Composer Animations


Martha Stanley suggested that I put the links for all of the composer animations from this year in one place so that they would be easier to find.  Great idea!  We work on a 3 year cycle of composers.  Our composers this year were Bach, Tchaikovsky, Haydn and Aaron Copland.  I’m thinking I may keep on making these for next year’s composers, even though I’m retiring.  I enjoy using goanimate and my subscription is good for another year.

Anyway, here they are in the order they were created and presented.

1.  Somehow, time traveler J.S. Bach arrives in our music classroom.  He introduces himself by full name and explains his presence.

2.  Bach gets himself into trouble by talking too much in class.  He gives a lot of information about himself though.  Info: Name, occupations,  simple definition of composition and composer, anecdotes from Bach’s life, family, instruments played.

3.  Bach find himself in the principal’s office and gives more info about himself, his lifetime and his culture.  There’s also a quick math drill to find out how old he’d be if he was still living. Info: Bach’s lifetime and country, occupations, need for concert attendance and music education in the 1600’s-1700’s.

4.  Our second composer this year was Tchaikovsky.  I introduced him by having Bach meet him and prepare to introduce him to our class.  Info: Tchaikovsky‘s lifetime, Carnegie Hall, Tchaikovsky idiosyncrasies.

5.  Bach introduces Tchaikovsky to the class.  Info:  Absolute music, program music, Romantic music, Ballets, Tchaikovsky idiosyncrasies.

6. Haydn is introduced to the class.  Michael Jackson is in this animation because 2 of my students created a video about him.  I’ll put student videos, including that one, at the end of the post.  Info:  Haydn’s lifetime, his full name and nickname, and reason for it.  Chronology of composers,  the Surprise Symphony.

7.  Aaron Copland joins the class.  Info:  chronology of all composers, Copland’s lifetime and country, ballets and movie scores, his Oscar, music based on folk tunes.  Appalachian Spring, simple Gifts, Fanfare for the Common Man, Rodeo.

Student animations

1.  Tim and Annika interview Michael Jackson.  They were required to write their script and questions before they animated.  They created the character themselves.  Info: Name and nickname, history of his career, style of music, eccentricities, dancing.

2.  Dan and Tim meet Tchaikovsky.  Tim and Dan researched this animation and wrote the script before animating.  Info: hypochondria and other idiosyncrasies, place of birth and history, Swan Lake, 1812 Overture, Carnegie Hall.

3.  Bach on the playground, by Jenna, Michaela and S.R.  The kids interview Johann.  Info:  lifetime, parents and life with his brother, compositions, jail.

4. “Music Battle” Skylar and Annika compare Haydn and Taylor Swift.

5.  Susie and Sabrina created this interview with Harriet Tubman when we learned “Follow the Drinking Gourd” during Black History Month.  Susie actually recorded her own voice to sing “Follow the Drinking Gourd.”

All of the students created their own avatars for these animations.  I was careful to monitor their research and provide appropriate sources for 5th graders.  I guess there are some things about Michael Jackson they just don’t need to know at their age….

Thanks for the idea for this post, Martha!

And as always, thanks for reading!



Jane Rivera, may 2012, All Rights Reserved


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