Introduction to Bach
Lesson Duration: 3 classes (40 minutes each)
Materials: Bach’s Fight for Freedom
I love introducing young children to the classics, and Bach is one of my favorites. I use this lesson with third graders, but it could be adapted to work for other ages.
I start the class by placing a large picture of Bach up on the board with the composers full name, Johann Sebastian Bach. I ask the students to tell me everything they think they already know about him and I record their answers on the board. (We will either confirm or discount these as we continue our Bach study.) Since wearing wigs was common during Bach’s life, many students think he was a President!
I play the piano, so I then move to the piano and play Bach’s Prelude No. 1 in C. I let the students look at the music and tell me what they think about the sound. If you don’t want to play Bach yourself, you can pop in a CD for them to listen to.
Begin the movie “Bach’s Fight for Freedom.”
Begin class by reviewing the discussion of Bach from the previous class. Review what has happened thus far in the movie and answer any questions the students might have. Continue Bach’s Fight for Freedom.
Finish Bach’s Fight for Freedom. I have them answer the questions following the movie and we discuss together. There are many more questions that you can cover, such as the clothing of the times.
1. We study the music of Bach at school because he was a very important composer. What is a composer?
2. What did Bach want the freedom to do?
3. Name 2 instruments that Bach played.
4. Bach went blind at the end of his life. What does blind mean?
5. Do you like Bach’s music? Why or why not?
6. If you had a chance to meet Bach, what would you ask him?