Writing & Library Research Methods Lesson Plan: Questions about Music

Lesson objective(s):  Help students learn how to ask research questions about musical works.

Total estimated time: 43 minutes

Additional outcome(s): Introduce The Fairy Queen, help to generate potential research questions, connect research questions with types of sources.

Course work or assignment underway:

This is just between the critical survey and the research proposal

Work and/or reading completed before class: None (but students will be asked to either listen to The Fairy Queen or watch a film adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream after this class)

Sequence of Classroom Activities:

Brief introduction the The Fairy Queen, that is, let’s talk about what it is (a masque based on MND). Perhaps also give them a clue about the Drunken Poet scene in particular. (2 minutes)

Either play or show a video of the Drunken Poet scene in The Fairy Queen (available in Naxos). (8 minutes)

Break students up into groups of four.  Give each group a card with a topic written on it, like “STAGING” “BIOGRAPHY” “RELATIONSHIP TO A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM” “FAIRIES” “TECHNICAL QUESTIONS” etc.  (3 minutes)

Ask each group to brainstorm a list of research questions about that topic.  After 7 minutes, ask them to list what sort of source they’d use to answer each question. (15 minutes)

Share the questions with the class and organize them into categories.  Introduces a discussion about what sorts of sources they might use to learn more about music. (15 minutes)

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