YourClassical Music Lessons

Class Notes Opera: Lesson Two - I Can Express Myself Through Opera!

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April 16, 2021

Classical MPR and the Minnesota Opera are teaming up to bring opera for young people to the classroom or the living room.

This is the second in a series of two lessons that introduces the art form of opera to young learners. In this lesson, focus will shift from introducing and defining new terms to student expression through singing and storytelling. Teaching artist Victoria Korovljev will help students compose their own mini-arias.

Content is designed for early elementary-aged children.

Notes for teachers, parents, and caregivers:

The aim of these lessons is to promote student engagement and ensure comprehension. A few tips to make this second lesson successful:

• In the first part of the second lesson, Victoria engages with some call and response singing, inviting students to sing along, or "fill in the blank" through singing. Please participate along with children. In doing so, you will be a great role model and encourage their participation and engagement by example.

• In the second part of the lesson, Victoria helps facilitate student creation of a "mini-aria." Victoria gives prompts for both verbal and written responses. Based on the age and development stage of your young learners, there are two options for students:

    ◦ Respond verbally to Victoria's prompts in real time- no reading and writing necessary!

    ◦ Complete the creation of a "mini-aria" using a combination of direct response and reading/writing skills. A worksheet template is shown on the screen to help facilitate those doing the lesson as a written assignment. The worksheet template is pictured at the bottom of this lesson and available for download as well.

If choosing to do the verbal response:

• Support and encourage young children to engage by pausing the video at any point to give them additional time to think about and answer question prompts. Feel free to repeat the sequence after the lesson for additional reinforcement.

For emerging readers/writers:

• Begin by responding to Victoria's prompts in real time without utilizing any reading/writing skills. After students have sung their mini-aria, use the sample worksheet at the bottom of this lesson and fill in the blanks. Complete the worksheet using words, sentences, and illustrations as appropriate. Once the worksheet is complete, use it to sing the mini-aria.

Please adjust all material and approach to align with classroom literacy goals.

I can express myself through opera!

1. Watch Class Notes Opera, Lesson One.

2. Review new words and ideas. Remember that opera is storytelling with music and singing. Remember that an aria (AH-ree-ah) is one little story that's a part of an opera.

3. Brainstorm before watching. Explain that in the second lesson, Victoria is going to use opera to tell two stories: one story/mini-aria about what she likes to eat for lunch, and one story/mini-aria about a special event she likes to celebrate with her community. Ask students to start thinking about both their favorite lunch foods and some important events they celebrate with their community.

4. Watch the video!

5. Follow up with questions for discussion, reflection, or journaling.

• You sang mini-arias about lunch and a community event that is meaningful to you. Name three other topics you might use to create a mini-aria.
• In opera, performers wear costumes to help tell the story. What costumes would help tell the story of your mini-arias?
• In an opera, the performance takes place on a set. A set is scenery, furniture, and other objects designed to help tell the story. How would you design a set to help tell the story of your mini-arias?

6. Be sure to share your mini-arias with others! Use this worksheet (click here for a printable version) to help you remember the structure of the second mini-aria about community celebrations.

Opera worksheet
Opera worksheet
Katie Condon

Tell us what you learned!

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

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