Themed Lesson: Sun

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Melissa Askew/Unsplash

Age Range: All Ages

Introduction: In this lesson, activities are paired with listening suggestions to help listeners discover and enjoy music inspired by the sun. Select activities listed below based on time allotted, classroom goals, and student needs.

Total Music Time: 17:38

Free Downloads:


  1. Explain that you will listen to four pieces of music about the sun, charting its course throughout the day from sunrise to sunset. Be prepared to listen actively and use music vocabulary to describe what you hear.  

  2. This is a cover of The Beatles' song Here Comes the Sun performed by Reina del Cid, featuring Class Notes Artists The OK Factor. After listening, journal or discuss things you heard and noticed in the song.

  3. Sometimes the sun looks and feels different, depending on the time of day. Here is some music inspired by sunrise by composer Ferde Grofé. Listen carefully -- it begins very quietly, but pretty soon it is bursting with sound, kind of like the light in a sunrise. While listening, get out some art supplies and draw a sunrise.

  4. In the middle of the afternoon, the sun can make us want to lie on the grass and look up at the clouds. The composer Ralph Vaughn Williams wrote a song about that, based on a poem by Dante Gabriel Rosetti. When you listen to this piece, maybe you can look out the window and watch the clouds drift by.

  5. Sunset is the time of day when we feel things come to an end. Here is a piece by Peter Maxwell Davies that might not be directly inspired by the sunset, but it has a feeling of something coming to an end.

  6. Use this listening worksheet to compare and contrast the four pieces.  Did they sound the same? Did they sound different? In what ways?



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This activity is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment’s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.

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