Teachers Guide

This site was developed to support the Xploring Xtremes concert program by providing online access to music and activities that explore extremes in elements of music.

Teachers should review the entire site—particularly the interactive listening activities—prior to student use.

Understanding that teachers and students have varying needs and preferences for interactive opportunities, we have developed a number of different resources for a variety of uses at home and at school.

Listening activities overview
Meet the Conductor opportunities
Concert program clips
Suggested uses

Listening Activities

The listening activities presented here are drawn from the student and teacher Cuesheets; for more information, or to conduct the activities offline, download the Cuesheet and use the accompanying CD or download our MP3 files.

Each activity is described below; for more information, visit the activity or download the Cuesheet.

Xtreme Tempo
Listening Activity A: Xtremely Slow
Listening Activity B: Xtremely Fast!

Students learn about musical tempo (speed) by listening to two different musical pieces to experience both fast and slow tempos.

Xtreme Dynamics
Listening Activity C: Xtremely Soft
Listening Activity D: Becoming Xtremely Loud!

Students learn about musical dynamics (how loud or soft music sounds) and listen to three musical pieces to experience different dynamics.

Double Extremes
Listening Activity E: Double Xtremes: Soft and Fast!

Students listen to selections that demonstrate musical sounds that are both:

  • fast and loud
  • slow and loud
  • slow and soft
  • fast and soft

Xtremely New!
Listening Activity F: Xtremely Surprising!
Listening Activity G: Xtremely Thrilling!
Listening Activity H: Xtremely Shocking!

Students learn about how composers throughout history have become increasingly extreme in order to provide audiences with new sounds. Students listen to and compare the “surprises” in three different musical selections.

Meet the Conductor

Conductor Emil de Cou will be available to answer your students' questions. Tell students to drop us a line at editor@artsedge.kennedy-center.org with their questions or thoughts about the concert, or about symphonic music in general. We will forward them to Mr. de Cou, and post his responses in the Meet the Conductor section.

Concert Program clips

Selected excerpts from the concert are available in the Concert Program section.

Suggestions for Use

There are several ways to use this interactive site. We have included a few below; feel free to explore—and share—other ideas.

Allow students to explore the site and complete the activities on their own or in groups.

Devise your own activities using the Concert Program selections. These selections do not have voice-over instructions, and are adaptable to many situations.

Use the clips here (either streaming or MP3) and conduct the listening activities in conjunction with the printed Cuesheet.

Teachers should download the Teacher Cuesheet for additional information and resources.