Joplin's Windows and Mirrors

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					Scott Joplin:
Ragtime King
His Life

Teacher’s Page
Windows and Mirrors

By Paul Provencio and Joy Agre

Scott Joplin Teacher Page
Read about Scott Joplin’s life together as a class. You may add other tidbits of information if you choose. Next have students do the Windows and Mirrors activity. You may choose to do this as a class and then have each student do it individually. Each child will need a separate sheet of paper. This activity can be used as an assessment also.

Scott Joplin - His Life
Scott Joplin was born on November 24, 1868 in Texarkana, Texas. Joplin’s father played the fiddle and his mother played the banjo as a hobby. His mother was sure her son was destined for a musical career even though no black man before had made a respectable living in music. His mother worked hard to pay for his piano lessons until music teachers started offering him lessons “for free.”

Scott Joplin - His Life
By age 14, Joplin entered school and had developed quite a reputation as a pianist. At 17, he left home and began playing piano in bars. He settled in St. Louis in 1885 where he learned a lot about music of the day and began to compose his own music in a style that became known as RAGTIME.

Scott Joplin - His Life
In 1894 he moved to Sedalia, Missouri. It was there that he published his “Original Rags” and “Maple Leaf Rag” (which was named after a nightclub called the Maple Leaf where he had played) and opened a teaching studio. He moved to New York City in 1907.

Scott Joplin - His Life
In 1911, Joplin published an opera, “Treemonisha”, at his own expense. Staged in a concert version in 1915, the opera failed with the audience leaving the composer’s spirit permanently broken. It wasn’t until a performance 57 years later that it was recognized as the first truly American opera.

Scott Joplin - His Life
On April 1, 1917, Scott Joplin died from advanced syphilis. Joplin never achieved the recognition in his lifetime that has since come his way. He was buried on Long Island, New York in an unmarked grave. However, after winning the Pulitzer Prize in music in 1976, his gravestone now reads “Scott Joplin, American Composer.”

Divide your paper into two sections. Label one half “Windows” and the other half “Mirrors”. List five things in each category.
Windows: How are you different from Joplin?

Scott Joplin Windows & Mirrors
Mirrors: How are you the same as Joplin?

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Tags: education, arts