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I love using scarves in my music class. They encourage movement, can be used for many different types of activities, and they are just plain fun. This is a scarf routine to Sempre Libera from La Traviata.
If you have read some of my opera lessons like this one (Music Lesson Ideas: Opera Stories), you know that I spent a lot of the first semester teaching my students about opera. It was partly because of a curriculum that we do in my county, and partially just because I love opera.
And I wanted them to love opera too.
And it worked!
One of the pieces the students had to become familiar with was Sempre Libera from La Traviata (you can find it by clicking here).
First, I showed them a YouTube video of Sempre Libera in an opera. Then we talked about how to use facial expressions and body language to show how we feel.
Then we watched it again and I asked them how they think she felt, and how they knew that. (Ex. I think she was excited, because she was dancing.)
I really like this video of Sempre Libera because it shows her excited when she is singing about being free, and upset when the guy is singing to her.
I explained what the aria is about. The guy wants to marry her, so he is singing about how wonderful she is. She does not want to marry him, which is why she doesn’t look happy when he is singing. When she is singing, she is talking about wanting to be free and happy and not with this guy.
After all of this as an intro, I had the kids get scarves.
After the usual explanation of, “If you hit anyone or if your scarf leaves your hand, then you will lose your scarf!” we started.
I started out the week having the kids “Show me what the music looks like.” This worked very well (I go into more details in this post). I, of course, was also showing how the music sounded.
And I noticed that I kept doing the same thing. So, this is how I came up with the Sempre Libera scarf routine.
If you are interested in more scarf lessons you can check them out here:
Sempre Libera from La Traviata
- During the main part (sempre libera…) move scarf from side to side in dotted quarter notes. Make it very bouncy (and you will want to make it bouncy, just because of the music).
- During the runs, follow the melody with your scarf. Move the scarf quickly so that you show the vibrato.
- Repeat twice (just like the music does).
- At the coda, move the scarf in large circles in front of your body.
- At the end, follow the melody. It should end with the scarf up in the air moving quickly to show vibrato.
- And freeze!
Side note: I always end scarf routines by freezing, to help control chaos. So there you have it.
Make sure to check out my other opera and scarf lessons!
How do you like to use scarves? What is your favorite scarf routine? Let us know in the comments!