Composer Spotlight: Tchaikovsky & The Romantic Period

by Abby @ Quaver on January 17, 2013

in In the Quaver Classroom!,

Study Tchaikovsky with Quaver & this teacher-created Lesson Plan!

Quaver Teacher Amanda Gonzales whipped up this Lesson Plan for teaching students about Tchaikovsky and The Romantic Period using Quaver’s School Program and!

Composer Spotlight: Tchaikovsky-Romantic Period

My students finished viewing Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker before Christmas Break, and I created this lesson plan to begin our study of Tchaikovsky to kick off the new semester.

We actually study a new composer every 9 weeks. Their portrait is posted in a groovy picture frame in the front of the room. As a warm up activity, my students do brain dance at the beginning of every class. During brain dance students listen to music from the Composer of the 9 weeks.

Here’s what an introductory class on Tchaikovsky looks like for us:

Quaver Episode:

  • Depending on the length of each class, you may show either the entire Romantic Period Episode, or you may show Key Scene 2 (Great Romantic Composers) and Key Scene 3 (Drawing on the Emotions of Chopin, Mussorgsky and Tchaikovsky).

Show that Emotion Game:
This activity meets National Standards 6, and 7.

  • Distribute dry erase boards and markers to students. If you do not have these materials paper, pencils/crayons will work too.
  • Explain to the students that they are going to listen to different selections of music from the Romantic Period.
  • Like in the Quaver episode, they need to draw a face depicting the emotion they felt in the music.
  • For younger students (or students who aren’t confident in their drawing ability), I allow them to write the word they are attempting to draw.
  • Find music at
    • Log in with your Teacher Account
    • Click on the Bus Stop
    • Click on Composers & Music History
    • Select the Romantic Period Classroom
    • Select Musical Tracks
    • If you prefer only musical selections by Tchaikovsky select IWB Activities -> Talk to Tchaikovsky -> His Great Music


Tchaikovsky Composer Board:
This activity meets National Standards 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, and 9.

  • Find the Talk to Tchaikovsky board by selecting IWB Activities from the Romantic Period Classroom.
  • As a class, allow students to interact with all the components in the Talk to Tchaikovsky board. As you click on areas in the activity, more content will be shown.
  • If you do not have an Interactive Board, allow students to come to your computer to take turns while others watch using your projector.
  • Select Click Me and allow students to sing along. It is a great way to practice saying his name!

Be sure to check out these tabs:

  1. Where He Lived: There are great history, culture and geographical connections in this area. Again make sure you click everything in order to see all the content.
  2. About His Life: This timeline is interactive. When you click the icons more detailed information will be shown. The questions in blue are a great way to achieve cross curricular learning and real life application. As an added bonus you may take a moment of silence in memory of Tchaikovsky’s death.
  3. His Great Music: In this area you will be able to listen to 5 songs all written by Tchaikovsky. There’s also a great opportunity to add instruments to the Russian Dance from the Nutcracker.
    • The score is shown once you click on the Nutcracker Suite button.
    • Divide your class into 3 groups (Jingle Taps, Woodblock and Tambourines). Review all the rhythms.
    • As you play along with the track the measure you are reading from will be highlighted. This is a great help to the students.
    • After a couple of tries students will begin to hear how their instrument parts fit in with the music. I do this activity with 3rd grade and up.
  4. Quiz: Take this at the end of class, and you will be shocked to see how much they have learned.

Ticket Out the Door

In order for students to line up to leave class they must tell me at least one fact about Tchaikovsky or the Romantic Period. You will be amazed to see the interesting facts they have learned!

Have you checked out our Composer Boards yet?

What would you add to Amanda’s Lesson Plan?

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