Music KS3 / GCSE: Khalil Madovi on 'Short Ride in a Fast Machine' by John Adams

Khalil Madovi from CBBC's '4 O'Clock Club' demonstrates his enthusiasm for 'Short Ride in a Fast Machine' by John Adams.

He explains why it is his favourite piece of classical music, why he enjoys music of this genre and how it captured his imagination.

Khalil explains some of the historical context behind the tune, and how the instruments and the rhythm make the piece what it is.

This short film is from the BBC series, Play On!

Teacher Notes

You could use this short film when teaching composition techniques.

Ask your students to listen to the song explain what it makes them think of.

Group students, ask them to design a machine.

Ask them to think of the noises that it could make.

Challenge them to create a composition using percussion instruments which re-creates the sounds of their machine.

Students could compose their own version of this piece.

Choose an unusual percussion instrument to start the piece and a distinctive rhythm.

Every subsequent instrument that enters needs to copy that rhythm.

For the pitched instruments start on a note and play this as a repeated pattern and then play up a scale in stages as the piece progresses.

Some students could remain on the starting note; creating harmony, dissonance and consonance throughout the music.

Think of a strong end, either stopping suddenly or getting gradually quieter as the journey goes into the distance.

This short film is useful to encourage students to explore and develop their own taste in classical music and to highlight the huge range of classical listening experiences available to young people.

Curriculum Notes

This short film will be relevant for teaching music at KS3 and KS4/GCSE in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and National 4 and National 5 in Scotland.

It appears in OCR, Edexcel, AQA, WJEC CCEA and SQA.

More from Play On!

Myleene Klass on 'The Four Seasons' by Antonio Vivaldi
Barney Harwood on 'Beethoven's 5th Symphony'
Katie Melua on 'Mars, the Bringer of War' by Gustav Holst
Martin Dougan on 'Zadok the Priest' by George Frideric Handel
Dev Griffin on 'HandsFree' by Anna Meredith
Danielle Peazer on 'Dance of the Knights' by Sergei Prokofiev
Dan Starkey on 'Night on the Bare Mountain' by Mussorgsky
Jameela Jamil on 'Fanfare for the Common Man' by Aaron Copland
Dionne Bromfield on 'Rhapsody in Blue' by George Gershwin