Mary’s Lost Her Way!

Mary’s Lost Her Way!

Steven Archambault
[email protected]
Turkey Hill Middle School

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:



Middle School



Computer, Sequencing Software (Music Shop), Playback Cabability, Floppy Disks


45 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

This is an introductory lesson. Students should have basic computer skills. Knowledge of “Variation” is helpful.

NAfME Standards of 1994 Addressed:

NAfME Standards of 1994: Composing and Arranging Music within specified guidelines.

NAfME 2014: Creating 

NAfME Standards of 1994: Listening to, analyzing and describing music.

NAfME 2014: Responding 

NAfME Standards of 1994: Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts.

NAfME 2014: Connections


Computer, Playback capabilities (headphones), Musicshop (or suitable sequencing software), floppy disks. Teacher has pre-set up each computer with software and preconstructed MIDI files. Instruction sheet (see below. I use the piano roll view.


This is an introduction to music sequencing software. Students should be told that they are being asked to provide sample work to a major motion pitcure studio. This studio is looking for someone to provide and adapt music for a new movie. Successive activities introduce new controls and features. Through this task students will understand how to; open a MIDI file, listen, change timbres, sound lenght, sound pitch and how to save a MIDI file. Student work will be assessed on being able to complete the assigned task and submit the file on a disk.


1. Introduce concept of being hired at a Major Movie Studio. The scene uses the Nursery Rhyme “Mary Had A Little Lamb”. The Producers are looking for a new, novel, bizarre etc, version to include as a sound track. I usually mention a paycheck amount and the possibility of a long term contract.

2. Students (individually or in groups)are assigned a computer
3. Step A: Load and Play a Song FIle
* Choose Open from the File Menu
* A standard Macintosh Open File dialog box will appear. Locate the file “Mary Had a Little Lamb” in the open dialog box. Double click on the file name. This should open the song “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”
* Click the play button to start playing and listen to the song

Step B: Changing the Sound This software allows you to change the “sound” with the click of a mouse.
* Click and hold on the “trumpet” button found on the left of the screen. You will see over 128 different sounds listed. With the mouse still held down drag to a different sound and release. You have now selected a different sound. Play it back. (click on “Play” and listen). Do this several times with different sounds.

* You can also change the length , pitch and location of the sound. Move the cursor to a note you would like to change. The cursor changes shape depending upon its location on the note. (There should be charts on the board that visually show what the cursor looks like ie.
<+> = allows you to move sounds left and right (right edge of sound)
+<> = allows you to make a sound longer or shorter (left edge of sound)

+ = allow you to change the pitch higher or lower
V (middle of the sound)

* Experiment with all of these features.

Project #1
Create a variation of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” by changing
* sound
* Location (left & Right)
* Lenght
* Pitch (high and Low)

Step C Saving your song
When you have a variation that you find interesting comleted choose “Save as” from the file menu. Type in your class and group number and the phrase Project #1.
(for example “B1 Group A Project #1”)
Click Save. Your file is now stored and ready for me to listen to.

They are now ready for Project #2


Instructor listen to each project.

4. Studio Composer/Arranger –
* Has saved file correctly
* Has completely changed – Assigned sounds
– Location of sounds
– Length of sounds
– Pitch

3. Freelance Arranger
* Has minor problems with some of the above challenges
but has made most of the changes correctly

2. Student Intern
* Has major problems with some or all of the
challenges. Group needs some guidance and has
made few changes correctly.

1. Hacker!!
* Was unable to complete any of the tasks.

Follow Up:

Project #2 Creating an original composition
(skill – adding notes to a blank piano roll)

Project #3 Creating a musical “Sandwich”
(skill – using more than one track, layering, mutiple

Project #4 Entering sounds using the keyboard
(skill – using a keyboard to enter notes)

Final Project Propose various movie scenes and have students create an original sound track)

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