Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Retired AFL star Adam Goodes is known to many for his resilient journey in the face of detrimental treatment by AFL spectators and the media beginning in 2013.

In this lesson, students will experiment with a variety of composition techniques to create a film score for a short clip from The Final Quarter. Students consider the value of using pre-existing material, loops and melodic themes when composing for film. Students develop skills in the use of digital recording and editing software and techniques and reflect on their compositions.

Using only archival footage aired at the time, The Final Quarter holds a mirror to Australia and is an opportunity to reconsider what happened on and off the football field. Learn more about the film here.

We highly recommend that students view the film in its entirety before participating in subsequent lessons. Our Watching the Film lessons are designed to support you in facilitating this process. Given the content, it is also important for teachers to communicate with parents and guardians of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students before playing the film and/or engaging with the teaching and learning resources. 

Note: This film may not be suitable for viewing by all young people. Teachers are advised to use their discretion when deciding whether to show this film. If teaching in a context with a high proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, it is imperative that guidance is sought from the Principal and Aboriginal Education Officer (or equivalent) prior to screening the film.

Learning intentions:

  • Students understand how to combine musical elements to create mood.
  • Students understand how to apply different composition techniques in film scores.
  • Students understand the benefit of using melodic themes in film scores.
  • Students understand how musical loops work.
  • Students can use digital equipment to record and edit music.

21st century skills: 

CommunicatingCreative ThinkingCritical ThinkingDigital LiteracyProblem SolvingTeam Work 

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Years 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)
  • Structure compositions by combining and manipulating the elements of music using notation (ACAMUM095)

Syllabus outcomes: MUS4.4, MUS4.7, MUS4.8

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking

Cross-curriculum priority: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures (OI.6, OI,9)

Relevant parts of Years 7 & 8 achievement standards: 

Students identify and analyse how the elements of music are used in different styles and apply this knowledge in their performances and compositions.

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.

Topic: Learning Through Film, Social Issues, Indigenous Education, Creative Thinking

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work: The Final Quarter – Composing For Film – Music – Years 7-10

Time required: 100 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – support students with activities and the use of relevant software, applications or instruments.

Resources required:

  • Device capable of presenting a video to the class
  • Equipment capable of recording and editing sound and music files
  • Selection of sound loops and/or applications (see lesson preparation notes)
  • Student Worksheets – one copy per student.

Keywords: music, elements, musical elements, The Final Quarter, film, documentary, Adam Goodes, score, film score, soundtrack, compose, composition, Garage Band, Audacity, recording.

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 understand…

  • ... how to combine musical elements to create mood.
  • ... how to apply different composition techniques in film scores.
  • ... the benefit of using melodic themes in film scores.
  • ... how musical loops work.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … research and select pre-existing instrumental material to create appropriate mood in a film score.
  • … notate melodic themes.
  • … use digital equipment to record and edit music.

Teacher content information:

This lesson will be centred around the acclaimed 2019 documentary, The Final Quarter. This film explores the detrimental treatment of AFL star Adam Goodes and the media and community responses. An Aboriginal player, and number 37 for the Sydney Swans, Adam Goodes was singled out for verbal abuse, booing and jeering by spectators from a range of clubs during the last three years of his career in 2013 - 2015, until he retired from the game. 

Because he was one of the

- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought starter: “In a film score, the last thing you want to do is take people out of the movie. The music is secondary.” ~ Stewart Copeland

Film Scoring Basics

1. Watch this clip from The Final Quarter (note it has had the music track removed):

Stan Grant_minus music trk (

2. Use the internet to find a piece of existing instrumental music that you could use as the soundtrack for this clip.

Guide Tracks

3. Play the video where director Ian Darling and editor Sally Fryer discuss how they used a 'guide track' for The Final Quarter:

TFQ - The Final Quarter Sound Track (

4. Listen to a short excerpt from the Philip Glass piece so you can hear the mood and style of this music:

Complete Philip Glass Day 20 : The Fog of War (Horvath's home concert) (

Notating a Theme

5. Watch this clip from The Final Quarter (note it has had the music track removed):

Sam Newman non-v

- or - to view worksheets

Leave your Feedback

We appreciate your feedback. Let us know what you like or don't like about this activity:

Sorry. You must be logged in to view this form.