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About the project

In 2016, the NSW Department of Education The Arts Unit joined forces with international animateur and composer Paul Rissman to present an exciting group composition project for students: 'Firebird Forensics'. This cross curricula eResource has been developed from that program in order to provide teachers and students with the opportunity to collaborate in a composition project in the areas of music and dance.

Written by Alex Manton (music teacher) and Adelaide Eastley (dance teacher at Asquith Girls High School) this resource contains contextual information about the source work, 'The Firebird' by Stravinsky, comprehensive classroom activities in both dance and music, as well as additional materials, such as programs, worksheets, and assessments, to assist with the successful implementation of these units in your teaching practice.

The people involved

Alex and Adelaide introduction

Duration:
0:50
Video transcript -
Alex and Adelaide introduction

Firebird Forensics promo

Duration:
1:39
Video transcript -
Firebird Forensics promo

Paul Rissman discusses the project

Paul Rissman interview - the importance of composition in music education

Duration:
1:38
Video transcript -
Paul Rissman interview - the importance of composition in music education

Paul Rissman interview - composing and generating music ideas

Duration:
1:29
Video transcript -
Paul Rissman interview - composing and generating music ideas

Paul Rissman interview - expectations of the journey

Duration:
2:13
Video transcript -
Paul Rissman interview - expectations of the journey

Paul Rissman interview - students from a variety of musical backgrounds

Duration:
2:08
Video transcript -
Paul Rissman interview - students from a variety of musical backgrounds

Paul Rissman interview - combining dance and music

Duration:
1:54
Video transcript -
Paul Rissman interview - combining dance and music

In this resource

The focused study of 'The Firebird' provides teachers and students with the opportunity to collaborate through a unique composition and performance project.

'The Firebird' is suitable for students in Years 10 – 11 (Stages 5 & 6) and is relevant to the Australian Curriculum learning areas of The Arts. The information and resources provided addresses the cross-curriculum general capabilities of creative and critical thinking through the composition process. Within the teamwork focus of the learning activities provided, personal and social capabilities are also addressed.

Teachers should consult the NSW Board of Studies for details on their currently endorsed curriculum and syllabus subject material.

Music activities

'Firebird Forensics' gave 30 music students from government school students the opportunity to dissect Stravinsky’s 'The Firebird' and expand and explore their own composition skills and ideas under the guidance of Paul Rissmann. At the conclusion of the project, the students presented their work in a public performance.

Students explored thematic material, scales, modes, rhythms and structures from The Firebird and use them to create a new group composition.

View music activities

Dance activities

For dance students, the aim of this project was to collaborate, choreograph and perform a dance work that responds to Stravinsky’s 'The Firebird Suite' (1919). Under the guidance of choreographer Josef Brown, the students structured their choreographic work using various tools and types of stimuli.

The students were also required to present a comparative report on Stravinsky’s composition and their own socio-historical context.

View dance activities

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