An Intro To Film Scoring: Same Scene 5 Ways

An Intro To Film Scoring: Same Scene 5 Ways

An Intro To Film Scoring: Same Scene 5 Ways


Updated September 2016 to include student worksheet download (see below)


I’ve been running a number of film scoring workshops lately and have been on the lookout for a video that shows the same scene with different styles of music which I can use as a starting point for discussing the effect of music in movies. So far, I’ve only been able to find this video on Youtube, which depicts a scene from the TV series Heroes with 12 different styles of music. It’s effective and the right idea, but it’s a little too violent for general school use!

So, I decided to make my own video instead. I found an instructional film from the Prelinger Archives which shows children how to walk to school safely (Sid Davis Productions, 1964) and edited a small portion so that I was left with a 25 second clip. Then I chose a range of royalty-free music styles from Kevin Macleod’s Incompetech website where you can search by feel or by genre. Although it was hard to narrow the list down (and difficult to avoid choosing too many scary options!), I ended up with 5 contrasting styles of music – including an “odd one out”.

I tested the video out yesterday during a workshop with a group of Grade 6 girls from Melbourne Girls Grammar School. They each took out a piece of paper and wrote down 2 or 3 words about the effect of each style on the movie, or how the music made them feel. They also correctly identified the odd one out! Then we moved on to creating soundtracks from scratch in GarageBand.

The video is not perfect and I may do another version one day, but I think it will suffice for now :).  Of course, you’re welcome to use it in your own classes if you think it’s useful.


 Download the student worksheet (or Google Form)

Would you like a printable student worksheet for this lesson? Or access to a Google Form where students can fill in their answers digitally?  It’s perfect for a short listening activity to introduce a film scoring unit and would make an ideal substitute music teacher lesson.

I have put together two versions of a student response form:

  • A printable version
  • A digital version using Google Forms/Spreadsheets


Intro to film scoring music teacher substitute activity

Click on the download button below and we’ll send the student worksheet and access to the form –  straight to your email inbox. You’ll also receive weekly music tech tips and news (if you don’t already). You can unsubscribe at any time.

Click here to download


Want more? Online courses: step-by-step film scoring with students

Film scoring is a fantastic project for middle school students. If you’re interested in doing some film scoring with your students but you’re not sure where to start, I have online courses inside the Midnight Music Community that cover the step-by-step process using GarageBand, Mixcraft, Acid Music Studio and Sibelius.

By |2018-09-08T07:03:00+00:00June 8th, 2011|Macs and PCs, Middle and High School Ideas|11 Comments

About the Author:

I love to simplify technology for music teachers. I help teachers from all around the world through the Midnight Music Community - an online professional development community where teachers can take online courses, ask questions and receive personalised help for the music tech goals.


  1. Bertie June 26, 2011 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    Your story was really infrmaotive, thanks!

  2. […] different music scores (after combing through the internet, we’d found a perfect example here), and asked the students to write down how changing the music made each clip different, and how […]

  3. […] I’ll continue to update this page as new resources come to hand. When searching for resources to use with students, I would advise searching ahead of class time because it’s difficult to guarantee the “appropriateness” of the material on these sites. Turning on “safe mode” on sites like Youtube or (an image search tool) doesn’t necessarily mean that the search results will be appropriate for your class. Copyright and Creative Commons: many of the multimedia resources listed below are Creative Commons-licensed (CC) which means that the creator gives permission up-front for their music, image or video to be used, with only a few minor conditions attached. Sound Effects and Loops Music Video for Film Scoring Projects Images. Multimedia Resources List | Midnight Music. An Intro To Film Scoring: Same Scene 5 Ways | Midnight Music. […]

  4. […] Total Sensory Immersion. An Intro To Film Scoring: Same Scene 5 Ways | Midnight Music. […]

  5. Eva Frize September 14, 2016 at 10:28 am - Reply

    Hi Katie,

    This is great. Thanks so much. Our music faculty at school find all your posts and links etc so helpful.

    I recently found this on youtube …. and this guy does several examples using different music for the same scene.

    Stefan Laustsen is his name..If you put it into youtube you will find quite a few.

    Thanks again!

    • Katie September 15, 2016 at 6:30 am - Reply

      Ha! That’s great Eva. Thanks so much for sharing. I can’t believe I haven’t come across his videos before. I’ll be adding them to my collection 🙂

  6. Blake September 14, 2016 at 9:36 pm - Reply

    This is excellent. I am doing a mini 4-day course on composing film music using GarageBand. The whole school will take it at some point during the year. This lesson will be a great addition to my 1st day activities. Thank you!

    • Katie September 15, 2016 at 6:27 am - Reply

      You’re welcome Blake! Hope it goes well 🙂

  7. Jacqueline Wong September 15, 2016 at 10:50 am - Reply

    This is the one I like using 🙂
    Pirates of the Caribbean.
    Always love additional resources though, thanks!

    • Katie September 25, 2016 at 11:22 am - Reply

      Yes – I’ve shown that one in workshops too. Lots of fun 🙂

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