Teaching Students About Concertina: A Guide for K-12 Teachers

Teaching students about concertina, the beautiful and versatile button accordion instrument, can be a captivating experience for both the teacher and the learner. With its distinctive sound and variety of playing styles, it’s not a subject matter students encounter every day. So, how can K-12 teachers incorporate the concertina into their lesson plans and open up this enchanting world to their students?

The first step is to understand the concertina’s history. As a teacher, familiarize yourself with the instrument’s origins and development. The concertina comes in various forms, including the English, Anglo, and Duet styles. Each has its own unique playing system and musical range, providing a fascinating topic for students to explore.

Next, find age-appropriate materials that illustrate the look, sound, and application of the concertina in various contexts. Video demonstrations showcasing traditional folk music or sea shanties are ideal for younger learners. For middle school or high school students, consider delving into genres like tango or classical repertoire that feature more advanced compositions incorporating the concertina.

Introduce your students to famous concertina players across different genres to demonstrate diversity and inspire them to dig deeper into music history. These individuals may include Alf Edwards (English folk), Alistair Anderson (traditional English), Simon Thoumire (Scottish contemporary), and John Williams (Irish-American fusion).

To create more engaging lessons, consider incorporating hands-on activities such as crafting paper concertinas or collaborating with local musicians who specialize in this area to give mini-workshops or demonstrations during your class.

Incorporating music theory into your lesson plans helps develop not only an understanding of how different concertinas are played but also a broader appreciation for music as a whole. By teaching the basics of pitches, scales, and chord structures in relation to concertinas in use today, you’ll reinforce key concepts while offering an alternative perspective to the standard curriculum.

Lastly, emphasize music’s ability to bring people together, transcending cultural and linguistic barriers. Encourage students to reflect upon the concertina’s role in uniting communities and preserving storytelling through song. By showcasing the diverse variety of musical traditions, the concertina is part of, you’ll foster an understanding of how music connects and resonates with people across the globe.

By following these suggestions and remaining mindful of your target audience, your K-12 students will be well on their way to discovering the magic of concertina in no time. Not only will they broaden their musical horizons, but they will also develop a deep appreciation for the extraordinary power music has in forging connections and enriching lives.

Choose your Reaction!