YourClassical Children

YourClassical Music Lessons: What does outer space sound like?

 Greg Rakozy/Unsplash

March 18, 2020

LISTEN — Audio Instructions

Need ideas for easy and fun at-home music learning? Here's our daily YourClassical Music Lesson, featuring music by Gustav Holst.

The Solar System
Diagram of the Solar System (sizes to scale, but not positions)
Wikimedia Commons

Target age range: Grades K-5 (adjust as needed)

1. Composer Gustav Holst wrote a collection of musical pieces called The Planets. He wrote music for each of these planets: Mars, Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Can you find each planet on a map or diagram? Talk or write about what you think music would sound like for each planet.

2. Listen to "Mars, the Bringer of War," by Gustav Holst.

LISTEN — "Mars, the Bringer of War"
Gustav Holst

3. As you listen, think about what life might be like on Mars. If you want to do a little research, look here. Think about some reasons why people might need or want to live on other planets someday.

4. Design (on paper) and build your vision of a colony or settlement on Mars. Use LEGO, K'NEX, DUPLO or a collection of household items like cotton swabs, pipe cleaners or empty cereal boxes. Be prepared to present and explain your work to someone.

5. Maybe you noticed that the beginning of Holst's "Mars" sounds a little like some very famous music from a very famous movie about outer space. Composer John Williams was inspired by Holst's "Mars" when writing "The Imperial March" for Star Wars.

LISTEN — "The Imperial March"
John Williams

6. Can't stop wondering about space? Look at some cool space photos on the NASA kids website.

Have a question or suggestion? Contact Katie Condon, music education specialist.

More: View all of our daily YourClassical Music Lessons