music appreciation

I don't usually write about working with the young women at church, mostly because the best stuff is spontaneous and a little effervescent.  But tonight I planned a "music appreciation" night, which involved putting together a jeopardy-like arrangement of index cards in six categories: 20th century pop music (name the decade), classical composers, name the instrument, name the artist, hymn titles, and Disney (name the movie).

It was fun to prepare--all I had to do is go through my music library and pick 30 songs, as well as spend a few minutes writing up the categories and numbers on index cards. I enjoyed finding obscure but still recognizable segments for the Disney category; the hardest one was from Bambi, which many of the girls had never seen. Name-the-decade was probably the most fun to construct, though, as I got to dig through a huge spectrum of music.

The girls seemed to have fun, and everyone got at least one right. The best moment for me is when the visiting girl who only really speaks Portuguese correctly answered the hardest name-the-artist without any real hesitation (it was Avicii's Wake Me Up).

It was interesting to see who shone in which categories, and I learned that one girl plays the flute.  One girl got every single guess-the-decade, from a 1928 Luis Armstrong piece to a 1996 one by Jewel. Another got every single hymn title.  The flautist was a whiz with instrument names.

Everyone avoided the classical composers, but when we finally did them, many of them recognized the music and spent a while mulling them over.  Exposure is the key for this kind of stuff, and I was glad to make them think about it.  I was also happy to teach them what a harpsichord sounds like, and that no, those are bagpipes, not a piccolo.

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