Music and Poetry at
Mather High School (2013)

The Question

What similarities do chamber music and poetry share? How do authors and composers effectively share their moods and emotions with us? How can writing our own poetry help us define who we are and how to use our own voices?

The Objectives

Students will  link descriptive words and music through class discussion
Students will be able to understand and demonstrate how to most effectively communicate their meaning when reading their poem
Students will understand how rhythm is a part of poetry
Students will write a scene based on the musical selections they heard and explain using examples in the music why they made their decisions



The Process

In our fourth year of partnership with Mather High School, students were challenged to link music and language through the composition and analysis of poetry. Using entry points such as the five senses, leitmotif and timbre, and finding the voice of composers and students alike, teachers and members of Fifth House Ensemble explored a number of aspects central to learning about music and poetry. Students also used musical elements such as rhythm, ostinato, forms, and phrasing to inspire their own writing.

The Impact

The Final Project

Students worked together in groups to write poetry that reflected and was integrated into chamber music provided by Fifth House Ensemble. Drawing on the concepts of writing, public speaking, and performance practice learned throughout the residency, these students gave the best Mather performance yet, and blew even the most experienced of our musicians away.