Lesson Plan VI: Trip to Korea 2011


By Nicholas C. Rosolanko

Music Teacher, Charles DeWolf Middle School in Old Tappan, New Jersey

TITLE : Teaching Middle School Band Arrangements of Korean or Asian Music

Target Grade: Middle School Students


I have always loved nature. It calms and reminds me to think of the simple joys in life. Music also has this power over me. Depending on the mood that I am in, music can enhance my emotions and help me reflect about what I am thinking. During my trip to Korea, I truly enjoyed the trip to the Buddhist Temple. Learning to meditate with an actual monk was an experience that I will not soon forget. In fact, I find myself appreciating the benefits of meditation personally. On the morning of our -second day at the temple, a monk walked with us through the forest of his temple and stopped to play his ocarina by the edge of a lake. There was a cool mist on water and low clouds were covering the tops of the mountains around us. Among other songs, the monk played the Korean folk song "Arirang" for us. The timbre of the ocarina was a perfect outlet for the simple, yet beautiful melody.

When I decided to program pieces of Korean music, I wanted to introduce the same meditative state to my students that I felt on that cool morning. During our temple stay we also learned to meditate. A friend and fellow teacher from the trip told me how he was introducing meditation into his drama class. I considered this to be an excellent way for me to make a connection with my students. Although music alone may allow someone to relax, as a performer it is sometimes necessary to place yourself in a tranquil state of mind to achieve a higher quality of performance. I wrote out the melody to "Arirang" so that every student would take the time to learn it and appreciate its simple beauty.


-To provide the middle school band student with an opportunity to learn and perform an arrangement of music based on traditional Korean, Japanese or Chinese folk melodies.

-To demonstrate stylistically how music with an Asian quality is composed and performed.

-To expose students to the calming benefits of meditation that may help them perform the music more effectively.


-"Arirang -Korean Folk Song" arranged by Nick Rosolanko

-"Korean Folk Rhapsody" arranged by James Curnow (Hal Leonard Publishing)

-"Korean Hill Song" arranged by Mark Williams (Alfred Publishing)

-"Ahrirang" arranged by Robert Garofalo& Garwood Whaley (Meredith Music Publications)

-"Asian Folk Rhapsody" arranged by Richard L. Saucedo (Hal Leonard Publishing)

-"Japanese Festival Dance" arranged by Michael Story (Belwin-Mills Publishing)

-Japanese FolkTrilogy" arranged by Anne McGinty (Queenwood Publishing)

-Anticipatory Set:

-Students will quite often have a predetermined idea about Asian music from watching movies that are set in Asian countries. Although we do not want to increase stereotypes, their opinions should be heard.


0 Play a recording of the selection you are performing or something similar in style and instrumentation. An example might be the soundtrack music from "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon" composed by Tan-Dun.