This series of lesson plans focuses on individual concerts featured in Westminster’s Virtual Concert Hall. Each plan is suitable for remote instruction and is appropriate for middle or high school choral ensembles. The lessons focus on the artistic processes of creating, performing, responding and connecting to music, and most can be taught synchronously or asynchronously. Developed by recent Westminster Choir College graduates and faculty, each lesson within the unit provides national standards, objectives, essential questions, and assessment strategies.
Westminster is here to help, and we invite teachers to utilize the entire lessons as written or to use them as inspiration. Each piece of music sends an uplifting message for students working in isolation.
All lessons are based in:
- Connecting to music that students may already know and to their life experiences.
- Discovering and creating meaning in partnership with other students and the teacher.
- Open-ended learning through discussion and creative problem-solving.
Virtual Concert Hall Lesson Plan Downloads
Hope in Tomorrow
Westminster Williamson Voices
Grade Level(s): 9-12
Description: This unit centers on the hope that the future holds better circumstances. Students will use pieces from this concert to analyze and synthesize knowledge they’ve acquired from their past choral experiences to explore the meaning of hope and how it affects the way we go about our daily lives. The goal of this unit is to give students a way to discuss and visualize what hope means to them through the medium of choral music.
Angels and Demons
Westminster Chapel Choir
Grade Level(s): 6-12
Description: Through juxtaposition with other repertoire and art forms, students will enhance their deep listening skills as they observe and reflect upon various elements of music, such as text painting, texture, tonality, meter and color.
Today I Will
Grade Level(s): 9-12
Description: This unit centers on the hopeful in the everyday. The works selected for study each deal with celebrating the extraordinary things that happen in our daily lives, from the turning of a day to the daily importance of connection and love. In a time of Coronavirus, it is our hope to use this transformative music to promote critical introspection and musical reflection for our students.
Discovering the Musical Characteristics of the African American Choral Tradition
Westminster Jubilee Singers
Grade Level(s): 7 - 12
Description: Through a focus on musical style, this unit will help students identify and understand the unique characteristics of hymns, spirituals, and gospel songs from the African American choral tradition. The unit also addresses choral artistry, vocal technique, and audience connection through a thorough examination of a concert by the Westminster Jubilee Singers.
Expression Through Compositional Choices
Grade Level(s): 10 - 12
Description: This unit will explore the different means by which composers manipulate the elements of music to express the meaning of the text. Music is an important medium for expressing thoughts, feelings, and ideas. By understanding the various ways composers share their ideas, we can garner a deeper understanding of the music, the story being shared, and its impact on us, the listeners.