Monday, February 8, 2016

7th Graders Compose Musical Motifs for "A Midsummer Night’s Dream"

BCS 7th graders are studying the art of ‘soundtracking’ – creating music to accompany a dramatic performance. First, they created their own dramatic scenes to act out alongside pre-existing soundtracks, then they developed electronic soundtracks for Lego stop action films using GarageBand.

The class is now working on its third project, composing motifs (musical themes) for various characters in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  These motifs will be used to introduce characters, to serve as a character’s theme, or to acknowledge a transition between scenes. The students are creating these motifs based upon their analyses of the various characters in the play and the music they compose will directly reflect the characters’ personality, attitude, and/or actions. 

During this creative process, students are divided into small groups of varying musical ability in order to learn from each other and bring different ideas and experiences to the activity. Each group is assigned two characters from the play and tasked with creating a motif for these characters. Everyone in the
group is required to play some sort of instrument, and they may use anything that creates a musical sound.

The students are having an amazing time experimenting with sound and with various instruments.  Whether destined to become first chair in the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra or the one who sings off-key in the shower, every student has the opportunity to learn about theatrical music and to contribute to the musical melodies of their upcoming performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream on Monday, June 6 and Tuesday, June 7.