Who is ready for the summer Olympics? I still remember the first time I got into watching them during the summer of 1984 when they were in Los Angeles. This summer (2021) we will finally be heading to Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics! As you prepare your kids for watching the Olympics, spend some time learning about the music they will be hearing during it with this Music of the Olympics lesson!
15-Minute Music Lesson Freebie: Music of the Olympics
I have 4 pieces/songs for you to learn about and listen to for this lesson. Then, when you watch the Olympics, you’ll recognize them when you hear them!
By the way, if you like this lesson, you will love the self-paced online music course called 15-Minute Music Lessons for Elementary Students.
1. Bugler’s Dream was written in 1958 by French-American composer Leo Arnaud as part of his Charge Suite. The piece is often thought of by Americans as the “Olympic theme” because it was played so often during the televised games beginning with the 1964 Olympics. The musical theme of Bugler’s Dream is based on a typical cavalry trumpet’s call which was composed during Napoleon’s Consulat.
Olympic Fanfare and Theme
2. In 1984 American composer John Williams wrote the official music of the XXIII Olympiad in Los Angeles called Olympic Fanfare and Theme. John Williams received a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition for it in 1985. The music is now known to all as representing the Olympics.
(Learn more about John Williams and all the famous movie music he has written in the 15-Minute Music Lesson on Music of Star Wars.)
In 1996, Williams wrote an alternate version of “Olympic Fanfare and Theme” for the Atlanta Olympic Games, which replaced the first part of the piece with Arnaud’s Bugler’s Dream.
“The Olympic Hymn”
3. The Olympic Hymn, also known as the Olympic Anthem, is played when the Olympic flag is raised. It was written by composer Spyridon Samaras and poet Kostis Palmaras. It was first played for the 1896 Olympic games in Greece and was declared the official hymn in 1957. The version below was sung by Sissel in Norwegian at the Norway Olympics in 1994.
“When You Believe”
4. You will enjoy this next video because it shows athletes from a variety of Olympic sports. It features the song “When You Believe” by Ken D. Ward.
5. If you would like to continue with more music of the Olympics, find a great list here.
Free Download 4-Page Printable Pack
Download a free 4-page Printable Pack to go along with the 15-Minute Music Lesson Freebie: Music of the Olympics. There is a PDF version of the lesson plan, a page on the brass family of the orchestra, and a quiz about the brass family, and a “Listen and Draw” page.
Disclosure: I get commissions for purchases made through affiliate links in this post.
More Olympic Fun:
- For more great fun activities to do related to the Olympics, see 10+ Incredibly Fun Ways to Prepare Your Students for the Olympics.
- I love the Online Unit Studies from Techie Homeschool Mom. Check out the 2021 Summer Games Online Unit Study to learn about the History of the Olympics, the Traditions of the Olympics, Becoming an Olympian, and specifics about 2021 Summer Games. Along with hands-on activities, students will create a collection of online puzzles to share what they learn!
- Learn about the Summer Games through art with this Chalk Pastel art lesson!
- Love to go on rabbit trails with your kids? Rabbit Trails Through the Olympics is a lesson from This Bit of Life that takes you through several activities to learn about and do some “rabbit trails” through the topic.
- Find ALL 15-Minute Music Lesson Freebies Here
- SPRING Music Lessons for Holidays & Special Days
- The Top 100 Classical Music Pieces All Children Should Hear