Tuesday, 24 March 2015

10 Pieces

We recently have been making use of the brilliant 10 pieces DVD from the BBC. This film consists, not surprisingly, of ten classical pieces of music ranging from Holst’s 'Mars' to Stravinksy’s 'Firebird'.
Each section is introduced by a familiar BBC face who explains some key information about each piece.

Image credit: ichef.bbci.co.uk

In class, we have looked at the first few pieces and used them as a stimulus for a variety of creative activities from writing poetry about Mars to drawing the Mountain King's Hall. A recent lesson made use of Britten’s ‘Storm’. After watching the section through a couple of times, we had a brief discussion in class about the children’s reactions. This was done in small groups leading onto a wider class discussion. The pupils were able to have discussions about both the music and the video and were able to use the discussion as a starting point for their creative work.

After the discussion, the children were given the opportunity to create a piece of art to present their feelings. Different media were offered for use as well as providing different size sheets of paper.
The majority of the children chose to use paint to represent their feelings and created pictures either inspired by the video itself or the discussion within the classroom (the eye of the storm).

We then took photos of the pictures and created a movie of the art using Windows Moviemaker. Initially we found a Creative Commons licensed version of the music to play over the top of the pictures and, after properly attributing it, created a piece that could be shared with all parents. To do this, the movie was embedded with one of the original pictures using Aurasma. Subsequently, we found that the BBC make their music accessible from the 10 Pieces website.

Scan this picture with the Aurasma app after signing up to the 6DA channel

As well as being an excellent introduction to a range of musical pieces and orchestral work, the DVD provides a wonderful stimulus for creativity within the classroom especially for those in need of a short one-off lesson as we near the end of the year. 

A request was made for more detail about how we achieved the presentation of the work. The movie itself was very simply created by importing the photos into Moviemaker, adding a fade to block transition and then placing titles and credits before and after the movie (also easy to achieve in iMovie). To find the music we used a creative commons search engine (http://search.creativecommons.org/) making sure to identify how to attribute the music.

Aurasma is a wonderfully simple app to use, which allows you to link a variety of media to images. We have used it to share work (as above), create a welcome message for the class, share a message in a time capsule and share messages from the teacher. For more information see this blog entry.


  1. Hi,
    Would love to do this - have similar collection of art work! Could you explain the process in more detail please? Thanks

    1. Hopefully our update of added information will help with explaining the process.