VH1

Lesson for Music Classes, Grades 7-12

200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons
VH1 Music Studio
Cable in the Classroom


Lesson 3



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Objectives
  • Students will discuss how music is an important part of animation.
  • Students will discuss the role of classical music in “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.”
  • Students will design animation cells while listening to a selection of classical music.
  • Students will discuss Mickey Mouse as a Pop Icon.

National Standards for Music Education
6. Listening to, analyzing, and describing music.
8. Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts.
9. Understanding music in relation to history and culture.




Materials

  • VHS VCR Player
  • Television
  • Audio playback equipment
  • VH1’s 200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons
  • Web-based lesson materials
  • Pencils/Pens (students)
  • Markers/Colored Pencils (students)
  • Video of “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” from Fantasia or Fantasia 2000
  • Teacher selected recordings of “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” by Paul Dukas
  • Teacher selected recordings of classical music (recommended examples: Stravinsky’s L’Oiseau de Feu, Smetana’s The Moldau, Saint-Saens’ Carnival of Animals, and Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique)
  • Copies of Animation Cell Worksheet (included with lesson) for students


    Prior Knowledge:
    • Students are familiar with various musical styles.
    • Students have completed Lesson 2 of this series of the Pop Icons lessons (Bugs Bunny and “Rabbit of Seville”). (Completion of Lesson 1 would also be helpful.)



Procedures


1. As students enter the classroom, have a teacher selected recording of “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” playing. When students are settled, ask them if they can identify which cartoon character made this piece of music famous. This piece might not be as recognizable to students as the compositions studied in the previous lessons, “Linus and Lucy” and “The Barber of Seville.”

2. Show VH1’s 200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons: Mickey Mouse, #17, Episode 5.

3. Lead students in a discussion about why Mickey Mouse might be considered a pop culture icon. If students have completed the previous two lessons on Charlie Brown and Bugs Bunny, have students compare the three. Is Mickey an icon for the same reasons that Charlie Brown and Bugs Bunny are considered icons?

4. Provide students with a brief synopsis of the history of Walt Disney’s Fantasia

Fantasia was originally released on November 13, 1940. It was presented in Fantasound, which was an early stereo system devised at the Disney studios; however, movie theaters had to be specially equipped for this new system. This was a very expensive process and as a result, Fantasia only opened in 14 theaters across the country. Walt Disney won a special Oscar for Fantasia in 1941.
5. “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” is an example of program music. Share the story of the piece with the students:
A young boy is apprenticed to a magician and is taught magic tricks in exchange for doing various chores. One day, while the Sorcerer is away, the boy attempts to cast a spell on a broom to fetch water at his command. Once the lazy boy has the broom doing his work, he falls asleep. When he wakes up, he discovers the floor is covered with water because the broom will not stop fetching it. He tries to stop the broom, but fails. The apprentice takes an axe and chops the broom into tiny pieces; however, each piece becomes a new broom and begins to carry water. Soon the castle is filled with water. Finally the Sorcerer reappears and says the magic words to stop the broom. The boy is ashamed, but the Magician says the boy will make a fine Sorcerer once he learns not to meddle in things he doesn’t understand.
6. Show “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” from Fantasia or Fantasia 2000.

7. Guide students in discussing the music in “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.” Does it fit the storyline that was explained beforehand? Why or why not? Ask students to comment on how the music enhances the elements of emotion, dialog, and action in the story.

8. Lead students in a discussion about the animation used in “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.” Does it fit with the story they heard before watching it? Ask students how this animation is different from “Rabbit of Seville.” Remind them that “Rabbit of Seville” was a parody and “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” is not.

9. Distribute copies of the Animation Cell Worksheet and markers or colored pencils. Ask students to pretend they are an animator working on the next Fantasia movie. They are going to draw a sequence of scenes in their animation cells that fits with the musical selection they are about to hear.

10. Play a teacher selected recording of classical music (recommended selections listed in Materials section). Students should listen the first time, and develop their idea for a scene that relates to what they hear in the music. Play the recording again, and this time have students draw the animation depicting their scene as they listen. The recording may need to be played several times in order to provide students with enough time to complete their animation cells.

11. Ask students to share their work with the class, explaining their scene and how it and the animations they have created fit with the musical selection. Have them comment on how easy or difficult it was to create animation to fit an existing musical selection, and if they think it would be easier or harder to write music to fit existing animation instead.


Supplemental resources:


National Standards for Music Education
1. Singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
2. Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
3. Improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments.
4. Composing and arranging music within specified guidelines.
5. Reading and notating music.
6. Listening to, analyzing, and describing music.
7. Evaluating music and music performances.
8. Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts.
9. Understanding music in relation to history and culture.

These standards-based materials are provided through a partnership with MENC: The National Association for Music Education. This lesson plan was created by MENC member Michelle Barnes, General Music and World Drumming, Fall Creek Valley Middle School, Indianapolis, IN.

Animation Cell Worksheet

Directions: While you listen to the musical selection, draw a series of animation cells that you think express the music.

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