Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Worked for me Wednesday: Sousa March Mania

It's the middle of April already - Wow, where has the time gone?
I'm linking up with Aileen Miracle's "Worked for Me Wednesday" linky party. 

Today, I'm blogging about "Sousa March Mania." Every year, the United States Marine Band hosts a tournament to see which of John Philip Sousa's marches will win the ultimate title of March Champion. People can vote via social media and submit their own bracket to become "The March King." 

I thought this would be a great way to get my 5th graders involved in learning about Sousa and other march composers, listening to different marches, and writing about their favorite piece. Once the initial bracket was started, I printed them off and had students fill in what they thought. We listened to a small sample of each one as they completed their bracket. When the winners were announced during the first week of April, I put together a quick power point to go through the bracket. Each student added up their correct choices (1 point for first round, 2 for second, 3 for third, 5 for 4th and 10 for the champion) and totaled them. I gave out two small trophies for the winner and runner-up. Before releasing the winning march of this year's tournament, we listened to both and debated which would win and why. It was great to hear the students justify which they thought would win and what set it apart from the other marches. 
By the way, the winner was Hanssen's "Valdres" over Sousa's"Stars and Stripes Forever."

I only did this with one class to see how it would go, but it was fun! In the future, I hope to start it sooner so we can listen to more of the marches. I'm also going to add point values on the worksheet because the math part is a little difficult for some.

I've seen other teachers do brackets during March with composers, styles of music, instrments, etc. It was definitely a motivator for my older students and a chance to hear their thoughts through discussion and writing. Hopefully you try it out next year - I can't wait!

1 comment:

  1. What an interesting way to do listening lessons! Thanks for linking up! :)