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Classical Kids Music Lessons: Roses are Red, Violets are Blue

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April 17, 2020

LISTEN — Audio Instructions

Need ideas for easy and fun at-home music learning? Here's our daily Classical Kids Music Lesson.

Target age range: Grades K-5, with assistance for younger learners

April is National Poetry Month. Listen and learn about some beautiful connections between music and poetry.

1. Think about some different connections between music and poetry. Here are a few examples of ways the two art forms are connected:

• Poetry is sometimes used as text in songs.
• Poetry sometimes rhymes, just like song lyrics sometimes rhyme.
• Both poetry and music can create strong images in your imagination.
• Writing music and writing poetry are both ways to express your feelings and emotions.

2. Listen to some music connected to poetry.

• Start with "The Poet Speaks", from Kinderszenen, by Robert Schumann. The title says that the poet speaks, but there are no words. What do you think the poet is saying?

• Now listen to Haiku 2 by Andy Akiho. A haiku is a traditional Japanese poem that follows a certain pattern. Read more about haikus here. Haikus often conjure up images in the reader's imagination. What images pop into your mind when you listen to Andy Akiho's piece?

• Poetry isn't always about flowers and pretty images. The poet Carl Sandberg wrote a poem called "Rat Riddles" and the composer Ruth Crawford Seeger set it to music. Try writing a poem about a rat.

• At the very end of his Symphony No. 9, Ludwig van Beethoven decided to add a choir singing a version of the famous "Ode to Joy" poem by the poet Friedrich Schiller. Here is part of the symphony with the poem in it:

3. Try writing your own poetry-inspired music. First, write a poem, then try singing it. If you plan an instrument, try creating an instrumental version of your poem or a favorite poem written by someone else.

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

More: View all of our daily Classical Kids Music Lessons