I’ve written about this composition by Cathy Berberian here: http://www.themusicjungle.co.uk/live/2012/01/27/issue-23-words-and-music/
If you search on youtube you can find a number of different versions, with and without the score.
I’m planning to use this with a year 5 and 6 class who have spent several years doing Wider Opportunities percussion programmes. They are now brilliant at pulse and rhythm, and at creating their own rhythms, but have not spent much time on exploring timbre and expressive music.
I reckon to introduce the topic as in my original post, by writing individual words in a way that describes how to perform them. At the simplest form this could mean big writing for LOUD, tiny writing for soft, spiky writing, smooth writing, at the top of the page for high-pitched sounds….
From there I will try and tie in to the class topic. I’ll divide the children into groups and get them to storyboard a short narrative. Over several weeks, they can develop the piece from using just vocal sounds to “orchestrating” it, adding class percussion instruments and found sounds. Then each group can present and perform and record their work.
Right. that’s one school’s planning completed, in outline. I just have to write it up in edu-speak.
Meanwhile, this might make a fun party game for New Year’s Eve tomorrow night.