This is an outline of our education project. The full resources will be available, and free to download, from Septemeber 1st 2016.
Somme100 FILM is an international project to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme with 100 live orchestral performances of the iconic 1916 film The Battle of the Somme accompanied by composer Laura Rossi’s acclaimed score, commissioned by the Imperial War Museum.
To help young people make sense of the battle and to put the film into context, the Somme100 FILM project team is putting together a series of education projects for secondary schools called Sounding the Somme. The project is aimed at secondary school music students in Key Stage 3 4 & 5
Sounding the Somme will contain three projects based on contrasting themes connected to WW1. Essentially the projects are about creativity and music, giving pupils an opportunity to respond to the film The Battle of the Somme by writing their own music and learning about writing music for film. There will also be an opportunity to explore other creative subjects, such as art, drama and poetry during the projects.
The projects all complement each other and schools can choose to do just one, or all three, depending on time available. There is also a short historical introductory session about the battle to start the projects off.
The main aims of the education projects are to:
- gain a deeper understanding of the Battle of the Somme 100 years on
- respond to historical materials in a creative way
- write music and learn about composing music for film
- create complimentary artwork, poetry and/or drama
To support teachers delivering the projects, a package of online resources will go live on the Somme100 FILM website in September 2016.
The resources will include:
- a list of teacher training sessions and Somme100 FILM concerts across the country
- downloadable resources for teachers containing handouts, fact files, lesson plans and materials
- digital content compiled and created by the project team featuring composer Laura Rossi and staff from the Imperial War Museum
- a place to upload work created by schools and a digital sharing platform
- links to the national curriculum and how to implement interdisciplinary learning
Sounding the Somme will also deliver teacher training sessions to support schools and youth orchestras taking part in a Somme100 FILM centenary tour performance. These sessions will give teaching staff an opportunity to engage with the educational content, to share best practice and gain tips and ideas for the classroom. To find out where these sessions are taking place please visit the Somme100 FILM website. https://www.somme100film.com/
A basic outline of the projects is listed below.
Before beginning any creative process, particularly when writing film music, it is important to understand the subject matter. In this short introductory session, pupils will explore the Battle of the Somme regardless of their previous knowledge and experience of WW1 and history. What were the key facts, why did it take place and why was it one of the bloodiest battles in British history? How did this iconic film grip the nation in 1916 and bring the front-line alive to people back home?
1. Somme Unseen
This project will focus on how composers write for film, the processes that take place, how to use music to create effects and bring a film alive, particularly a silent film. The Imperial War Museum will provide three short clips of footage from the Somme especially for this project and pupils will use these clips to compose their music. We will also explore some of the technicalities of working in the music film industry today, such as scoring to film by using dedicated software programmes to synchronize images and music together.
2. Kit Bag
This project focuses on objects and possessions that soldiers took to war in their kit bags, and pupils will discuss what they would take with them if they were travelling to WW1. What value are possessions and reminders of home in times like this? The possessions selected will form the basis of a score for piece of music. This project will also reference the famous WW1 marching song Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit-Bag, and Smile, Smile, Smile by brothers George Henry and Felix Powell and music from Laura Rossi’s score.
3. Power of Pipes
A lone piper has appeared in Scottish military history for hundreds of years and today features in war memorial services across the world. In WW1, pipers were sent to battle to boost morale with their rousing music and to intimidate the enemy. What are the characteristics of lamenting melodies and how can we commemorate the dead with music? This project will explore writing melodies and use inspiration from the WW1 pipe tune called The Battle of the Somme by William Lawrie and music from Laura Rossi’s score.
Please note that these projects are provisional and may change before publication.