Learn how to dance the Minuet!
Have your students ever asked to play a piece from the Baroque Period?
Have they been interested in what keyboard instruments came before the piano that we enjoy today?
Have they ever asked which artists made the top of the charts in the 17th century?
No, I didn’t think so.
Why would they?
Why would students ask about things that they don’t know?
Since the Baroque period generated a substantial amount of legendary repertoire, I believe it’s worth educating your students about this rich genre.
I find ways to do so every couple of years so that as students progress, they manage to add a number of Baroque “hits” to their growing playlist.
Why? Because if I don’t expose students to this vibrant repertoire, who will? By the way, I always let my students choose from a couple of Baroque pieces and they always seem to find one they like, even REALLY like.
By the way, how many of your students ask to play that “canon” or “wedding” piece. Just when students may think that the Baroque period seems irrelevant, the time is ripe to share that the famous canon from Pachelbel and his timeless chord progression come from the 17th century!
To learn how to immerse your students in the Baroque period, follow this link to a resource I created a couple of years ago called Go Baroque. It includes repertoire, apps, off-bench activities and even tips on how to create powdered wigs for your digital natives to wear as they perform music from the time period. You’ll also learn how teachers amplify this “back-in-time” immersion into a community festival.
This post is an unexpected and exciting addendum to the activities included in Go Baroque. Evidently, there’s more than one way to dance the minuet! In the past, I’ve shared different steps to the French dance as seen in this video at a Baroque Bash in Fort Collins, Colorado.
As I’m a huge fan of off-bench activities, I was thrilled when Dr. Jeremy Dittus, Diplôme Supérieur (Dalcroze education specialist) taught a number of Colorado music teachers how to dance a two-circle minuet at our state convention.
I couldn’t help but show the steps we learned at our 88 Creative Keys workshop and now I’m sharing the specific steps with you.
Ahem…even if you think dancing the minuet may not connect with your 21st century screenagers…give it a try. The smiles and giggling that you’ll see at the end of the video below show that this off-bench activity evokes fun and even fond memories of experiencing “Baroque life.” And, you have to admit, it will help students move in 3/4 time—a rare event in this 4/4 world!