Age Range: Elementary
Learning Objective: Students will listen to the piece Walking the Dog composed by George Gershwin.
1. Composer George Gershwin wrote a piece called Walking the Dog, also known as "Promenade." A promenade is another word for a relaxed walk. This music comes from the 1937 film Shall We Dance. It is played during a scene where people are walking dogs on a cruise ship. The steady quarter notes in the lower voices make this music feel very walkable. The clarinet shows off its tremendous range, playing a soaring, jazzy melody over the walking beat.
2. Watch the scene from the movie where this music is played. The music part is the first two minutes or so.
Notice that about halfway through the scene, the characters stop following that steady walking beat.
3. Listen again to the music only.
Walk along to the tempo of the music as if you were walking. Pay attention to the steady beat/pulse. Listen and walk again. This time, try to trace the contour of the melody in the air as you walk. Pay attention and feel the combination of the pulse together with the movement of the melody.
4. The Rolling Stones have a song by the same name, but the music sounds different.
Can you hear some nursery rhymes mixed into the lyrics? Name two or three instruments you hear in this song.
5. Walking the dog means taking your pet out for exercise, but it's also the name of a yoyo trick. See a yoyo walk the dog here.
Identify six musical concepts in this piece of music performed by St. Paul Chamber Orchestra musicians. Viet Cuong’s Circling Back conveys the sense of being driven off course and returned to our path.
Explore the timbres of the violin, cello, and piano in this listening lesson.
Practice finding the STEADY BEAT in this listening lesson for Elementary ages.
Cat videos, cat memes, and composers and cats! Notice how melodic contour can represent the path of a cat’s feet, moving up and down a keyboard in Domenico Scarlatti's ‘Cat Fugue.’
Listen and respond to string instruments and soloists how improvise, in this lesson featuring Mason Bates’ “Mothership.”
Composer Jessie Montgomery was influenced by listening to a lot of records as a child. Look back historically on various devices used to capture music from the record player to the smart phone, and learn about some of the composer’s influences.
Dan Nass composed "One-Dog Canoe" based on the book by Mary Casanova. Utilize the included coloring activity while listening to the narrated story.