Do you know what was happening in Europe while the colonies were being formed? Have you ever wanted to know more about the lives of some of the greatest composers of the 17th century? Have you ever wanted to explore some of the greatest music written by these people during this time?

If so, this is what is being taught in Advent’s sixth grade music history classes. The church and the aristocracy of Europe played a major role in the lives of these artists and musicians. Two of the greatest composers, Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frederick Handel, lived at this time and are being studied by the sixth graders.  We are exploring the lives of these men and their music.

The students have listened to and examined the Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 and the Little Fugue in G minor both by J. S. Bach. In addition to these pieces, several movements of Handel’s Messiah will be studied. The students will be taught the forms of this music, how it was put together, and what makes the music of these composers sound the way it does. One goal is to understand how these great masterpieces were written. The students can then enjoy the music that they listen to because they know it.

Rick Phillips