March of the Toys from
“Babes in Toyland”
Click Here for PDF link of full lesson: March of Toys- Lesson Plan
Link includes: Strategies, Assessments, and information on Composer, Style, and Composition
- Students will be able to identify the importance of the Copyright Law of 1919 and the work of ASCAP.
- Students will be introduced to mutes used by trumpeters.
- Students will study the difference between a symphonic band and a symphony. They will be able to auditorily discriminate between the two.
- 20th Century
- Full orchestra (trumpets, muted trumpets, French horn, strings, and snare drum are highlighted)
- Large Form– Operetta
- Small Form– March ABA
- WMEA Wisconsin Music Standards/ National Music Standards
- Create- 1.1a
- Respond- 7.1 a, 9.1a
- Connect- 11.1a-WI
- Babes in Toyland is an operetta with a libretto by Glen MacDonough (1870–1924). It features various characters from Mother Goose nursery rhymes inserted into a Christmas-themed musical extravaganza. It was produced in 1903 by Fred R. Hamlin and directed by Julian P. Mitchell.
- “March of the Toys,” is an instrumental composition and is the most famous song from the operetta. The toy characters become a mechanical militia for the “March of the Toys,” and children from the audience are brought up to help “wind-up” the toy dancers.
- The original production opened at the Chicago Grand Opera house in June 1903, produced by Hamlin and directed by Mitchell. It toured to several East Coast cities before opening in New York in October 1903 where it ran for 192 performances. This was followed by many successful tours and revivals plus films and storybooks.
- A favorite film version is the 1986 version starring: Drew Barrymore as Lisa, Keanu Reeves as Jack, Pat Morita as the Toymaster, Jill Schoelen as Mary and Richard Mulligan as Barnaby. It is very child friendly. At one time, McDonald’s Restaurants used this version as a Christmas promotion.
- Youtube links:
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cky1RsADdSA: This video shows a clip of Babes in Toyland. It uses both live and animated scenes at the same time. It features the Leonard Slatkin Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnzKsfwRWVY: This clip shows an abbreviated score as the composition is playing
- Related children’s books:
- Babes in Toyland by Toby Bluth ASIN: 0824981499 A 1986 publication.
- Walt Disney’s Babes in Toyland by Monique Peterson
- Herbert was an American composer of operettas and light concert music.
- Herbert became active in Germany as a composer for cello.
- He married Therese Forster, a Viennese opera soprano soloist.
- In 1886 he and his wife moved to the United States. She became a prima donna in the New York Metropolitan Opera.
- Every recording artist today, owes their livelihood in some degree to Victor Herbert. Herbert was an activist for the legal rights of composers. He championed the right of composers to earn a profit from their works. He testified before the US Congress and influenced the development of the Copyright Act of 1919.
- Working closely with John Philip Sousa, Irving Berlin and other composers, in 1914 he helped found the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers – known as ASCAP. He served as vice president and director of the group for 10 years.
- There is a statue of this composer in New York City’s famous Central Park.
- Herbert Timeline:
Feb. 1, 1859: Born in Dublin, Ireland
1867: Moved to Germany
1880’s: Established a career as a professional cellist
1886: Married Therese Forster, an operatic soprano
1886: Moved to New York
1888: Became the Assistant Director of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra
1909: Instrumental in getting Congress to pass the Copyright Law of 1909
1918: Instrumental in the formation of ASCAP
May 26, 1924 death caused by an unexpected heart attack