Activity Introduction

artology-conductingQuick summary: This lesson is designed for students to learn about musical layers and texture by composing a fanfare. They are encouraged to start writing their own short 30 second attention grabbing piece of music to enter into the Fanfare Competition.

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 texture, counter-melody and imitation when creating their own attention grabbing music.
  • Students build their capacity to be creative and express ideas musically.
  • Students learn to construct call and response using musical ideas

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, Information and communication technology (ICT) capability.

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

Year 7 & 8 Music

  • Experiment with texture and timbre in sound sources using aural skills (ACAMUM092)
  • Develop musical ideas, such as mood, by improvising, combining and manipulating the elements of music (ACAMUM093)

Year 9 & 10 Music

  • Improvise and arrange music using aural recognition of texture, dynamics and expression to manipulate the elements of music to explore personal style in composition and performance (ACAMUM099).
  • Manipulate combinations of the elements of music in a range of styles using technology and notation (ACAMUM100).

Syllabus OutcomesMUS4.7, MUS4.8, MUS4.4, MUS5.4, MUS5.5, MUS5.6, MUS5.4, MUS5.5, MUS5.6.

Time needed: 60 minutes.

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

Digital technology opportunities: If music cannot be played on live instruments, music publishing software (e.g. Finale or Sibelius) is handy for testing out counter-melodies and canons.

Resources required: YouTube, computer, speakers, whiteboard, free booklet from Fanfare Competition DIY Student Toolkit.

Key words: fanfare, composition, counter-melody, canon, round, texture, imitation, partner song.

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


Teacher Worksheet

artology-musicTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: This lesson provides the opportunity for students to explore counter-melodies and imitation, and to then experiment with each concept through their own compositions.

Teacher content information:

Artology Video (

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, musical works themselves often begin, transition, or end with fanfares or fanfare-like themes. The term is also used symbolically, such as to describe occasions that are greatly publicised, even whe

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