Classical 91.5

Nine Ideas on How to Use Classical Public Media in the Music Classroom: Part 2

Aug 24, 2017

Part 1: Classical radio in the classroom

(Note: This is a continuation of last week's post on how music educators can use classical public media in their classrooms to enhance students' musical experiences.)

Is it radio? Streaming? Media?  Journalism?  Yes!

Classical radio goes beyond the old-fashioned wireless. Almost all of the classical public radio stations have a website where you can find playlists,  blogs, and arts news.

Part 2: Classical public media, beyond the radio

4. Use public media to spark ideas for multidisciplinary projects.

Why?  New York State Standards require students to "respond critically to a variety of works in the arts, connecting the individual work to other works and to other aspects of human endeavor and thought."

How? You can build an entire unit based around one work and find connections to other areas of curriculum--for example, consider West Side Story.  Leonard Bernstein's 100th birthday anniversary is August 25th, 2018.   Teachers can build a unit around West Side Story as a re-imagining of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and as a reflection of Puerto Rican culture and how it is portrayed.  Listen. Watch. Recreate  the dancing and explore the complexity and rhythmic challenges of Bernstein's composition. Many orchestras and classical stations are doing something with Bernstein and West Side Story--for example, Classical 91.5 is presenting the movie with a panel discussion in early September.  Your public media service is already talking about how to underscore the importance of Bernstein's work with interviews, podcasts, and music.

5. Use classical public media to expose your students to working artists and their stories.

Why?   New York State Standards require that students "develop an understanding of the personal and cultural forces that shape artistic communication and how the arts in turn shape the diverse cultures of past and present society."  Public media can help you show students that classical music is alive.  It helps you expose them to the artists who have devoted their life to making music.

How? Have your students listen and respond to interviews by working artists in your area or across the country, through podcasts online or interviews on the air.

6. Use classical public radio to help you ask for donations of instruments and supplies.

Why? Many classical public radio listeners want to support music education, but may not know how.

How? Work with your local station to organize and instrument and/or supply drive.  Recently, WXXI collected $18,000 worth of instruments and supplies for the Rochester city schools just with gentle reminders over the air. 

Coming soon--Part 3: Classical public media connects students to the real world.