History Lesson






Music... I can hardly find a single person who would ignore music. Through all the time, music has been an important part of every persons life. The influence of music is just great. Do you ever think about what effect music has on your life? When you listen to the radio, your mood can be changed just by the song that comes on.

People listen to music, have their own music equipment home, lots of people play musical instruments, go to the concerts to listen to music. Yes, music is very important.

Different people like different kinds of music: classic, jazz, rock, opera, pop music... Some people like old songs. So do I.  When you hear an old song, you always remember where you were when you heard that song for the first time in your life. Nothing pinpoints a moment in your life like music. It just brings everything back, as if you were there again. In my opinion the only really good songs were written between the mid-sixties and mid-seventies. I can never figure out if thats because those years were really so much better or because I felt everything so strongly then.

Now Id like to say some words about the music that has become very popular lately - Christian music. The number of people who love Christian music has greatly increased lately. The reason they love Christian music is because it can sound great and be so godly at the same time. It is about Gods love for us. Newer bands have been gaining recognition (and platinum records), which has led to a better ability to produce quality music. People accept contemporary Christian music, the message it sends trying to be a shining light in a world of darkness. There is a big group of people who wouldnt agree that this kind of music is great. Thats because they have a bad image of Christian music, which really sounds great. Just call to mind the Jesus Christ - Super Star. Isnt it great? Mainly, the goal of this music is to show people who God is and why Christians love and believe Him. Musicians who create this music want to show us what they care about - our lives, our art, our music; they want to give us the best music possible and the best lyrics possible. They want to challenge our minds, to let us see that there is an alternative to a nihilistic lifestyle.

Listen to Jars of Clay if you have a chance to. I hope you will love this music too. Just try.


Ex.1. Answer the questions and discuss the subject.


1.      Do you like music, or are you a person who would ignore it?

2.      What kind of music do you prefer? Does it depend on your mood?

3.      When do you listen to music? Can you listen to music and do your home assignment simultaneously?

4.      Do you prefer to listen to music with your friends or alone?

5.      Do you play any musical instrument?

6.      You go to the concerts to listen to music, dont you?

7.      What kind of music do your parents prefer?

8.      Do you discuss music issues with your parents, friends, and teachers?

9.      By the way, do you listen to music at your lessons at school?

10.   Has Christian music become popular in your country?

11.  What is your attitude to this kind of music?

12.  What musical show is the most popular in your city (town, village)?


Ex.2.Read the passage and fill in the missing verbs. Use the past tense.

        To see how well you did, check the answers at the bottom of this page.




One of the most successful entertainers today is Madonna. She is one of the worlds top pop singers and has sold millions of records.

Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone was born into a large family in Michigan, USA, in 1958.

Even a child, she 1)... many talents. At the age of 8, she 2)... in a friends homemade film. She also appeared in high school plays and gradually 3)... interested  in  dancing. After graduation, she went to the University of Michigan for a while.

Shortly after that, she left for New York and 4) ... with only $35 in her pocket. She 5)...  with dance groups for some time and then began to get interested in pop-music. She 6)... to play the guitar and write songs. She began to develop her own musical style, mixing the sounds and rhythms of rocknroll, pop, and dance music.

Then, in 1983, she 7)... a record of her own. It was called Madonna.

The first album attracted the attention of disk jockeys and dance clubs. In 1984, it was known across the USA. She quickly became recognized as one of the top talents in popular music. More successful records 8)..., as well as national and world tours.

Young people round the world 9)... her songs, like Vogue and Like a Virgin and they 10)... millions of copies. Since then, Madonna has continued to record successful hit songs and videos, and she has also 11)... in several movies. One of her best movies was Evita, based on a real story. This story was much more exciting with Madonna starring. 

Her daughter, Lourdes, 12) late in 1996, just as Evita 13) for release. The movie was greeted with generally positive reviews and Madonna  14) a campaign for an Oscar nomination that resulted in her winning the Golden Globe for Best Actress (Musical or Comedy), but not the coveted Academy Award nomination. The soundtrack for Evita, however, was a modest hit, with a dance remix of "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" and the newly-written "You Must Love Me" both becoming hits.

But in spite of her starring in Evita, for many people she is still the Queen of Pop.



The verbs to use:





be born













Read and discuss.




These days, lots of people are buying VCRs and using a lot of their free time watching rented videos. A lot of other people think it is a waste of time and believe that reading books is more fun and more valuable. Some people prefer going to the movies.  Mary and Kate are talking about what is the best.


M:   Well, lets go to get a video at the rental shop. I feel like watching some old movie.

K:   What a waste of time! Id rather read a book. 

M:   Gee, you are always reading. Dont you ever relax?

K:   I DO relax by reading. I always feel like Im wasting time when I watch a video. I prefer DOING something.

M:   Dont you feel that way when you read?

K:   No, I dont. Reading is more than a pleasure. It is a way to cultivate myself. I like to see how words are used. It helps me to improve my own use of words.

M:  Well, maybe you are right. But reading is boring! It reminds me of school. I like to relax and let my mind be free of worry. I worry enough at school, you know!

K:  Of course, sometimes I watch a movie, especially if it is based on a good book Ive read, but usually the book is better than the movie.

M:  Well, maybe thats true, but I sure love to see my favorite actors and actresses in a movie. It makes a story so much more exciting, dont you think?

K:   I dont know about that. I think that when you read a book youre able to imagine your own heroes. You can make one that fits your own fantasies.

M:  Well, thats true. Still, flesh and blood heroes are more interesting for me than fantasies.

K:   OK! Tastes differ, I guess.  Well, how about going to a movie theater?

M:  Well, of course at the movies the screen is so much bigger and special effects are so much impressive.

K:   Yeah, I guess so. What I dont like about these movie theaters is much noise because of the audience.

M:  Right, but thats not so important.  I love to be surrounded by darkness and realize that the other people in the audience and I are feeling the same emotions. Its a little exciting, isnt it?

K:  Thats probably true for me, too. Sometimes, when the movie is a really bad one and people are laughing at it, its funny to make jokes out loud in the dark.

M:  Oh yes, I like that, too. Overall, if I had to choose a movie, a video at home, or a book, Id choose the movie.

K:  Well, give me a good book any day.



The answers to the text Madonna:    

1) had  2) acted  3) became  4) arrived  5) worked  6) learned  7) produced  8) followed 9) loved  10) bought  11) starred 12) was born  13) was scheduled  14) began