Lesson Plan : A Musical Poem

Teacher Name:
 Jedidiah Carpentier
Grade:
 College/University
Subject:
 Music

Topic:
 Psalm 51
Content:
 Each psalm must be read as a literary unit. The individual psalms have there own unique structure and agenda that they are trying to communicate. Therefore, one must be willing to listen to each psalm uniquely in order to hear the message that is be communicated. The textual unit will be the entire Psalm 51. The genre of the psalms is poetry. Therefore it can not be read in the same manner that that one reads a story or a letter. Furthermore, the psalms were originally written to God. Psalm 51 is a song of lament as David confesses his sins and pleads for mercy. Word Study: Cleanse (Taher) – The word cleanse appears twice in this psalms and no where else within the book of psalms. In this context the definition of Taher is best understood as to primarily to be morally clean. The proof is found in verse 16 where ceremonial sacrifice is not sufficient. A result of being morally pure is to be ceremonially purified. David pleads for his own cleansing knowing that ceremonial sacrifice is not provided for murder and adultery. David pleads to God for his people’s sacrifices that can restore and cleans Jerusalem (v. 19). Transgression (Pesha’) – This word occurs fourteen times in the psalms and twice in the textual unit that is being investigated. Transgression has a range of meanings from a rebellious act to a breach of trust. Within the textual unit the word Pesha’ is used referring to a rebellious act of sin and the result of that sin is a breaking of trust. Therefore, I believe the psalmist is incorporating the full range of this definition. Sacrifice (Zebach) – This word is used eleven times in psalms and is located three times in this textual unit. This particular word has ranges from sacrifice as an action in the instance the temple or a personal sacrifice in one’s life. Therefore, verse 16 sixteen is referring to a temple sacrifice of surrendering where verse 17 is referring to a personal sacrifice of surrendering to God. I believe verse 19 incorporates both of these definitions. In order to make an appropriate sacrifice to God at the temple, God requires that our lives be sacrificed.
Goals:
 The goal is to encourage people to view the psalm from an artistic lens drawing from two different genres of music. The main theme: The main thrust of psalm 51 is that despite our sinfulness he will not leave us and therefore when we come to God with a repentant heart he is willing to forgive our sins and makes us clean.
Objectives:
 My main objective is similar to my goals. I am hoping that the members of the group are able to gain a better understanding of God's merciful grace and power. I am hoping this is not only expressed in words but also in emotive feelings through music.
Materials:
 1) CD Player 2) CD of J.S. Bach's interpretation of Psalm 51 3) Guitar - used for worship: "create in me a clean heart" 4) Sheet of paper that has Psalm 51(ESV)and the words to the worship song "create in me a clean heart". On the back side I will include the questions that will be presented for the lesson.
Introduction:
 Background on J.S. Bach’s interpretation of Psalm 51 J.S. Bach took a popular Baroque piece Pergolesi who originally was commissioned to perform on Good Friday in Naples. Pergolesi became popular in the 18th century, and was rearranged by musicians such as J. S. Bach. Tilge, hochster meine sunden – Bach arrangement (1750) – later in his life. Adaptation to the German biblical version of psalm 51 - English Title – Cancel, highest, my sins (Tilge, hochster, meine sunden) Music -Psalms are prayers and hymns that help us express oneself sorrow, joy, success, failures, hopes and regrets. -The psalms were composed to functions as songs and worship in the temple. -They are Hebrew poems that are an expression of the heart. But not just any poem but a musical poem directed and intended to appeal to one’s emotion. Therefore, we need to be able to listen to the psalms. It was not intended to be strictly read academically; it was rather an emotive expression of music to be listened to as a community. Poetic forms: -Understanding Poetic literature in the Hebrew culture requires one to be aware of repetition. -Poetry is intentionally metaphorical therefore we must search for the metaphor within the textual unit Synonymous parallelism: I will not bother the group with the techniqical term but it is important to realize that repetition is a literary art form in the Hebrew culture. For example, psalm 51:1 David begins with a plea for mercy and preceding two lines repeats his plea for compassion and grace. Additional passage includes verse 6,14a, 17a, Hyperbole (purposeful exaggeration): I will be whiter than snow (v. 7b).
Development:
 1) I will first have the group sitting in a circle 2) We will begin by reading Psalm 51 3) Immediately following the reading I will encourage the group to close their eyes and listening for a few minutes to an arrangement of psalm 51 (J.S. Bach). 4)The group will then sing together a worship song that everyone at this church will be familiar with that comes from psalm 51 (create in me a clean heart). 5) At this point we will pray and ask for guidance and begin asking questions to engage the group. Experiential Questions: Describe your experience listening to psalm 51. How was it different than reading it? Despite the Bach piece being in another language, how did it illuminate the text for you? We interacted with Psalm 51 in three different ways this morning. How did you experience the Psalm in each of these modes of expression? What are your thoughts about this particular psalm? Textual Questions: In what ways are we encouraging confession and accountability within our community? Have you experienced the sort of confrontation David received from the Prophet Nathan? How did you respond? Do you think you would have been able to respond as David did? Why or why not? How did change your life after being confronted of your sin? If we live in a culture that is hesitant to take a stand (relativistic), how do we go about implementing the lessons learned in this psalm? David in Psalm 51: 18-19 pleads for the restoration of his people because it was thought that the sin of a King threatened all his people. We can all think of situations when sin has a trickle effect on people. How are we to go about bringing these people back into the community? We don’t have burnt sacrifices anymore but are there tangible ways to express our acts of repentance today? Is there anything else you would like to say?
Practice:
 As a guide I will be using J.S. Bach's interpretation of psalm 51 for the group as well as use the psalm text. The group will be participating in a worship song by singing "create in me a clean heart".
Accommodations:
 This Bible study can go anywhere provided that the leader has access to J.S. Bach's interpretation of "Psalm 51" and the worship song "create me a clean heart."
Checking For Understanding:
 I will be checking for understanding in the group by the participation and answers that are wrestled in the text. Furthermore, the evaluation sheets should be give a good understanding of the groups comprehension.
Closure:
 I will sum up my thouhts and we will end in prayer.

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