3 Modes of Sound:
Have students go outside and listen to sounds and write down what they hear. Then they come back in and we write down the sounds on the board. Then ask students to put the sounds in categories, before sharing the 3 modes of sound: casual, semantic and reduced.
Explain that sounds are usually described based on causation: dog barking, car screeching breaks, etc. Ask students to go back outside and record sounds without referring to causation.
Wrapping up: point out that it’s important to think about sound as more than causality because sound is often used in media for their semiotic connotations, affect, timbre, color, etc.
I got this idea from Karen Collins’ amazing article, Sound Design for Media.
Sonic Mood Board
Show students a visual mood board so that they get the gist of what this is and how it works. Then show them where to get free sound effects and ask them to create a sonic mood board. Each student could be assigned an emotion, or choose an emotion, but we wouldn’t want every student doing the same one. Students who present the sound board in any form. I should check and see if they can insert the sounds on their blogs?
In Collins’ piece, she teaches students to create effects before doing this assignment. She has a good example in the piece of a sonic board that seems to portray urgency and fear, like the sound of an ambulance. These sounds are layered. I’m not sure how easy it will be teach students to import the sounds and add effects.
During the next class period, students would have to guess the emotion portrayed.
Story through Sound Effects
This might be going a bit too far for our purposes as it seems like it would take at least a week, but I could ask students to create a story based on one of 5 different narratives (arrive home, dog barking, vase breaks OR walking down street, start to cross, almost hit by a car, etc).
***Need a lesson on creating your own sounds. Need a device that will allow them to record sound accurately and without outside noises…