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Ensemble Rehearsal Plan

Title of Piece: Ave Maria

Conductors Name: Hannah Park
Composer/Arranger: Igor Stravinsky

Ensemble Name: Select Choir

Grade of Piece: 9 12

Learning Goals
What Learners will
Be able to do (behavioral): By the end of this semester, students in the 9th-12th grade will
be able to perform Stravinskys Ave Maria in four parts, with a success rate of 80%.
Understand (cognitive): Students in the ensemble will be able to interpret the text of
Ave Maria by Stravinsky in performance, demonstrating an understanding of Neoclassical
style and genre.
Encounter (experiential): Students in the ensemble will sing in four different parts with
good diction for text and phrasing. Students will hear recordings of the song and their individual
parts to help them learn the piece.
Construct meaning (constructivist): Students in the ensemble will realize the impact that
music has on each other and others after performing an intimate song at a school concert.
Technical Skills (intonation, posture, breath, phonation, balance, bowing for strings, sticking
for percussion, diction for singers)
Diction for singer
Musical Concepts (melody, rhythm, harmony, form, timbre, texture)
Sense of Ensemble
Empowering Musicianship (historical perspective, stylistic integrity, musical artistry)
Know the history of the song
Stylistic Integrity
Musical artistry

Partner: (Differentiated instruction by collaborating with ensemble members predicting the
performance challenges. Pose problems and brainstorm solutions together. Encourage students
to respond.)
Students will be given a piano recording of their voice part that the teacher recorded in
advance. Students will be assigned to listen to the recordings to learn their notes and rhythms on
their own time. The teacher will provide a YouTube video link of all the four parts sung together.
Students will listen to the YouTube link after they have already learned their own part. This will
allow students to interpret the style and texture of the piece. Students will be asked to mark in
their score and write in their music journals areas of the song that may be problematic. There will
be a class discussion on the solutions for the issues and an interpretation of the text.
Present: (Sequence of the rehearsal steps. Present the steps to scaffold and allow time for
students to practice independently on their own. Differentiate instruction through questioning,
clarifying, summarizing, and connecting.)
Teacher presents a brief slideshow through the SMART board or PowerPoint on the
history of the piece and composer throughout the semester. The teacher will present the
Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) was a Russian composer
First international fame with three ballets: The Firebird (1910), Petrushka (1911), The
Rite of Spring (1913)
Had three general style periods: Russian (1907-1919), Neoclassical (1920-1954), and
Serial (1954-1968)
Lots of rhythmic complexity including Syncopation
Complex tone colors (unusual combinations of instruments)
Ave Maria is Neoclassical
Text was originally in Russian, and then translated to Latin
Neoclassical (New-age) characteristics: influenced by early Baroque or Classical music,
in terms of melody and composition
A reaction against the weirdness of Modernism
A return to the past in thematic material and formal structures
Emphasis on rhythm
Expanded tonal harmony
Concentration on absolute music
Ave Maria is simple and austere. "I can endure unaccompanied singing in only the most
harmonically primitive music, proclaimed Stravinsky and his aim was a simple
harmonic intonation of the words. The resultant sound is, in the words of Craig Smith,
a curious combination of Debussy-like watery harmony and an almost medieval choral

Students will be given a short quiz (for a participation grade) on the material after the
information is presented to ensure the students can recall the information. Students will begin
each class listening to the recording of the song. Students will sing warms up each class that are
related to Ave Maria.
i.e. singing rhythms that change from to 2/4 or vice versa
Sing warm ups on different texts of the song
Warm ups that contain rhythms of eighth notes and sixteenth notes
Incorporating intervals commonly used throughout the song
Good Posture and breath support
Using Chant as warm ups to set the mood of the song
Rehearsals will consist of a balance of focus on musical concepts, ensemble skills,
musicianship, and historical perspectives. The conductor will spend time on the diction of the
text by having the students repeat the correct diction. Students will end class with feedback,
reflections, expectations for the next class, and continue to listen to their recordings on their own
Students will be assigned to either quartet or octet groups, and will be able to sing their
own parts. This will allow students to realize the impact on all interpretations combining and
joining to become one song. Students who are listening will provide feedback to the quartet or
octet singing about ways to improve the diction, style and phrasing of the song. Was the quartet
or octet able to express musical phrasing and meaning of the text? Were the singers able to get
across their interpretation and meaning of the song? After each group gets a chance to get
feedback, students in the ensemble will sing all together, keeping in thought about what was
discussed. (To keep a musical phrase, listen to other parts, neoclassical style, and text)
Personalize: (Make the learning personal to the students. Provide opportunities for ensemble
members and their conductor to collaborate as musicians to create a musical experience and
add value to their lives.)
Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee;
blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Students will be asked to write a 1-page paper in their music journals on the meaning of
the text and their interpretation for homework. What is their POV on the song? How does the
text relate to you? What is the text about? What idea are they trying to get across while singing?
How can they show appreciation of the composer and the time period this piece was written?
How can they express their interpretation while singing? This allows students to reflect about
what the song is about at their own pace. Students will be asked to write in the translation of the
text in their scores on their own time. Students will discuss what they have written about and
how they can apply their meaning of the song while performing. (Students are to keep in mind
that although the text is based on a prayer, their interpretations do not have to be spiritual or
religious. The teacher is not to teach about religion, but interpretation.)

Perform: (Demonstrate teaching music when students perform.)

The ensemble will perform the piece, Ave Maria by Igor Stravinsky at
a Winter or Spring concert at school. A few students will be asked to read
their interpretations of the song and their meaning of the text before
performing. This will allow the ensemble to realize the impact the music has
on each other and the audience when performing a song sung with a deeper
The students will demonstrate their awareness of text as it relates to musical expression,
interpretation, mood, and meaning in daily rehearsals. The conductor will engage the singers in
several discussions that focus on personal connection to the text and meaning of their
performance. Through questioning, techniques, journals, and open discussion, the teacher and
students will gain a better understanding of the relationship between the text and how that
relationship impacts the performance.
The ensemble will demonstrate their mastery of both musical and literacy concepts as they relate
to interpretation and expression by performing, Ave Maria in concert.
The conductor keeps entries in a journal after each rehearsal. Entries noting the progress of the
ensemble and their ability to self-reflect and grow through the piece. The conductor journal entry
prompt questions will be the following: Did the singers come to understand the text of
Stravinskys Ave Maria by exploring different musical settings of the text? As a conductor, was
I effective in relating the importance of the text and the expression in choral performance? Was
the ensemble able to sing the piece with neoclassical style? Was the ensemble able to have a
deeper connection and meaning of the piece?