"Mars" from The Planets

Gustav Holst's The Planets provide young musicians an opportunity to examine how composers can create a suite: a collection of smaller pieces grouped to explore a single topic. After listening to "Jupiter," they examine "Mars" in detail, figure out the ostinato rhythm pattern, and clap or use hand drums, woodblocks and/or rhythm sticks to perform the rhythm patters as they listen to the music.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • If not included as part of a music course, coordinate the lesson with the school's music teacher
  • Begin the lesson by playing Gustav Holst's "Jupiter" and asking class members to draw what the music makes them imagine
Classroom Considerations

  • Assumes the instructor has an extensive musical background
  • Includes National Core Music Standards and 2012 Ohio Standards
  • Designed for grades 5-6 but easily adapted to other grades as well
  • An extension asks class members to compare "Mars" with the "Imperial March" from Star Wars
Pros

  • The seven-page packet includes a detailed, step-by-step plan, discussion questions, assessments, and extensions
Cons

  • None
Common Core