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Re: Music Appreciation Class
I used to teach elem. music. We did units on styles. You could easily spend a lot of time learning about different styles of music and what makes them sound different. There are tons of covers of songs in wildly different styles. Have kids write about what they think (with specific Q's). If you have the ability, teach them how to create their own music using garage band or something else that has loops.
Have them "perform" their work for each other and offer advice to each other. I currently teach HS music theory and when we compose music at the end of the year, I often get some really great stuff from the students that had no musical backkground.