Music KS3: Composing a silent film soundtrack

A group of children help composer Lauren Hayes make a soundtrack for Kid Carpet’s silent film.

They first study how music manipulates emotions and conveys mood in films.

The group then use electronic sounds to match the movement and mood of the characters on screen, recording and manipulating the sounds effects on a computer, to produce their very own soundtrack.

This is from the series: Compose Yourself

Teacher Notes

Students could be provided with, or make their own, short silent film.

They could use a mobile phone or camcorder to shoot the film, before uploading it onto a computer for editing. Ideally, it would be a simple clip with obvious contrasts in mood, character and action.

Encourage pupils to select sounds to accompany the film and think about how they should be arranged.

They should pay careful attention to all aspects of the plot, characters and emotions.

In the clip, the group plays 'live' to accompany the film.

There are advantages to this, most obviously in terms of synchronisation of sound and image, but by using computer software, the sounds can be recorded in time with the film.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching Music at KS3 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Also 2nd and 3rd level in Scotland.

More from the series: Compose Yourself

Music KS3: Finding sounds around you to create music
Music KS3: Taking inspiration from your surroundings to compose music
Music KS3: Using everyday objects to create music
Music KS3: Composing a piece of music using unpitched percussion