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Making Modern Noise

Jazz artist, Chris Coyle, and his ensemble open students’ eyes to the world of a professional composer, improviser, and songwriter while highlighting the ability of visual art to influence and inspire original music.

Pennsylvania Curriculum Standards

(A=Assembly; W=Workshop; R=Residency)

3.4 Science, Technology and Engineering Education A, W, R

9.1 Production, Performance and Exhibition of Dance, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts A, W, R

9.3 Critical Response W, R

15.4 Learning Through Experience A, W, R

25.3 Pro-Social Relationships with Adults W, R

25.4 Pro-Social Relationships with Peers W, R

Art Form(s): Music, Media

Genre: Jazz

Instrument(s): Percussion, Bass, Vibraphone, Keyboard

Assembly, Workshop, and Residency Offerings

Making Modern Noise Assembly

Outside Sound aims to connect various art forms (including visual art, film, and music itself) to music composition and improvisation. Using examples that both engage and involve students, program director Chris Coyle and his ensemble demonstrate how different arts and mediums can influence and inspire each other. Additionally, essential music concepts and techniques are touched upon (singing, scales, chords) and the actual definitions of composition and improvisation are investigated.

The Outside Sound ensemble begins with a short performance set to visual art displayed (if tech is provided) on a projector screen. After introducing the ensemble and explaining the mission of the project, Chris involves students in singing or performing notes, scales and chords and exampling how these sounds can be applied or likened to visual elements such as color, line and space. This is then tied into the topic of music composition. Next, a visual art example will be shared which the students then perform alongside to, assisted by the ensemble. Moving on from visual elements, the concepts of theme, story and emotion are examined using a clip from a silent film accompanied by the ensemble’s music. This is a fun and entertaining demonstration that evolves to include students who will then use percussion, vocal sound effects and etc. to respond to the action on-screen and to create “foley” (the reproduction of everyday sounds that are added to film and video). This is tied into the topic of improvisation. Lastly, the ensemble will explain how music itself can serve as inspiration for new music - how it can even be “recycled” through arrangement. A rearranged popular theme will be performed to demonstrate this idea.

Best for: K-12  •  Students with Disabilities


Also available as a Workshop or Residency!

About the Artist

Featuring: Outside Sound

Chris Coyle is a bassist, composer and music educator based in Philadelphia. He has both performed and taught in a wide variety of settings and specializes in jazz, classical, world and experimental music. With the Outside Sound project, Chris has had the chance to teach, perform and present extensively in Philadelphia, Boston and Minneapolis. The OS Ensemble has held numerous assemblies and workshops at schools throughout the Philadelphia area and has notably performed at local venues such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Free Library of Philadelphia. Through this work, Chris has also taught and collaborated with artists with disabilities at numerous art centers serving disabilities communities.

Joined Musicopia: 2013

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