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Unit Plan: Area of Study 3: Creative Responses --- Lesson Plans ---

Unit Plan

Unit 1: Music Style and Composition


VCE 2011

Area of Study 3: Creative Responses

By Jon Crompton
Unit Plan: Area of Study 3: Creative Responses --- Unit Overview ---

Unit Overview
Aim (Rationale):

This Unit is designed to encourage learners to develop a more thorough, researched and considered
approach to composition. Learners will be required to enquire into varied forms of and approaches to
composition, to expand their pallet of compositional devices and to harness the power of technology to
further develop their ideas.

As this is a VCE Music Style and Composition Unit, it is assumed that all learners have an idea of
some compositional devices and are now encouraged to search for inspiration and develop
understanding beyond a superficial level. The area of the prescribed curriculum covered, as detailed
below, is Area of Study 3: Creative Responses. Keywords/key phrases are highlighted in bold.

“ AREA OF STUDY 3
Creative responses
In this area of study, students make creative responses to music by composing and/or
arranging a folio of short creative exercises. Students complete two brief
creative responses that each focus on a different element of music and/or
compositional device. For example, creative responses focusing on melody might
involve varying or arranging an existing melody. Alternatively, a response could
use a standard chord progression as a starting point for creating a new melody.
Students may use improvisation as part of the composition or arrangement
process.
Students investigate ways other music creators, for example composers/creators of
works they are studying in Outcome 1 or 2, have used elements of music and
compositional devices. By using these creators’ approaches as a starting point,
students find potential directions and solutions for their own work. They
become aware of technical factors such as idiomatic writing for instruments
and/or sound balance considerations involved in the composing and/or arranging
process. They also develop appropriate methods of recording and preserving
their music. Students reflect on creative processes they have used by
documenting the use of elements of music and compositional devices in their
creative responses.

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Unit Plan: Area of Study 3: Creative Responses --- Unit Overview ---

Outcome 3
On completion of this unit the student should be able to compose and/or arrange music
exercises and describe creative process/es used.
To achieve this outcome the student will draw on key knowledge and key skills
outlined in Area of Study 3.

Key knowledge
This knowledge includes:
• ways other music creators use elements of music and compositional devices
• technical/practical factors involved in composing and/or arranging, for example
the range of specific instruments, a performer’s vocal style and/or
performance conventions associated with a specific style such as soloing,
accompaniment, comping and fills in a jazz trio performance
• ways of recording and preserving music such as using music technology to
develop and refine ideas or the processes used to prepare a score and/or parts
for use by performers.

Key skills
These skills include the ability to:
• compose and/or arrange creative responses based on specific ways of using
elements of music and compositional devices
• document use of elements of music and compositional devices in creative
responses
• reflect on how works studied have influenced creative response/s
• use an appropriate method to record and preserve the music.

Outcomes:

Upon completion of this unit, learners will have completed an in-depth, online composition journal,
which includes visual, audio and written information, reflections and insights. Specifically, this folio
should include four to eight responses based on aural analysis of excerpts of music from a range of
styles and/or traditions, including a non-western style of tradition. Additionally, it should feature at
least two – but ideally several – creative responses and accompanying documentation (resources,
inspiration, etc.) The purpose of the journal is to detail a development of understanding of style and an
increase in knowledge of compositional elements and stylistic traditions.

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Unit Plan: Area of Study 3: Creative Responses --- Unit Overview ---

Additionally, learners will have performed a composition of their choice, further demonstrating their
abilities, aptitudes and sensibilities as a composer.

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Unit Plan: Area of Study 3: Creative Responses --- Lesson Overview ---

Lesson Overview:
There are a range of topics in this unit, primarily aimed at increasing the learners' abilities and aptitudes
as a composer, and exposing them to several compositional devices and musical elements, through
strengthening their skills of inquiry, self-motivation and use of ICT.

There is a course of lessons titled “Learning from other composers” which specifically targets the key
knowledge and skills outlined for this unit. However, these lessons, involving the processes of
reflection and critique, as well as relying on use of technology as a requirement of this unit, naturally
give rise to other areas of knowledge needing to be covered. As a result, there are several other lesson
topics planned which deal with these other knowledge and skill areas, such as ICT, Personal Learning,
and an extended look at the motivations and inspirations of the composer.

For suggestions on where to place these subjects and topics, please refer to the Sample Timetable.

“Learning from other composers” 1 – Repetition


“Learning from other composers” 2 – Form
“Learning from other composers” 3 – Tonality
“Learning from other composers” 4 – Silence
“Learning from other composers” 5 – Improvisation
“Learning from other composers” 6 – Lyrics
“Learning from other composers” 7 – Alternate Instruments

“Why Compose?”
“Last minute adjustments: hearing your own compositions”
“Alternate notation: Graphical notation”
“Good Composers don’t borrow, they steal!”
"Form Example" - Looking at the influences on my own composition "Hope" from The Bad Plus's
"Forces"
“A closer look at tonality”
“Tips on being a self-guided learner”
“What influences character in a composition?”
“Vocals, but not lyrics?”
“What motivates and inspires us?”
“Great places to find inspiration, and how to find your own places”
“How to combat writers block”
“Left Brain vs Right Brain”

Intro to Wiki-Journal “How to wiki”

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Unit Plan: Area of Study 3: Creative Responses --- Lesson Overview ---

"Why Wiki?”
“How to wiki” Part 2

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Unit Plan: Area of Study 3: Creative Responses --- Lesson Timetable ---

Lesson Timetable:

Week 1

Lesson # Activity description Homework

1 Outline Assessment Task 2: Composition Wiki-Journal 1. Students are required to research


Briefly outline the composition journal as a means of reflection and experimentation to hone one's voice and one composer from any genre, style
style as a composer or period and explain a little of their
life story to make them HUMAN, not
“Why Compose?” a mystical figure.
Ask students why they compose. What motivates them? Who are composers? The point of this little Q&A is to
get them to realise that they are all composers (or have the potential to be), and that in the real world composers 2. Students are to find a piece of
are people who write music, not these mystic "classical" figures. music that has inspiration behind it,
and describe the effects of that
“What motivates and inspires us?” inspiration on the piece. Perhaps it is
Again, asking the students opinions on what motivates them to compose. Is it visual stimuli, is it emotion? Talk written in liner notes, or a review or a
about the germ of a composition, what does it start with? Students are to form pairs and discuss ways that they biography of the composer's life at
are inspired. the time.

Intro to Wiki-Journal “How to wiki” “Why Wiki?” 3. Both of the above are to be put on
Outline the purposes of the wiki site. To share and collaborate. It is online because it is to contain a variety of the wiki.

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Unit Plan: Area of Study 3: Creative Responses --- Lesson Timetable ---

media, stimuli and resources.


Outline how to use the site. Students can jump on the computers in pairs and have a go along with the teacher
on the smartboard

2 (double) Outline Assessment Task 1: Wiki-Journal Presentation 1. Cont. wiki-journal


Brief outline of the students first assessment, the presentation of their journals. focus on lesson.

“How to wiki” cont. 2. Learners must include an image


Recap of wiki if needed. (thumbnail as link) and a YouTube
video in at least 2 wiki-entries.
“Learning from other composers” 1 – Repetition
-Philip Glass 3. Have a go at stealing!! 
- Squarepusher
Students to listen to examples played and then contribute to class discussion on composition element. Using
either their instruments or Sibelius, they are to compose a small piece using that characteristic.

“Good Composers don’t borrow, they steal!”


A detailed look at some of the more obvious “inspirations” behind my own compositions and others.
- Holst – Mars: Death Star explode, Gladiator battle
- Stravinsky – “Rite of Spring” in Tatooine in Star Wars
- (Tord Guststavsen), in my own tune “Loneliness” (Reid Anderson, Adagio for Strings, Babel) in
“Development of a Theme By Reid Anderson”

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Unit Plan: Area of Study 3: Creative Responses --- Lesson Timetable ---

Begin Composition Wiki-Journals in earnest


Students are to take notes on their compositions and the lesson in their journals.

3 “What influences character in a composition?” Cont. wiki-journal


Class discussion on the influences of character in a composition. focus on lesson.
Students to throw out key words for character i.e. angry, then to forms pairs and are randomly assigned a
character, which they have to come with a way of expressing musically together. They report back to the
group.

“Tips on being a self-guided learner”


In pairs, the students use the internet to research into becoming a better self-guided learner. ie. time
management, study tips, discipline. They then report back to the class.

“Learning from other composers” 2 – Form


- Radiohead
"Form Example" - Looking at the influences on my own composition "Hope" from The Bad Plus's "Forces"

Students to listen to examples played and then contribute to class discussion on composition element. Using
either their instruments or Sibelius, they are to compose a small piece using that characteristic.

4 “Learning from other composers” 3 – Tonality As above


- Bill Frisell – “Richter 858”

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Unit Plan: Area of Study 3: Creative Responses --- Lesson Timetable ---

- Dave Brubeck- “Over the Rainbow”


Students to listen to examples played and then contribute to class discussion on composition element. Using
either their instruments or Sibelius, they are to compose a small piece using that characteristic.

“A closer look at tonality”


Explanation of several basic harmonic devices, chord extensions, common voicings and dissonances

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Unit Plan: Area of Study 3: Creative Responses --- Lesson Timetable ---

Week 2

Lesson # Activity Description Homework

5 (double) “Great places to find inspiration, and how to find your own places” Cont. wiki-journal
Class discussion on what places trigger inspiration. Does a particular place apply to a particular style/emotion? focus on lesson

“Learning from other composers” 4 – Silence


- John Cage- “4:33”
- Tord Gustavsen “Colours of Mercy”
- The Bad Plus “Prehensile Dream”

Students to listen to examples played and then contribute to class discussion on composition element. Using either their
instruments or Sibelius, they are to compose a small piece using that characteristic.

Composition Development Period


Students are to develop their compositions, either using Sibelius for notation, time on their instruments, or time spent
researching and listening on the computers.

6 Introduce Assessment 3 – Composition Performance N/A


Students are informed that their composition is to be performed at the end of the unit, as a final assessment

“Function of this composition: to be performed ”

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Unit Plan: Area of Study 3: Creative Responses --- Lesson Timetable ---

Not all music is produced to be performed live. Digital mediums provide the opportunity for greater exploration to be made in
the studio. Students are to discuss the differences between a piece written to be performed live and a piece
honed/mastered/tweaked/refined in post production. Advantages/disadvantages to each.

Composition Development Period


Students are to develop their compositions, either using Sibelius for notation, time on their instruments, or time spent
researching and listening on the computers.

7 “Learning from other composers” 5 – Improvisation Cont. wiki-journal


(same day as 6) - Miles Davis focus on lesson and
Students to listen to examples played and then contribute to class discussion on composition element. Using either their composition
instruments or Sibelius, they are to compose a small piece using that characteristic.

Live performance featuring improvisation:


Teacher performs graphically notated piece: Saxophone: “Paradigms” – Ronald L. Caravan

“Alternate notation: Graphical notation”


Students to listen to examples played and then contribute to class discussion on composition element. Using a computer
drawing program, they are to compose a piece using graphical notation.

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Unit Plan: Area of Study 3: Creative Responses --- Lesson Timetable ---

8 “Learning from other composers” 6 – Lyrics As above


- Bob Dylan
- Thom Yorke
- The Cat Empire
Students to listen to examples played and then contribute to class discussion on composition element. Using either their
instruments or Sibelius, they are to compose a small piece using that characteristic.

“Vocals, but not lyrics?”


-"Das Buch" Peteris Vasks
Students to listen to examples played and then contribute to class discussion on composition element. Using either their
instruments or Sibelius, they are to compose a small piece using that characteristic.

REMIND students Presentations Week 3, Wednesday double

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Unit Plan: Area of Study 3: Creative Responses --- Lesson Timetable ---

Week 3

Lesson # Activity description Homework

9 “Learning from other composers” 7 – Alternate Instruments Cont. wiki-journal


- Ready-found objects as percussion focus on lesson and
- Cornelius “Toner” composition
Students to listen to examples played and then contribute to class discussion on composition element. Using
instruments readily found in the room, they are to perform an improvisation with a sense of form.

10 (double) ---Class Presentations---

11 “How to combat writers block” As above


Brief recap into what inspires us, why we compose. Keeping a journal to help stimulate creativity. "The Artists Way"
resource. Students to conduct research into some other methods to break writers block, and report back to class (maybe
in a song?)

“Left Brain vs Right Brain”


Quick teacher-to-student presentation on left brain vs right brain. Doing left-brain activities (i.e. driving, washing
dishes, painting a fence) for some reason frees creativity in some individuals.

Composition Development Period


Students are to develop their compositions, either using Sibelius for notation, time on their instruments, or time spent

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Unit Plan: Area of Study 3: Creative Responses --- Lesson Timetable ---

researching and listening on the computers.

12 Composition Development and Rehearsal Period As above including


Students are to develop their compositions, either using Sibelius for notation, time on their instruments, or time spent rehearsal reflections
researching and listening on the computers. if appropriate

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Unit Plan: Area of Study 3: Creative Responses --- Lesson Timetable ---

Week 4

Lesson # Activity description Homework

13 (double) “Last minute adjustments: hearing your own compositions” Cont. wiki-journal
Some teacher tips on how to listen to your own composition objectively. Also, ask feedback from the focus on lesson and
performers. Do they like their part? composition,
including rehearsal reflections if
Composition Development and Rehearsal Period appropriate
Students are to develop their compositions, either using Sibelius for notation, time on their instruments, or
time spent researching and listening on the computers.

14 ---Class Performances--- N/A

15 ---Class Performances--- N/A


(same day as 14)

16 ---Class Performances--- N/A

---Due date for Composition Wiki-Journal---

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Unit Plan: Area of Study 3: Creative Responses --- Assessment Overview ---

Assessment Overview:
There are three assessments for this unit. One is an online wiki-journal detailing the development of
two compositions designed for performance, another is a performance of a particular composition. Both
are due at the completion of the unit. The third assessment is a class presentation detailing progress of
the wiki-journal (and compositions), approximately half way through the unit. Chronologically:

Assessment 1 - Class Presentation


Assessment 2 - Composition Wiki-Journal Submission
Assessment 3 - Composition Performance

Please note: There are three corresponding rubrics at the conclusion of the assessment overview.

Assessment 1:

Class Presentation: 20%


The purpose of this presentation is to ensure that the learner is making progress with both their
folio – containing several smaller compositional exercises, reflections and research – and with
their compositions for performance. The student is not assessed on the quality of their
compositions at this stage, but rather the extent of his/her research, inclusion of visual, aural
and written stimuli to the wiki, and the depth of the reflection. Additionally, students are
assessed on their ability to present, and to listen to each other’s presentations.
The presenter is required to display a portion of their wiki on the smart-board, and demonstrate
an inclusion of several different media formats (i.e. video, audio, visual) in their wiki-journal.
This assessment ensures students are progressing satisfactorily in the following key criteria:

Key knowledge
• ways other music creators use elements of music and
compositional devices
• technical/practical factors involved in composing
and/or arranging, for example the range of specific
instruments, a performer’s vocal style and/or
performance conventions associated with a specific
style such as soloing, accompaniment, comping and
fills in a jazz trio performance

• ways of recording and preserving music such as using music


technology to develop and refine ideas or the processes used to
prepare a score and/or parts for use by performers.

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Unit Plan: Area of Study 3: Creative Responses --- Assessment Overview ---

Key skills:
• compose and/or arrange creative responses based on
specific ways of using elements of music and compositional
devices
• document use of elements of music and compositional
devices in creative responses
• reflect on how works studied have influenced creative
response/s

Assessment 2:

Composition Wiki-Journal: 40%


This assessment aims to encourage the learner to actively seek inspiration, conduct research into
new compositional devices and knowledge, and familiarize themselves with the multitude of
online information and communication resources. Learners are judged on process rather than
product; They are encouraged to be as thorough and detailed and possible in their record
keeping, research and reflection as well as include as much varied ICT content as possible.
The journals must contain four to eight compositional exercises as creative
responses/experiments to topics covered in lessons, as well as detailing a development and
completion of two major works for performance.
This assessment requires students to demonstrate all key knowledge and key skills for Area of
Study 3.

Assessment 3:

Composition Performance: 40%


The aim of this assessment is for the student to demonstrate their ability as a composer and
performer, in a practical context rather than theoretical. Their composition must reflect a
researched knowledge of the elements of music, and a developed ability to harness and control
these elements to produce the desired effect. Though this assessment is based on product,
performance errors will not necessarily affect the outcome unless they inhibit the overall effect
of the composition.
This assessment requires students to demonstrate all key knowledge and key skills for Area of
Study 3.

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Unit Plan: Area of Study 3: Creative Responses --- Assessment Rubrics ---

Assessment 1 – Class Presentation

Criterion 5/5 4/5 3/5 2/5 1/5 Mark/5


Large variety of different sources of Reasonable variety of Some sources of Few sources of Inspiration is /5
Research/ inspiration found and referenced. different sources of inspiration included inspiration included barely included
Inspiration Sources are clearly used to develop inspiration included Sources are at times Sources are rarely and is not relevant
compositional idea Sources are used to used to develop used to develop to composition
develop compositional compositional idea compositional idea
idea

Wiki/ICT Very successful attempts at Reasonable success at Limited success at One form of ICT is One form of ICT /5
integrating many forms of ICT into integrating some forms integrating some forms incorporated with is incorporated
wiki, All three of the following: of ICT into wiki. Only of ICT into wiki. Only little relevance to without relevance
video, audio and visual resources. two of the following: one of the following: journal. to journal.
Incorporated ICT is highly relevant video, audio or visual video, audio or visual
to journal and development of resources resources
composition Incorporated ICT is Incorporated ICT is
relevant to journal and somewhat relevant to
development of journal and
composition development of
composition
Journal clearly shows a thorough Journal shows a Journal shows a Journal shows a /5
Development and detailed reflection, based on reasonably thorough and reflection, based on reflection, based on Journal barely
class topics, self-directed research detailed reflection, some class topics, either class topics,
of and inspiration. based on some class some self-directed self-directed research shows a
There is a clear development of the topics, some self- research and or inspiration.
compositional composition and composer. directed research and inspiration. There is a limited
reflection.
idea There is a limited
inspiration. There is a development development of the
or development of
There is a development of the composition and composition or
the composition or
of the composition and composer to a small composer
composer
composer. extent.
Presentation is clear, logical and Presentation is usually Presentation is clear Presentation is a little Presentation is /5
Presentation very engaging. clear, mostly logical and and somewhat unclear. unclear.
Student is able to capture and engaging. engaging. Student struggles to Student does not
(Speaking & maintain attention through effective Student is able to Student is able to effectively capture effectively capture
use of voice and multimedia aids. capture attention, but capture attention, but audience attention. attention.
Listening) not maintain it. not maintain it. Multimedia is not
Multimedia aids the Multimedia is not used. used.
presentation at times.

Feedback /20
Unit Plan: Area of Study 3: Creative Responses --- Assessment Rubrics ---

Assessment 2: Submission of Composition Blog

Criterion 5/5 4/5 3/5 2/5 1/5 Mark/5


ICT Full range of ICT is Some ICT content is Some ICT is included, Few ICT components Wiki-Journal features /5
skillfully commanded to used to highlight ideas, but is of little relevance are included to almost no ICT content
Components best advantage to display research and to composition research, no effect
ideas, research, resources inspiration ideas or resources
and inspiration
Reflective Students are highly Students are reflective Students are reflective on Students are reflective Students are not /5
reflective on their own on their own their own inspiration, to a small degree reflective
inspiration, struggles and inspiration, struggles struggles and journey in
journey in all entries and journey in some few entries
entries

Exploratory Students demonstrate a Students demonstrate a Students occasionally Students rarely Students do not /5
high degree of degree of exploration to demonstrate a degree of demonstrate a degree demonstrate any
exploration to find find inspiration and exploration to find of exploration to find exploration
inspiration and conduct conduct independent inspiration or conduct inspiration
independent research research independent research

Appropriate Students use functional Students usually use Students occasionally useStudents rarely use Students do not use /5
language, correct functional language, functional language, functional language, functional language,
Language grammar and appropriate correct grammar and correct grammar and correct grammar and correct grammar or
musical terminology appropriate musical appropriate musical appropriate musical appropriate musical
terminology terminology terminology terminology

Development of There is a clear and There is a reasonably There is a researched There is a development There is no /10
thoroughly researched clear and well development of the of the student's development of the
Compositions development of the researched development student's compositions compositions to some student's compositions
student's two major of the student's degree
compositions compositions

Regular Entries Student entries are daily Student entries are Student entries are Student entries are Student has made a few /5
and detailed frequent and detailed regular, but not frequent, intermittent and brief brief entries, or none
and reasonably detailed
Relevant to Entries, research and Entries, research and Entries, and inspiration Entries contain little Entries contain no /5
inspiration is made inspiration are usually are made relevant to relevance to submitted relevance to submitted
Compositions relevant to compositions made relevant to composition, but composition composition
composition research is often of a
token nature
Feedback /40

Assessment 3: Composition Performance

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Unit Plan: Area of Study 3: Creative Responses --- Assessment Rubrics ---

Criterion 5/5 4/5 3/5 2/5 1/5 Mark/5


Form and structure of the Form and structure is Form and structure is a Form and structure are There is no concise form /5
Form piece is clear and greatly reasonably clear and little unclear but unclear and detract from or structure to the work
enhances the overall enhances the manages to aid the the over all effect of the (including free form)
composition composition effect of the composition
composition
Harmony Sound harmonic knowledge Sound harmonic Harmonic knowledge Some harmonic No harmonic knowledge /5
is demonstrated and utilized knowledge is evident knowledge employed or purpose demonstrated
with taste and command demonstrated and used unskillfully
Instrumentation Composition written for Composition written for Composition written Composition written for Composition written for /5
specific instruments with specific instruments with certain no particular no specific instruments
skill to harness their with some skill, and is instruments in mind, instruments and and does not
particular timbres and relatively playable but somewhat difficult demonstrates barely any demonstrate any
abilities, whilst still being to play instrumental knowledge instrumental knowledge
very playable
Character Composition has a definite Composition has a Composition has a Compositions character Composition has no /5
character, (or several) definite character, character, expressed a little unclear, and character
expressed to great effect expressed through use through a few devices expressed through a few
with a full pallet of musical of some musical and/or elements devices and/or elements
devices and elements devices and elements
Techniques A full range of Many compositional Several compositional Very few compositional No compositional /5
compositional techniques, techniques used with techniques are used to techniques are used, to techniques are used
including all those some skill some effect almost no effect
discussed in class, are used
with skill and poise
Creativity The composition is creative, The composition is The composition is The composition is not The composition is not /5
inspired, mature and refined creative and inspired, rather creative, but not very creative, and not creative, original and
It is highly original but a little unrefined very inspired or refined lacks substance
It is original in concept refined It is not original
It is somewhat original
in concept
Notation/Score The score is presented The score is presented The score is presented The score presented is No notation or score is /5
clearly and accurately, clearly and accurately, reasonably clearly and untidy and unclear, and presented
using the full range of and uses most of the uses some of the uses few of the
notation conventions range of notational notational conventions notational conventions
conventions
Performance The piece is performed The piece is performed The piece is performed The performance is a The piece is performed /5
professionally, with full well, with some reasonably well, with little rough, with little badly, there is no
adherence to stage adherence to stage some adherence to adherence to stage adherence to stage
and audience etiquette and audience etiquette stage etiquette etiquette etiquette
Feedback /40

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Unit Plan: Area of Study 3: Creative Responses --- Lesson Plans ---

Lesson Plans:

The four lesson plans are an example of the first four days of the unit. They begin by drawing on
students’ past experience and knowledge of composition, then continuing on to prompting reflections,
encouraging research and development, and by covering some of the key criteria outlined in the VCE
Outline.
Unit Plan: Area of Study 3: Creative Responses --- Lesson Plans ---

Lesson Plan - Lesson 1

Aims:

o Students consider the motivations and inspirations of composers of all styles


o Students become acquainted with the wiki-site in order to begin their online
reflections
o Students come to view themselves as composers in their own right in order to gain
confidence towards a successful completion of the unit
o Students have a broad overview of the ideals of the composer, demystified

Outcomes:

• Students begin their wiki-journals, commencing reflection, research and


development of their composition idea
• Students generate an entry on a particular composer and his/her life,
interpreting influences and inspirations on their own composition
• Students generate an entry on a particular piece that is known to have, or can
be argued to have, a particular inspiration, and detail the effects of that
inspiration on the character of the piece.

Topics in lesson:

“Why Compose?”
“What motivates and inspires us?”
“Intro to wiki-journal”

Curriculum Component(s):

Key knowledge

• ways other music creators use elements of music and compositional


devices

Key skills
• document use of elements of music and compositional
devices in creative responses

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Unit Plan: Area of Study 3: Creative Responses --- Lesson Plans ---

• reflect on how works studied have influenced creative


response/s

• use an appropriate method to record and preserve the music.

Resources:

· premade handouts, detailing particular facts and insights into what may inspire
composers, including citations from specific composers
· random objects, pictures, videos, to elicit a compositional response
· Smartboard with access to wiki
· Whiteboard
· Pre-setup wiki site with one page per student, ready to go

Class set up:


• Students are required to have their instruments with them
• Class is set up in a way that gives students good visibility of the smartboard,
whilst allowing discussion (semi circle around smartboard).

Lesson:

“Why compose?” 10 mins

· Class discussion. Asking class to justify composition. They must have a philosophy on
composition. Does it make the world a better place? Does it make people happier? Or sadder?
Does it elicit a variety of emotions? What do you enjoy about your favourite compositions?
· Class to spend 5 minutes alone, hypothesising and developing their own philosophy of
composition, on paper. This will be used later as their first entry into the wiki.

“What motivates and inspires us?” 15 mins

· Again, class discussion, asking them questions, stimulating a response. Think about what
situations and stimuli help inspire music which relates back to your philosophy. Is it friendship,
and company? Is it solitude? It is nature? Beauty? Love? Anger? A range of emotions?

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Unit Plan: Area of Study 3: Creative Responses --- Lesson Plans ---

· Class are to come up and select one of the stimuli that most inspires them, (there are several
of each), and compose a 30 second piece of music. It is an exercise. It does not have to be
perfect, it does not have to be performed.
· They are then required to present this to the class, without performing it, explaining what
they did and how the muse affected their writing, if it did, if it didn’t, to what degree, why, why
not, etc. The point is to begin reflection on places that might inspire us.

“How to wiki” 20 mins

· Students move to computers, (in pairs if necessary). They are introduced to the wiki by
following the teacher on the smart board. Teacher demo first, then students following teacher.
· The students then take turns entering their Composition Philosophy, and a reflection on
their inspiration. They work together in pairs to make sure it is saved correctly.
· They then take turns to make a comment on each others’ sites.

Assessment:

This lesson is primarily formative assessment, with no rubrics required. Students are assessed on their
participation class discussion, and how well they outline their “inspired composition.” They are also
assessed on their ability to work in pairs on the computers.

Reflection:

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Unit Plan: Area of Study 3: Creative Responses --- Lesson Plans ---

Lesson Plan - Lesson 2

Aims:

o Learners are aware of how the musical element of repetition affects a composition
o Learners are familiar with the wiki site and able to use it to express their reflections,
discoveries and developments.

Outcomes:

· Students will demonstrate their knowledge of repetition in a composition by


collaborating in small groups, pairs, or on their own and creating a small composition
which reflects a particular character
· Students add reflections and insights on the lessons activities into their wiki-journal

Topics in lesson:

“How to Wiki cont. Part 2?”


“Learning from other composers” 1 – Repetition

Curriculum Component(s):

Key knowledge

• ways other music creators use elements of music and compositional


devices

• technical/practical factors involved in composing and/or arranging, for example


the range of specific instruments, a performer’s vocal style and/or performance
conventions associated with a specific style such as soloing, accompaniment,
comping and fills in a jazz trio performance

Key skills

• compose and/or arrange creative responses based on specific ways of


using elements of music and compositional devices

26
Unit Plan: Area of Study 3: Creative Responses --- Lesson Plans ---

• document use of elements of music and compositional devices in


creative responses

• reflect on how works studied have influenced creative response/s

Resources:

· Several recordings demonstrating repetition


· Visual resources to support aural resources as appropriate
· Smartboard with access to wiki
· Whiteboard
· Printout of assessment overview for Assessment Task 1

Class set up:


· Students are required to have their instruments with them

Lesson:

“Outline Assessment Task 1 – Wiki-Journal Presentation” 5 mins

· Call students to attention, and read out handout with students, asking them to read out
certain bits and paraphrase. Explain rubric (handout should contain rubric). Also, point student
to online rubric.

“How to Wiki – Part 2” 15 mins

· Students form pairs at the computer and login to wiki-site.


· As a class, they go through how to upload various forms of media, and youtube clips, add
hyperlinks, and create pages. They are to add a new reflection for the lesson, and add a youtube
clip of a live performance which they like.

“Learning from other composers 1 – Repetition” 25 mins

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Unit Plan: Area of Study 3: Creative Responses --- Lesson Plans ---

· Students move their chairs and form a semi-circle around the speakers at the front of the
class.
· The teacher then details the use of repetition in several pieces by various composers,
prompting the students to analyse and interpret. What is the function of repetition? How is it
used by various composers? The teacher refers to visual resources, mentioning repetition of
elements including but not limited to: repetition in form (recapitulation), in improvisation, and
it’s affect on character, melody and tonality (repetition of a bass line under varying harmony).
· Students are told to individually or in small group of 2-3 compose a piece using repetition
of one or several elements, as a compositional exercise. They must be able to identify and
discuss their use of repetition and the effects on the composition.

Assessment:

This unit is primarily formative assessment, with no rubrics required. Students are assessed on their
participation in group character composition, and how well their role in the performance demonstrates
their comprehension of character. They are assessed on their ability to work in pairs while learning
about the wiki-site.

Reflection:

28
Unit Plan: Area of Study 3: Creative Responses --- Lesson Plans ---

Lesson Plan - Lesson 3

Aims:

o Learners are aware of how the musical elements affect character in a composition
o Learners are aware of, and familiar with, several methods to improve their abilities as
self guided learners
o Learners are aware of several types of form, and gain insight into viewing more
complex forms

Outcomes:

· Students will demonstrate their knowledge of character in a composition by


collaborating and creating a small composition which reflects a particular character

Topics in lesson:

“What influences character in a composition?”


“Tips on being a self-guided learner”
“Learning from other composers” 2 – Form

Curriculum Component(s):

Key knowledge

• ways other music creators use elements of music and compositional


devices

• technical/practical factors involved in composing and/or arranging, for example


the range of specific instruments, a performer’s vocal style and/or performance
conventions associated with a specific style such as soloing, accompaniment,
comping and fills in a jazz trio performance

Key skills

• compose and/or arrange creative responses based on specific ways of


using elements of music and compositional devices

29
Unit Plan: Area of Study 3: Creative Responses --- Lesson Plans ---

• document use of elements of music and compositional devices in


creative responses

• reflect on how works studied have influenced creative response/s

Resources:

· Several recordings of varied characters


· Visual resources outlining form of "Forces" and "Hope" as appropriate
· Smartboard with access to wiki
· Whiteboard

Class set up:


· Students are required to have their instruments with them

Lesson:

“What influences character in a composition?” 25 mins

· Demonstration of several pieces of music, class brainstorm character words on board as a


group. “What is character?”
· “What instruments affect character?” Play examples, and write instruments on board
· “What other devices affect character?” Things like volume, complexity, harmony,
dissonance, groove (nearly all the musical elements
· Class task: Students are asked to form small groups with mixed instruments. They are then
randomly assigned a character and have 15 minutes to come up with a composition together,
harnessing and utilizing the elements explored earlier

“Tips on being a self-guided learner” 10 mins

· Students form pairs and exchange ideas on how they feel they can better use their time, or
if they feel they use it well, outline how.
· These pairs have to then come up with 3 key words, which sum up their approaches. They
report back to the class
· As they mention them, the teacher then adds them to the wiki on the smart board in a
Personal Learning section

30
Unit Plan: Area of Study 3: Creative Responses --- Lesson Plans ---

“Learning from other composers 2 – Form” 15 mins

· Students move their chairs and form a semi-circle around the speakers at the front of the
class.
· The teacher then explains the form of “Forces”, using visual resources, mentioning
repetition, thematic development and silence, whilst highlighting the sections, including the
subtle divisions with the section.
· Then, he makes an example of how that inspired his own composition, once again drawing
on visual references as appropriate to highlight similarities (there are many).
· If there is time left over, students are to go to the computers and reflect how their own
compositions form could be improved, or not, by using repetition, recapitulation of sections,
thematic development and silence.

Assessment:

This unit is primarily formative assessment, with no rubrics required. Students are assessed on their
participation in group character composition, and how well their role in the performance demonstrates
their comprehension of character. They are assessed on their ability to work in pairs and contribute to
class wiki on self-guided learning.

Reflection:

31
Unit Plan: Area of Study 3: Creative Responses --- Lesson Plans ---

Lesson Plan - Lesson 4

Aims:

o Learners are aware of how the musical tonality affects a composition. They learn the
function of tonality and harmony, and are exposed to bi-tonality and atonality
o Learners begin to familiarise themselves with online resources

Outcomes:

· Students will demonstrate their knowledge of a particular harmonic device or tonality


(bi-tonality, atonality, functional tonality etc) by entering their findings into a wiki
page and presenting to the class.

Topics in lesson:

“Learning from other composers” 3 – Tonality


“A closer look at tonality”

Curriculum Component(s):

Key knowledge

• ways other music creators use elements of music and compositional


devices

• technical/practical factors involved in composing and/or arranging, for example


the range of specific instruments, a performer’s vocal style and/or performance
conventions associated with a specific style such as soloing, accompaniment,
comping and fills in a jazz trio performance

Key skills

• document use of elements of music and compositional devices in


creative responses

• reflect on how works studied have influenced creative response/s

32
Unit Plan: Area of Study 3: Creative Responses --- Lesson Plans ---

Resources:

· Several recordings demonstrating a range of tonality and harmonic devices


· Visual resources outlining these
· Smartboard with access to wiki
· Whiteboard
· “Surprise cards” – with concealed harmony/tonality cards on them

Class set up:


· Not particularly relevant, though make sure there is one table with a bunch of “surprise
cards” on it.

Lesson:

“Learning from other composers 3 – Tonality” 15 mins

· Brief look at the ways other composers use tonality. Introductory. Hoping to free students of
making “mistakes” or writing “wrong notes”. Class discussion on tonality. What are the ways it
impacts a performance? Is tonality and harmony in itself particularly important in portraying a
character? What are chord extensions, “acceptable” dissonances?

“A closer look at tonality and harmony” 35 mins

· Students are to work in pairs. They are randomly assigned a Tonal or Harmonic
element/device and have to spend 25 minutes researching it, and adding to the wiki, in their
own words. If they are having trouble putting things in their own words, they are to ask me for
assistance, they are NOT allowed to “copy and paste”. If needed, they can have some time on
the piano fleshing out their understanding of the topic.
· Students then present their knowledge of a topic to the class, using their wiki (which any of
the students can refer to at any time) to aid in the presentation. The idea is that all the students
explain a particular element to each other, and that the wiki is there as a reference for the
duration of the unit.

Topics are:
• Sharp 11 chords

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Unit Plan: Area of Study 3: Creative Responses --- Lesson Plans ---

• Dominant 7 flat 9 chords


• Lydian Dominant
• Minor 9 and Major 11 extension
• Major 6 and Major 9 extension
• Tritone Substitution
• Bi-tonality
• Atonality
• Perfect cadence, (and the 2-5-1 chord progression)
• Modulation

Assessment:

This unit is primarily formative assessment, with no rubrics required. Students are assessed formatively
on their ability to research their given harmonic/tonal element, contribute to the wiki, and report back
to the class. The process of enquiry and exposure to given content is just as important as actual
comprehension and understanding; Obviously this is a complex topic which takes a substantial amount
of time for students to digest.

Reflection:

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