A story told through music!
'Peter and the Wolf' was written by a Russian composer called Sergei Prokofiev in 1936. He started to learn the piano when he was 3! Prokofiev wanted to use a story to introduce children to orchestral instruments! So he gave each character a specific instrument.
After you've watched and listened have a think about the instruments he chose, Do you think they represent the characters well? How did each instrument help tell the story? Can you think of adjectives to describe the various characters and instruments?
Music embodies powerful emotions. It can soothe, excite, express sadness, uplift, be humorous, and create joy among many other feelings. When listening to Peter and the Wolf, discuss how each of the instrumental themes make you feel. Use descriptive words as they listen to each of the characters and their corresponding instruments. Does the instrument sound happy, sad, heavy, loud, light, soft, strict, harsh, smooth, sneaky, slow, strong, determined, fast, or relaxed? Help the children form a listening map for Peter and the Wolf.
Example of a Listening Map:
1) Peter enters the meadow – how does the music sound – does the music sound light or scary?
2) We meet the Bird – is the music fast or slow?
3) We meet the Duck – do the children LIKE the unique sound of the oboe? Can they almost FEEL the duck waddling?
4) We meet the Cat – does the clarinet sound relaxing and smooth or heavy and harsh?
5) Grandpa arrives – does the bassoon sound happy or angry?
6) We meet the Hunters – is the sound of the french horn light/happy or strong/determined?
7) Peter ropes the Wolf – does the music get faster or slower to help us FEEL specific ACTIONS?
Unfortunately not the ones with chocolate chips.
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