To demonstrate how music can tell a story and to expose them to a well-known piece of music. Equipment

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The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Kindergarten – 20 minutes

Purpose: To demonstrate how music can tell a story and to expose them to a well-known piece of music.

Equipment: CD/Player

Pictures of featured instruments (see below in this document)

Optional: DVD and DVD player. After playing part of the music and discussing, show them the Disney version of this song from Fantasia. This could make things a little too long, however.


??How many of you like stories?

Me too. Did you know that some stories can be told without any words or pictures? Do you have any idea how that could be done?

One way to tell a story is through music, and today we’re going to hear a famous piece of music called The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. It was composed by Paul Dukas, who wanted to tell a very old folk-take in a new way – with music.

But before we hear the music, I’d like to tell you about the two people in the story.

First, there’s a man called a sorcerer.

??Does anyone know what a sorcerer is? (a wizard or magician). I like to picture him wearing a long robe and a tall pointed hat.

??Has anyone seen pictures of Dumbledore from Harry Potter books? Or Gandalf from The Lord Of The Ring books?

The sorcerer might look a lot like those two characters. While we listen to the music, try to picture what he might look like.

The other character in our story is the apprentice. An apprentice is someone who’s learning from a teacher. The apprentice in this story is a boy who’s learning to be a magician. He does lot of jobs for the sorcerer, and in return the sorcerer teaches him magic lessons. Some of the jobs the apprentice does are boring.

??Do any of you have to do chores around the house? Are some fun? Are some boring?

Well, one job the apprentice has to do is carry a bucket back and forth to get water from the river to fill up the sorcerer’s tub. Does that sound like fun? It’s hard work, and the apprentice doesn’t like to do it.

The Story

The story starts out by showing us the sorcerer’s room. Everything is peaceful and a little mysterious. At the end of this section, we’ll meet the apprentice. He sounds sort of playful and happy. Let’s listen.

(Play track 1 of CD)

One day the sorcerer had to go out. He told the apprentice to fill up the tub with water while he was gone. The apprentice decided it would be neat if he could find an easy, magical way to get his work done.

??Wouldn’t it be great if you could say a magic spell and suddenly your room would be clean?

Well, the apprentice thought so too. He had an idea! We would say a magic word that he heard the sorcerer say, and he’d get a broom to do his work for him. The broom could carry his water for him!

Let’s listen to the boy say the magic words. And then listen closely and tell me when you think the broom starts to walk. The music for the broom is a low, bouncy sound played by a bassoon. It’s a very long instrument.

SHOW A PICTURE OF A BASSOON (see the end of this document)

(Play track 2 of CD) and see if the kids notice when the bassoon comes in

??Didn’t that sound happy and bouncy?

Things went along great for the apprentice. The broom did his work for him. But when it was time for the broom to stop filling up the tub with water, guess what happened????

The boy couldn’t remember the words to make the broom stop! What happens when you keep putting water into a tub that’s full?? It starts to overflow.

???How do you think the apprentice feels? He’s getting worried. He doesn’t know what to do. Let’s listen to how the music sounds when the tub is filling up with water and the boy is starting to get worried. We can hear the water rising with violins (SHOW A PICTURE). Listen to how the violins start telling you that things are getting out of control.

(Play track 3 of CD)

How does that sound? Scary?

The apprentice is really scared now. He tries all the magic words he can think of, and then he gets an idea. He finds an axe, and then does something with it. Let’s listen to him say the magic words, and then you tell me what you think the apprentice does with the axe.

(Play track 4 of CD)

What happened? He chopped up the broom!

But now listen again, and tell me what you think has happened.

(Play track 5 of CD)

???What’s happening at the end of that music?? Did you hear the bassoon again? The bassoon in the piece of music is the broom. What do you think happened?

Now instead of one broom carrying water, there are dozens and dozens of brooms carrying water. All the little pieces of the first broom have grown into new brooms! Water is everywhere. It’s getting higher and higher and higher. The boy cries for help. And then, just when things are getting crazy, the sorcerer returns, and we hear his magic spell. Let’s listen

(Play track 6 of CD)

What happened at the end? The brooms stopped. And now all is peace and quiet again.

(Option: if you have time, you could show the Disney version of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice from Fantasia. If not, you can still mention it).

And that’s the Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

Some of you might have heard this piece of music in a Disney cartoon with Mickey Mouse as the apprentice. Has anyone seen this? The movie is called Fantasia, and it might be something you want to watch at home.

Track 7 is the entire piece of music in case you want to hear it uninterrupted.

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