and girls) love it and you can almost hear the music as you read the story!
After listening to and reading the story, my older students fill out a listening log. This is simply a sheet with some questions about what they heard as they were listening to it. You can download my listening log for free on my SingToKids Blogs Freebie folder on Dropbox