This class will explore the role of soundtrack and score in musicals and movies, and use Garage Band to create their own short individual themes in response to a movie scene which they will watch minus the sound element. First, however, the students need to become aware of how orchestration can be used to manipulate or heighten a mood; convey cultural identity; establish setting and situation; and even to introduce characters! To introduce students to this concept, they will listen to various soundtrack and musical excerpts (including West Side Story) and guess what they are “about,” then watch the film or stage play scene with the sound and evaluate their expectations vs. the actual movie. Students will also do the reverse, watching excerpts of heavily scored movies without the sound and guessing what orchestration might be used, and why, depending on the content of the scene watched; then watch the film with the sound and compare their suggestions with the choices the composers actually made. In this way, students should be able to explain why we use soundtracks in films; why some stories are made into musicals rather than just spoken plays; and how and why instrumental timbre generates emotional response.





Student #1

Gabriela with her character, the emperor Zurconic. Above is her outline of the story she, Angel and Leslie created for their three characters. They then turned it into a musical narrative.

Student #2

Leslie is introducing “Adventurous Chuck”, her Anime character. Prior to composing and writing their stories, the teaching artist asked the students to discuss in writing a character asset associated with their anime creations that could also be a flaw. Leslie’s essay regarding this is above. Students were also invited to discuss that issue with regard to their own personalities.

Student #3

Here, Angel with his character, “Fly-ning Bolt”, and a response to a question regarding how music is used in movies, and whether or not it is needed.


Student #1

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Gabriela explains (above) how her group selected their instrument and how they performed their piece.  Each instrument was very wisely selected to depict their character.


Student #2

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Leslie explains her character.


Student #3

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In the video above, Angel is explaining the name of his Anime character and the type of “animal” he has.  You can hear in the example how he seems to give the impression of the buzzing sounds of his fly.

group video

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Above, the students are performing their music composition “Planet Zirconic” of the Anime narrative they created.  The students selected their own instruments and composed “when and how” they were going to play.  When I heard this composition, I was really myself feeling fear from the fly and Angel’s creativity.


Students created non-traditional scores of their work, five minutes’ worth of school soundscape, and of an extant work before individually creating their final anime character compositions in Garage Band.


Student #1

A.T. Room 318  This song is a theme to accompany Flyning Bolt, large picture above. The red character above is named Devil Bunny.

Student #2

edwin 318
This character is called Bobert the Robot.

Student #3

jesus .G 318
And here we have Beast Boy

Year One
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