Funeral March of the Marionette Lesson Plan

I would love to teach music to every grade school child, but the reality is that it would be impossible . . . or would it?  If I share a lesson/class once a week on my blog, then I would be doing just that!  Now, it’s up to you to share it with children, teachers and parents, you know.  All music can be downloaded easily.

I’d love some feedback. Please comment below and let me know how this lesson worked for you and your class.


“Funeral March of the Marionette” by Charles Gounod is the perfect start for October festivities.

  1. What is a “Marionette?”  A marionette is a stringed puppet like Pinocchio.disney-pinocchio-lifesize-marionette-1 Their movements are choppy and uneven.  In The Sound of Music, the children put on a puppet show using marionettes. (Click here to watch a clip of the marionettes in The Sound of Music.)
  2. Listen to the music. These are some links to different versions:




      • Your local library should have a copy of it or you could purchase it at any online music store (ie. iTunes, Amazon, Google Play)


  3. In your mind, can you picture a line of marionettes walking behind a wagon pulling a coffin driven by a marionette?


  • Draw a picture of what the music might look like.
  • Draw a picture of a funeral march
  • Draw a picture of a sad marionette.  Think of what he/she might be wearing.  Is it winter, summer, etc.?
  • Draw a picture of the scene the music represents.
  • Make a marionette.
    • Natalie Kramer over at Handmade Charlotte has instructions for one made out of pasta0_skeleton-puppet_title-2-text
    • Crayola has one you can print on paper and cut out909
    • has one that you can make out of cardboard tubesss_101979549_w
  • Act out the music as you listen to it.
  • Create your own puppet show to the music.


Charles Gounod In Depth:

Gounod was born June 17, 1818.  (Too bad he wasn’t born a day later and his birth date would have been 6-18-18.)  His mother was a pianist and his father was an artist.  His first piano teacher was his mother, who saw great talent in him.  His most famous works are Ave Maria, based on a work by Bach, as well as his opera Faust.

He composed the Funeral March of a Marionette in 1872. This was chosen to be the theme for the television series Alfred Hitchcock Presents in 1955.  To this day, most people connect this piece of music to Alfred Hitchcock.


Funeral March of the Marionette: The Story

The music was originally written for piano solo.  Later, it was scored for (written for) orchestra.

The following is a description of story as the music unfolds in the Funeral March of a Marionette:

  • The Marionette has died in a duel.
  • The funeral procession commences.
  • A central section depicts the mourners taking refreshments before returning to the funeral march.

The following notes are contained withing the piece of music.  This helps the pianist “tell” the story or describe the scene.

  • The Marionette is broken!!!
  • Murmurs of regret from the troupe
  • The Procession
  • Here many of the principal personages stop for refreshments
  • Return to the house

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