Who is your classical favorite composer? Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin? The Pre-K and Kindergarten classes at Advent meet for music every week. Most recently, they have been learning about composers. They are special musicians who create and write music. They have been concentrating on George Bizet, a Frenchman, who lived during the mid-19th century. Bizet is most famous for his opera, Carmen, but he also wrote a set of piano pieces called “Jeux d’enfants” (“Children’s Games,” opus 22 for piano, 4 hands). Later, five of these pieces were orchestrated.
The students listened to two of his pieces in music class. They are The Top and The Ball. The students heard the contrast of the pieces played on the piano and then, played by an orchestra. We discussed how Mr. Bizet may have gotten his idea for this music by watching children play these games in a park. The students had fun spinning like a top and playing with a ball as they listened to each piece of music. We talked about how tricky it must have been for Mr. Bizet to have seen things with his eyes and then to create music so that people could imagine what he saw. If you were to close your eyes at a park, what would you hear? Would you hear the wind whistling? What about the squeaky sounds of a swing going back and forth? Or would you hear the chatter of talk, the hum of kids singing? Or even the rhythmic, drum-like bounce of a ball hitting the ground? We found that everyone can be a composer.