Public Monuments and Music
In addition to my role as art teacher for grades 3, 4, and 5, I teach a cycle class for sixth graders on classical art history. The existing course of study focuses on ancient Greece and Rome and traces the influence of classical art through the development of Western art into the 20th century. This unit is part of a process of evolving the course to cover world art history. It introduces art history through the thematic lens of public monuments. New material introducing sculptural form from India will focus on the Shiva Nataraja, a sculptural form that developed in the tenth century in South India. Music is included in the unit to deepen students’ capacity to experience empathy and understanding of both American and Indian cultural forms.
TARGETED GRADE LEVEL
INTRODUCTORY NARRATIVE TO LESSON
The foundation of Western arts and sciences, government, and philosophy is often traced back to ancient Greece and Rome. Current global trends in education indicate that a focus on Western or American culture is insufficient to prepare students to function as global citizens in the contemporary world. The National Anthems of both the United States and India, as well as the song composed for the 50th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty have been chosen for this unit to express the formal national identity of both nations. Both public monuments in this unit are also examples of national identity and of significant diplomatic and cultural discourse at the global level. Music created for this level of discourse appears to be the best choice to pair with these monuments. As students listen and discuss the national anthems, they will create a focused awareness to support the art making activities. Their understanding of anthem lyrics will be informed with cultural specificity. This will support them in interpreting the iconography of the monuments in deeper and more interconnected ways.
Students will be able to identify the basic iconography in two public monuments: Statue of Liberty (United States), Shiva Nataraja (CERN)
Students will understand the social, artistic, and cultural heritage of these two monuments.
Students will be able to identify and discuss two selections of music in relationship to these monuments.
Students will study, practice, assimilate and implement traditional art skills related to the classical tradition.
New Jersey Core Curriculum Standards for Visual and Performing Arts
1.2.8.A.2 Differentiate past and contemporary works of dance, music, theatre, and visual art that represent important ideas, issues, and events that are chronicled in the histories of diverse cultures.
1.4.8.A.1 Generate observational and emotional responses to diverse culturally and historically specific works of dance, music, theatre, and visual art.
1.4.8.A.3 Distinguish among artistic styles, trends, and movements in dance, music, theatre, and visual art within diverse cultures and historical eras.
1.4.8.A.5 Interpret symbolism and metaphors embedded in works of dance, music, theatre, and visual art.
1.4.8.B.2 Differentiate among basic formal structures and technical proficiency of artists in works of dance, music, theatre, and visual art.
Author: Anne Drillick (2013)
The United States National Anthem will be paired with the Statue of Liberty as examples of important cultural artifacts in the development of national and cultural identity.
Song Resource #1
Title: "The Star Spangled Banner" (Voices Across Time 3.35)
Composer: John Stafford Smith
Lyricist: Frances Scott Key
Date adopted as National Anthem: 1931
Performer: Yo Yo Ma and Silk Road Project
Performance Date: January 17, 2009
Recommended Recorded Performance:
Yo Yo Ma and Silk Road Project perform "The Star Spangled Banner"
for President Obama’s Inauguration.
Available for viewing on YouTube
Silk Road Project: http://www.silkroadproject.org/
Song Resource #2
Title: "The Gift of Light"
Composer: Doug Katsaros
Lyricist: William Schermerhorn
Date: October 28, 2011, Commissioned for the 125th Anniversary of the Statue of Liberty
Original recording available for listening on YouTube
2011 Recording available for purchase on ITunes
Performers: Anika Noni Rose and Gay Marshall
Gift of Light Background Information: http://www.ellisisland.org/Eiinfo/2011_GiftOfLight.asp
Song Resource #3
Title: "Indian National Anthem: Jana Gana Mana"
Composer: Rabindranath Tagore
Lyricist: Rabindranath Tagore
Date: December 27, 1911
Available for purchase on Amazon
Available for viewing on YouTube
Performers: Various performers
Background information and lyrics for Jana Gana Mana:
"The Star Spangled Banner"
Introduce "The Star Spangled Banner" as an important piece of music in the development of the national identity of the United States of America. See the lesson plan for this song posted on the Voices Across Time website for background information.
"Indian National Anthem"
Introduce "Jana Gana Mana" as an important piece of music in the development of the national identity of India. Have students listen to a portion of "Jana Gana Mana."
Song: "The Star Spangled Banner"
Song: " Jana Gana Mana"
LIST OF DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR ART
Have students work in groups to complete graphic organizers for each of the following:
Resources for Artworks:
Work: Statue of Liberty
Artist: Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi
Date: October 28, 1886
National Park Service Web portals for The Statue of Liberty
Nineteenth Century Models: Icons of Liberty, from University of Nebraska
Work: Shiva Nataraja
Date: June 18, 2004
Shiva Nataraja at CERN
Ritual, Religion and Spirituality in Indian Art:
Shiva Nataraj Iconography:
Information about CERN, European Council for Nuclear Research
Thoughts on work and life from particle physicists from around the world.
Dallas Museum of Art – Excellent resources and links for teaching about Asia and India (Paste link into Web Browser to access this document.)
Contemporary artists referencing Shiva Nataraj:
1. Display images of the Statue of Liberty in classroom.
2. Introduce the history of the "Star Spangled Banner" and of the Silk Road Ensemble.
3. Model how to listen and identify auditory material for completing the graphic organizer.
4. Teacher plays a selection from "The Star Spangled Banner" (YoYoMa performance for the Obata inauguration. See link above under Resources.)
5. Teacher introduces the Statue of Liberty to the class as an example of public sculpture.
6. Students work with partners to complete a graphic organizer identifying the iconography in the Statue of Liberty.
1. Teacher plays a selection from "The Gift of Light" song celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty.
2. Students complete a graphic organizer to identify the history and function of the "Star Spangled Banner" and the" Gift of Light" song.
Days Three - Five
1. Students work with partners to create a Greek vase drawing with one of the following: Athena, the Statue of Liberty, Olympian Greek god or goddess.
1. Display images of Shiva Nataraja at CERN.
2. Teacher plays a selection from "Jana Gana Mana".
3. Teacher introduces the artwork to the class as an example of public sculpture.
4. Students work in teams of three to complete the Analyzing Visual Images graphic organizer identifying key features of this public monument.
Day Seven - Nine
1. Teacher plays a selection from "Jana Gana Mana."
2. Students read the lyrics in English and discuss it in groups of three with a Voices Across Time Finding Patterns graphic organizer to identify key elements in the song.
3. Students complete a drawing, painting or diagram of Shiva Nataraja with labels describing important iconographical elements.
At the close of this unit, each student team will make a five minute oral presentation of their art project and the results of their research with graphic organizers. They will have the option of including a one minute selection from the two songs used in this unit in their presentation.
A rubric will be used to evaluate student projects. Some important criteria will be effort, completion and teamwork.
Developing this unit required looking at unexamined habits and perceptions. I feel I have made some significant and beneficial changes in my understanding of what it means to be a teacher in the United States today. I anticipate that the unit I developed at the Institute and the methods of using music in the classroom that I have learned will continue to unfold in my classes for many years. I would like to express my gratitude to the Center for American Music and the National Endowment for the Humanities for the extraordinary effort and care put forth to create this rich and varied learning opportunity for our nation’s teachers.
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