Themed Lesson: Home

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Age Range: All Ages

Learning Objective: Students will have opportunities to create, perform, respond and connect to pieces of music inspired by home.

Note to Teachers: As opposed to a sequential lesson plan, themed lessons are a pick-and-choose model. Select repertoire and activities from the lists below based on your time and needs.



After choosing a piece of music, use the information below to introduce the piece and reflect after listening.


Listen to this piece, by the composer Stephen Paulus, based on a poem by the poet Craig Hella Johnson. It's called The Road Home.

Read they lyrics as you listen:

Tell me, where is the road
I can call my own
That I left, that I lost
So long ago?
All these years I have wandered
Oh, when will I know
There's a way, there's a road
That will lead me home

After wind, after rain
When the dark is done
As I wake from a dream
In the gold of day
Through the air there's a calling
From far away
There's a voice I can hear
That will lead me home

Rise up, follow me
Come away, is the call
With the love in your heart
As the only song
There is no such beauty
As where you belong
Rise up, follow me
I will lead you home

Reflection questions:

  • Who do you think is speaking these words?

  • How do you think this person thinks about home?

  • What are the feelings the words and music bring? Is it happy? Sad? Hopeful? Remember it is possible for music and poetry to make you feel more than one feeling at a time.


Listen to a performance of the famous song Going Home. First, an alto saxophone plays the melody. As the saxophone and piano begin the piece, write some words or draw a picture about your idea of home. Many it's the place you live, but maybe it includes the people who live with you, too. Some people feel very at home in the outdoors, so maybe you will include some scenes from nature. After the saxophone plays, you will hear a singer add words to the melody.


The composer Frederic Chopin was born in Poland but left at the age of 20 to tour Europe as a young musician. Less than a month after he left, war broke out in his home country and he wasn't able to return. He lived the rest of his life in France but historians have said he was often homesick for Poland. In fact, he wrote many pieces that included references to his homeland, including several pieces called "polonaise" which is a dance of Polish origin.

Listen to this Polonaise, composed by Chopin. He wrote music as a way to cope with feeling homesick. Do you ever feel homesick? What do you do to deal with those feelings?

Sometimes music can feel like "home" because it might feel comforting. Can you think of a piece of music that feels like "home" to you?

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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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