Stories are not only told with words; they can be told through a variety of media, including music.
This is a Visible Thinking activity relating to the short story “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell (but the idea could be used with any story). For this activity, students were to analyze the story being told in a piece of music (in this case, “Path” by Apocalyptica), and then relate that music to something we read (in this case, the short story).
The class first listened to “Path” by Apocalyptica to try to hear the “story” being told through the music. Like authors who use devices such as imagery, characterization, or symbolism, composers tell their stories through their own devices, for example:
– choice of instruments
– time signature
– style of music
– shifts/changes in the music
– crescendo / decrescendo
Those who make music videos must interpret the music that they hear to create a compelling story in their visual art. The visuals must reflect what the music provides.
Students heard the piece twice; first just listening, and the second time with the video. As they listened, they had to write ten things they HEAR in the music that helps to tell a story. I then turned on the video and they had to write ten things they SEE in the video that helps to tell the story of the music.
Click on the picture to see the video.
Once they had ten things they heard and ten things they saw, students had to find a partner and share their observations. After sharing (and putting a checkmark next to ideas they had in common), they had to write three things the THINK about the story that the music is trying to tell, and then three things they WONDER about the story that the music is trying to tell.
Students then receive a Post-It note (four colors: See, Hear, Think, Wonder), and we share their ideas.
Pretend that you are making a film of Richard Connell’s “The Most Dangerous Game,” and you have selected “Path” by Apocalyptica to help “tell” a portion of the story. Explain HOW you might apply the music to parts of the story, and fully explain WHY the music would fit that particular action of the story.
This will be a three-chunk paragraph. Think about what needs to be in the topic sentence (TS) for this assignment. Your concrete details (CDs) will be references to both the music and the plot of the short story, your commentary (CMs) will be the explanation of how the music fits the action of the plot. Don’t forget a closing sentence (CS).