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Secondary Music at Home 1

Y7-9 Film music and listening to music at home | Y10-11 Music vocabulary | Y12-13 TED talks about music

Secondary-MAH-webEnjoy these structured musical activities that we have prepared especially for you to continue your learning at home.


Years 7-9
Film music and listening to music at home

You're probably spending a lot more time watching films or listening to music at home than you were whilst at school. Choose one of the tasks below:

Film Music: what does it actually do?

Film Music is often known as a score. This is the music we hear as the movie takes place. It can happen when the actors speak, it can happen during a fight scene or a romantic scene.

This type of music can creep in so gently, you might not even notice it, but it can also be the most intense part of the film. Think about any scary films you’ve watched...

The music tells you when you need to be scared or when you might want to hide your eyes!

When we talk about Film Music, it does not mean the ‘songs’ (pieces of music that are sung) that are in the movie. Most songs we hear in films would have been released before, or around the same time as the movie.

They are rarely written specifically for the film, unlike the score which would have been written to suit the atmosphere of every scene, exactly. Songs in movies would be part of the soundtrack.

Task

Choose a film – you'll not only be watching but also listening to the music and evaluating what you can hear.

We have prepared a worksheet with a series of things to think about as you watch. You can download this below.

If you can print at home, you can write your evaluation on the sheet. If you can't, you can still open the document and write your answers on a different sheet of paper. Or, you can you discuss with your family if they want to be involved too. 

Consider these tips:

  • try to be specific as you can by naming instruments and describing things like tempo (speed), dynamics (volume) and tonality (major/minor)
  • the best way to evaluate the film music is to include the reasons WHY you think the composer did what they did
  • consider every action and reaction, mood, emotion and expression the characters display

Years 7-9:
Listening to music: an A-Z of artists

If you're listening to a lot of music at home, this task if for you...

  • Search for an artist for each letter of the alphabet. This could be first or last name, or the name of a band, and can be from any period and any genre of music.
  • Find out three facts about the artist and their musical career. Write these down next to the artists name for each letter.
  • Choose a piece of music by that artist and listen out for two things you liked about it, and one thing you didn't. Write down what you liked and disliked, and the reasons why.

Years 10-11:
Music vocabulary

We're going to be exploring the vocabulary you might use when describing what you can hear.

Task 1

For each of the categories below, write a lost of words that you might use to answer a listening question. We've given you a few examples for the first, but you might think of more. 

  • Style (e.g. classical, grime, musical theatre...)
    Time signature / metre
    Rhythm and tempo
    Instrumentation
    Harmony and tonality
    Structure
    Texture
    Dynamics
    Articulation
    Melody

Task 2

Choose a piece of music and see how many of the words you came up for the categories above you can use when writing about it.


Years 12-13:
TED talks

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less).

Try one of these talks:

Can you think of any examples of music that could be used to support the argument the speaker makes? Do you agree with what they say? Have a discussion with family or friends about this, or maybe jot down some of your thinking. 

Acknowledgment

Some of these ideas and activities have been adapted from online teacher forums – a great example of how teachers are supporting each other in these challenging times