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Bing Bang Boom

Bing Bang Boom

| 24 min

This short 1969 documentary follows acclaimed innovator and composer R. Murray Schafer as he visits a Grade 7 music classroom to teach students that all the sounds of life are a part of music. Schafer’s provocations help these curious learners discover music without instruments or painfully learned notes and scales. Schafer encourages the students to listen to every sound around them and then transform what they hear—voices, steps, breath—into music. The fun-filled result is a convincing illustration for educators: children learn best when it’s from the inside out.

  • director
    Joan Henson
  • editing
    Joan Henson
  • producer
    Joseph Koenig
  • photography
    Tony Ianzelo
  • sound
    Claude Hazanavicius
    Jean-Guy Normandin
  • sound editing
    Jean-Pierre Joutel
  • re-recording
    George Croll
    Jean-Pierre Joutel


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Ages 6 to 12

Arts Education - Music
Family Studies/Home Economics - Adolescent Development
Family Studies/Home Economics - Child Development

What reasons might exist for why adults and children identify different sounds? Murray Schafer uses the phrase, “Teach on the verge of peril.” What do you think this means? Implement one of Doug Friesen’s* lessons using Murray Schafer’s concepts. For example, study the soundscapes of your daily commute. Attempt to avoid sounds that you don’t like by changing your path or adjusting your departure time. Consider modifying your commute so you only listen to sounds you enjoy. Or, search for the interesting sound objects (boing, click clack, etc.) and use them to compose an ABA piece (opening section, a new section, and back to the opening). If possible, record your piece and share it.

*Note: Doug Friesen is a contemporary of Schafer and has worked closely with him. He is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto/OISE.

Bing Bang Boom
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