Activity Introduction

artology-musicQuick summary: This lesson is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills to enter the Fanfare Competition. They will build their understanding of orchestral score conventions and short score composing through studying past examples of winning fanfare entries. Students will explore the competition details and complete an entry in their own time

Fanfare logoThis lesson is part of the Fanfare Competition unit. The unit is designed for students to build their aural and technical skills while exploring music as an art form through listening, composing and performing. Students are encouraged to apply their learning by planning and organising a composition for the Fanfare Competition. The competition encourages young people aged 12‐21 years to write a new work to be played in the Sydney Opera House to replace the ‘cue bells’ for audiences to take their seats. It is a wonderful way to showcase young artists and musicians, and encourage creativity in young people.

Learning goals:

  • Students consider the role of fanfare and create their own attention-grabbing music.
  • Students build their capacity to be creative and express ideas musically.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

Year 7 & 8 Music

  • Analyse composers’ use of the elements of music and stylistic features when listening to and interpreting music (ACAMUR097).

Year 9 & 10 Music

  • Evaluate a range of music and compositions to inform and refine their own compositions and performances (ACAMUR104).

Syllabus OutcomesMUS5.7, MUS5.8, MUS5.9, MUS5.10, MUS4.7, MUS4.8, MUS4.10.

Time needed:  60 – 120 minutes.

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – teacher requires musical knowledge to guide student ideas.

Digital technology opportunities: Music publishing software (e.g. Finale or Sibelius) might be used to time and finalise composition, then create an MP3 version.

Resources required: Y-Chart Worksheet, Beethoven_Symphony No.3_Mov 1_piano score_pp1-2, Beethoven_Symphony No.3_Mov 1_full score_pp1-5, YouTube, computer, speakers, whiteboard, Student Worksheet, manuscript. Fanfare Competition DIY Student Toolkit.

Key words: fanfare, composition, full score, short score, attention-grabbing, orchestra, percussion, competition.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

artology-orchestra-3Teacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: To provide students with information regarding the Fanfare Competition in order to enable them to complete an entry in their own time. This includes competition details, past examples of winning entries, a working definition of a ‘fanfare’, orchestral score conventions and short score composing.

Teacher content information:

Artology Video (

Introduction to a Fanfare (

What is a fanfare?
A fanfare is normally a relatively short piece of music that is typically played by trumpets, cornets, french horns or other brass instruments, often accompanied by percussion. It is usually intended for important social purposes, such as ceremonial events involving important people or animals; exclamations of significant activities during an event (such as the introduction and closing); or to precede announcements with the purpose of gaining the attention of the audience. Similarly, musi

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Student Worksheet

sydney-opera-house-heroThought starter: Imagine hearing your music played at the Sydney Opera House. How would that feel?

The Fanfare Competition encourages young people to write a new work to be played in the Sydney Opera House to replace the ‘cue bells’ for audiences to take their seats. During this lesson you will learn skills and knowledge to complete an entry in your own time.

Part 1 - These compositions were the winners of last years' Fanfare Competition. Think about the elements of music that may have impressed the competition judges. Share your thoughts with the class.


1) Working with your partner, write a definition of a 'fanfare'?


Part 2 -

1) Your teacher will play you 'Fanfare for the Common Man' by Copland. Fill in the 'Y-Chart Worksheet' identifying what the piece of music:

  • Looks like
  • Sounds like
  • Feels like

2) What are the strengths of this performance or composition?


Part 3 - Your teacher will play you some fan

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