This unit uses the characteristics of animals as a starting point for student compositions. Duration is about 15 one-hour lessons. This unit could also be used as a starting point for Year 11 (NCEA Level 1) compositions.

Students are introduced to and/or revise musical elements and compositional devices in several pieces of music. They then select elements to use in their own compositions which they complete in pairs.


The music used in this power point is:
“The Little White Donkey”
by Jacques Ibert

The focus is on:
Melodic Range


Forms studied in this power point are:
Verse/Chorus Form
“A Slice of Heaven” Dave Dobbyn
Binary Form
“Sellinger’s Round” William Byrd
Ternary Form
“Moonlight Serenade” Glenn Miller
Rondo Form
“Fossils” Saint Saens

Samples of Student Workbook

Comp overview

This is an overview only. A more detailed task comes later in the teaching programme.

Part of the resource has the students viewing and listening to the music of an original Tom an Jerry cartoon from the 1940s and writing their own music to synchronise with the action. This activity is peer assessed.

The students also listen to different performances of “The Flight of the Bumble Bee” by Rimsky Korsakov and focus exclusively on the importance of timbre in composing descriptive music.

Comp starting

Throughout the resource, there is a focus on literacy.

As part of the final task, students are required to explain how they used musical elements and compositional devices to describe the animals they have chosen to musically describe

The resource consists of:
Unit plan
Student workbook (30 pages) and includes composition pre-tasks, tasks, assessments and schedules
Three teaching interactive power points
URLs for video footage
Teacher notes

Because of audio and video content within the power points,
it is not possible for the files to be sent electronically.

On payment they will be dispatched to the purchaser within 5 working days.
The entire resource will mailed on a CD.

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