Background Information

Voyage to the Moon is a beautiful piece of music, accompanied with a really special story that follows Prince Caprice who is desperately bored of palace life, as he wishes to travel to the moon to find his princess. In this lesson the children will be introduced to the Prince and his narrated story, which is set to the music. The lesson will have the children explore the Prince’s journey and through this they will be introduced to the basic musical concepts within.

Index for the table:

1. Discussions

2. Structure of the Music

3. Musical Theme: Composer

4. Jacques Offenbach

5. Prince Caprice

6. Responding to Music

7. The Prince’s Song

8. Teaching Tips for Skill Development

1. Discussions:

 Discussions allow the children the freedom to express themselves. It is a great opportunity for children to develop their speaking and listening skills, as well as building a sense of self-confidence and self-awareness. Each child should be encouraged to participate in the discussion.

 2. Structure of the Music:

‘Voyage to the Moon’ has many different sections. These sections are called ‘verses’ and are similar to ‘chapters’ found in books. Each verse has it’s own characteristics that help to tell a story – a verse can be fast or slow, have a happy or sad mood, etc.
For topic 1, become familiar with the whole piece of music and the ‘feeling’ of each verse. Imagine how the children can dance to the verses, and how the music reflects occurrences within the ‘Voyage to the Moon’ story.

3. Musical Theme: Composer:

 A writer of music is called a ‘composer’. When explaining the role of a ‘composer’ to the children, there are a few explanations that will help to build understanding:
  • Special writers have special names – just as a story writer is called an ‘author’, a music writer is called a ‘composer’
  • A composer can write music that is happy, or angry, or exciting, and tell special stories through his music
  • Here you can play a section of the music to the children and ask them what they believe the mood of the music is, before introducing the story of the music

4. Jacques Offenbach
(composer)

 Jacques Offenbach was a composer of hundreds of musical works. He had an extremely interesting life and many themes from his life are reflected in ‘Voyage to the Moon’, through the character of Prince Caprice. Our story is an adaptation of Offenbach’s original operetta script. You can find out more about Offenbach’s life by clicking on this document:

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5. Prince Caprice
(main character)

 Prince Caprice is the main character from the ‘Voyage to the Moon’ story. He is an inspiring character for children as he follows his dreams, employs his imagination, and seeks to achieve the impossible.
Many discussion topics that are relevant to this age group can evolve around the prince’s character. For example, going on a new mode of transport, relationships with friends and family, etc.

6. Responding to Music:

Responding to the music is an important element of this Active Lesson.
Music is imaginative and we want the children to be imaginative. This is achieved through three different activities:
  • Imagination Time: The whole piece of music will be played to the class. As this happens, the children should lie on the floor with their eyes closed as the teacher (or our recorded narrator) describes the features of the story. The children are to imagine they are in the described scenes, and then describe and discuss their thoughts in relation to both the story and the music.
  • Playing Instruments to Music: Pupils will explore untuned instruments and how to play these appropriately. They will do so by listening for the ‘tone’ of the ‘Voyage to the Moon’ music, and matching this with how they play their instruments. This teaches control and theory through imaginative play.
  • Movement to Music: At the end of the lesson the teacher will play different sections of the music and the children will be asked to perform actions relating to the mood and speed of each section played. This will help to develop their spatial awareness and explore the range of physical activities that can be used to act out various ideas.

7. The Prince’s Song:

The Prince’s Song:
The chorus tune from the music is a song that is sung by the prince. The words relate to his dream of flying to the moon and are easy for the children to learn. The song helps the children make a connection to the prince.
The video in the Overview and Preparation section demonstrates the words and actions that can be taught to the class. The actions will help to improve memory and co-ordination.

Teaching Tips for Skill Development:

 Skill development for communication & listening skills

At this level of learning, it is best to explain the concepts and then to ask simple questions with answers prompted by picture recognition. This will encourage children to verbalise what they ‘see’, and draw their own connections between the pictures and their own lives.
To help the class become more comfortable with the composer, he can be introduced as ‘Mr. Offenbach’, or ‘Jacques’.
Learning as a group can inspire confidence and demonstrate individual development, especially when the exercise is repeated. Learning through song and actions help the children to concentrate and tests them on their listening and communication skills.