Lesson Planning Ideas about Claude Debussy

Here are a few lesson ideas you could do if you were creating a music lesson about Debussy. These are just a couple of the ideas included in our printable music lesson plans on great composers.

In 1889 Debussy attended the World Exposition in Paris where he heard music from many other countries. He was particularly intrigued by Javanese gamelan music and from that time on, his music was influenced by the oriental instruments and styles of music that he heard. Imagine that you are Debussy and have just returned from visiting the Exposition. Make a postcard with a picture on one side and a letter to a friend on the other side giving your impressions of all the exotic things that you may have seen there. Some information on the types of exhibits can be found at the sites below.

http://www.expo2000.de/expo2000/geschichte/detail.php?wa_id=6&lang=1
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exposition_Universelle_(1889)
http://www.nga.gov/resources/expo1889.shtm (photos)

Here is a video of Gamelan Music
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EXzfpS6WK4

Debussy said that “music is the silence between the notes”. Hold a class discussion on what you think Debussy meant by this and what you think music actually is. You could summarize this activity by making a class poster entitled “Music is….” and have everyone write their own thoughts.

Extension Activity: Research Impressionism in both music and art and list the main characteristics of each.

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