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Music - Darkness to light

What it's all about

The seasonal journey of shade and sunshine can be reflected in the music- making of any classroom. Why not inspire your pupils to reflect their environment in music? "From darkness to light" can work well as a theme, writes Anthony Anderson.

Begin by exploring the aspects of music that can create a more sombre sound and conduct a piano workshop to uncover these techniques. You could include an exploration of minor keys including harmonic, melodic and natural minors. Some modes (such as Dorian) lend themselves well to this approach.

Link this to sustained notes, slow tempo and melodies that pivot around a lower register. Present pupils with the challenge of unpicking how these different aspects come together and their cumulative effect.

Working in groups, can they create a musical transition to light? They will need to think about a foil to the more sombre sounds from the piano workshop.

For those struggling with the task, centrally placed hint cards can include ideas such as major keys, two-part textures, gradual crescendos, perfect-fifth intervals, a fast tempo and ascending scales.

Bridging the gap from darkness to light in music as part of a class performance could be the final flourish.

Creating a positive learning experience is crucial at this and any other time of year. Bringing young people together, giving them confidence and providing a model to follow is one way to set them on this road.

What else?

Check out an inspirational video from Ofsted showing the difference music can make. bit.lyOfstedMusic.

Help pupils to structure their own "transition" compositions with TES Resources user ipod's theme and variation worksheet. bit.lytesThemeAndVariation.

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