Essex Farm Cemetery – Flanders

 Flanders Fields Music

Lt Col John McCrae


Purchase Lesson Plan #5

Creating the Music for the In Flanders Fields Song

The In Flanders Fields Song (available on CD or as an MP3 download) is a contemporary music adaptation by Canadian composer Anthony Hutchcroft of John McCrae’s In Flanders Fields poem.

Flanders Fields Sheet MusicThe Flanders Fields music was created to be more accessible for all and designed to appeal to all ages. 

The In Flanders Fields Song was written to help bring the Flanders Fields poem to a wider audience and to a younger audience.

Hutchcroft created the In Flanders Fields Song after reading a poll by Toronto’s Dominion Institute that stated more than 50% of Canadians aged 18 – 24 years were not aware of the In Flanders Fields poem or the poem’s Canadian author John McCrae.

There are three key elements that Hutchcroft wanted to reflect in the In Flanders Fields Song:

  1. John McCrae’s Scottish heritage is represented by the bagpipes
  2. John McCrae’s military background is represented by the military drum beat
  3. The In Flanders Fields poem is intact, no word has been altered and the rhythm of the melody matches as closely as possible to the inherent rhythm of the Flanders Fields poem

In Flanders Fields Lesson Plan #5

Explore the Story Behind the Creation of the Flanders Fields Music & Flanders Fields Song


“And in the sky the larks still bravely singing fly”

Grade Level - K – 12:

  • Identify the composer and the motivation behind setting the In Flanders Fields poem to music (K – 12)
  • Describe the composer’s thought process in an effort to create a more accessible musical interpretation  of the In Flanders Fields poem (Grade 4 – 12)
  • Learn the In Flanders Fields song

TIME: This lesson plan could take between 1 – 2 (45 minute) classes
OBJECTIVES Students will be able to:

  • Remember, recite and/or sing the words to the In Flanders Fields poem
  • Practice using melody and rhythm
  • Examine and understand the composer’s motivation for setting the poem to music
  • Identify the musical instruments used in the composition
  • Develop an understanding of what constitutes an anthem
  • Explain how John McCrae’s Scottish background and military history is reflected in the music

Purchase Lesson Plan #5

Start this lesson by playing the CD recording of the In Flanders Fields song and reviewing the text in Data Sheet #5. This lesson will introduce students to the story of what inspired Canadian composer Anthony Hutchcroft to set the In Flanders Fields poem to music. Students will also explore how the composer approached the arrangement to accurately reflect John McCrae’s military heritage and Scottish background.

Hutchcroft completed the In Flanders Fields song, his musical adaptation of John McCrae’s war memorial poem IN FLANDERS FIELDS on November 12th 2006, the day after Remembrance Day. Share the information in Data Sheet #5, “The Story Behind the Music” with your students. What prompted the composer to create a musical adaptation of the In Flanders Fields poem? How does the composer reflect through music, John McCrae’s Scottish heritage and military background?

  1. IN FLANDERS FIELDS music CD, CD player (and/or the sheet music)
  2. Data Sheet #1A – IN FLANDERS FIELDS Poem
  3. Data Sheet #5  – The Story Behind the Music for IN FLANDERS FIELDS Song
  4. Data Sheet #5B – The Sheet Music for IN FLANDERS FIELDS Song
  5. Black Line Master I - “Color & Name the Musical Instruments” (K – 3)
  6. Black Line Master J - “Match the Musical Styles with Their Instruments” (K – 12)

To purchase the Flanders Fields Educational Kit – 6 Lesson Plans for Teachers
visit the Download Lesson Plans page


Download Lesson Plan #5!

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Contact the Author

Please Email Flanders Fields Music for more information about:

Flanders Fields Song
Flanders Fields Video
Flanders Fields Sheet Music
Flanders Fields Educational Kit – 6 Lesson Plans for Teachers


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