Strategies for Directed Listening

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
Johann Sebastian Bach
by David Brummitt


Comprehensive teaching strategies for multiple ages and abilities

Teachers guide, reproducible worksheets and overhead masters.

Lessons for Primary Grades:

  • theme identification
  • form
  • meter and conducting

Lessons for Intermediate Grades:

  • composition
  • notation on staff
  • singing the theme and countermelody
  • form analysis
  • part singing with bass line
  • modulation

What Are Strategies for Directed Listening?

Directed listening lessons are a series of structured music lessons presented by the music teacher in class to study one composition in depth (similar to novel study). This series of strategies are for the in-depth study of J. S. Bach's chorale, "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring."

Students will likely be familiar with the composition through the daily, non-directed music listening program. However, it is not essential, especially for younger students, that the composition has been previously heard.

The strategies all together are designed in a manner so that the composition will be visited over a period of years rather than over a few lessons. The exposures are numbered to reflect the sequence from simple to more difficult. Suggested grade levels are indicated. Each exposure can be one lesson or a series of shorter, connected lessons taking place over a certain number of classes organized by the teacher.

A comprehensive lesson outline is provided in each exposure. Teachers will need to prepare step-by-step lesson plans based on the experience of students, providing preparation and reinforcement as necessary. Within each exposure, steps are numbered. The steps can be one activity within a single lesson or combined to make longer lessons.

Student worksheets and reading pages are included. They may be reproduced for student use. The pages may also be used by the teacher as overhead masters.

The purpose of this directed listening strategy is to assist teachers in enhancing their students' enjoyment of Bach's chorale by sharing one approach towards developing a more complete level of understanding of the work. This chorale is arguably one of Bach's most beautiful and enduring compositions. It is the perfect marriage of melody with counter-melody and is easily accessible by children. These strategies have been used successfully with students from Kindergarten to Grade 7.


Strategies for Directed Listening
Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring

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