College Course Blue Danube 101College course, Music Appreciation 101, Corthell Hall 1969, Gorham State Teacher’s College. Mr. Gerald Chamberland instructed the class. It was simplified for non-music students. The class was really good. A half century later, I remember much from the course. An important part of the class was listening to classical music with Mr. Chamberland, and creating a visual narrative to accompany the music. His word pictures and the music remain with me today.
One really good example was Johann Strauss’ Blue Danube Waltz. It was a river- the Danube – starting as a trickle in the high mountains, and tracing the water and its flow down the mountains, across hills and through valleys, the music’s speed appropriate to the steep terrain. Then the music slowed as it became a large river flowing past villages and cities, then finally the river reaches the sea.
Music Appreciation was a great course. This is my suggestion to all teachers and instructors: keep things simple, paint good visual pictures to go with course work and a deeper type of learning may take place. I met (and dated for a year), a violinist with the Portland Symphony Orchestra, then for 3 years following college I bought a season pass to the Portland Symphony Orchestra. –R.H.P.
The Danube River starts in Germany’s Black Forest, flows through the Bavarian Alps into Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova ending 1,771 miles later in Ukraine at the Black Sea.
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