Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson, students will orchestrate the fanfare they have composed in previous Fanfare lessons. They will revisit the concept of Tone Colour to recall how musical instruments can create mood and feeling, then make instrumental choices based on how they intend their audience to feel. Students will then use notation software or hand write the instrumental parts for their own short 30 second attention grabbing piece of music which they can then enter into the Fanfare Competition. 

This 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 recorded by the Australian Youth Orchestra and played in venues around Australia 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 intentions:

  • Students will understand how to orchestrate a piece of music.
  • Students will understand why orchestration is important for their musical piece to come alive.
  • Students will apply creativity to select instrumentation that reflects the mood of their fanfare.

21st century skills:

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 7 & 8 Music

  • Structure compositions by combining and manipulating the elements of music using notation (ACAMUM095)
  • Experiment with texture and timbre in sound sources using aural skills (ACAMUM092)

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 outcomes: MUS4.4, MUS4.5, MUS4.6, MUS4.7, MUS4.7, MUS5.4, MUS5.5, MUS5.6

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking

Relevant parts of Year 7 and 8 achievement standards: Students manipulate the elements of music and stylistic conventions to compose music. They interpret, rehearse and perform songs and instrumental pieces in unison and in parts, demonstrating technical and expressive skills. They use aural skills, music terminology and symbols to recognise, memorise and notate features, such as melodic patterns in music they perform and compose.

Relevant parts of Year 9 and 10 achievement standards: Students interpret, rehearse and perform solo and ensemble repertoire in a range of forms and styles. They interpret and perform music with technical control, expression and stylistic understanding. They use aural skills to recognise elements of music and memorise aspects of music such as pitch and rhythm sequences. They use knowledge of the elements of music, style and notation to compose, document and share their music.

Unit of work: Artology Fanfare Competition

Time required: 120 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – to be able to deliver this lesson, you’ll require knowledge of instrument placement on a score and registers for sound. Transposing skills may also be required if notation software not available.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – printed, one copy per student. Device capable of presenting a video to the class, devices with notation software (such as Sibelius, Musition) – enough for one per student, whiteboard, manuscript paper, headphones, pencils and erasers.

Keywords: fanfare, instruments, orchestrating, arrangement, key, composition, ensemble, transposing, score, composition, melody, harmony, notation.

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


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions:

  • Students will understand how to orchestrate a piece of music.
  • Students will understand why orchestration is important for their musical piece to come alive.
  • Students will apply creativity to select instrumentation that reflects the mood of their Fanfare.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • ... understand the different sounds each instrument brings to an ensemble.
  • ...articulate the type of sound they want for their piece, and choose the appropriate instrument.
  • ...blend instruments together to create one sound that works well for their composition.


Teacher content information:

Artology Fanfare Competition 2016-17 (

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 involv

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Can you make your music come alive?

What is Orchestration?
Orchestration means you choose who plays what - delegating which instrument gets the melody, who carries the harmony/ostinatos and which percussion instruments add highlights to your fanfare.

Short Score Writing
As part of the entering the Fanfare competition, students are asked to submit a short score or a piano reduction of their work. If students are having difficulty creating the short score version and would prefer only to submit a full score they will not be penalised. Artology will accept student's full score as their submission. Here are a few useful links about short score writing: 

1. Take your mind back to the Tone Colour

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