Making a Musical Story

Here is a STEAM lesson aimed at Upper Elementary & Middle School that uses student writing as motivation to tap into their artistic intent. Students use a piece of their writing to create a story synopsis. Using a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) of choice, students will create a backing track for their story synopsis. Use the Musical Story Planner to help guide their thinking with creating a synopsis and then thinking about musical elements that might help portray that part of the story. If it’s exciting…do we want a fast tempo? Sad? How about using a low pitched, minor loop?

Students use musical elements (timbre, mode, pitch, tempo..) to help them create a mood that captures the beginning, middle and end of a their story. Using musical loops students create the backing track of their story. Using 3-5 loops for each section of their story. Leave space between each of the sections, so there is room to create a transition between each section. Students add loops between their sections to create a transition that connects the two sections. Create an ending and fade out with a few loops to wrap up your Musical Story.

Students create a voice recording track to record their story synopsis. Use the timing of your backing track to guide the pacing of your story synopsis recording. You have students using their own writing to create a music that helps tell a story. It helps them begin to develop their artistic intent.

Here is a sample from a 4th grade class that I teach.

Here is a sample rubric you may use to help guide student outcomes.

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