Updated: Aug 9, 2022
Sally Gelardin, EdD
Listen to variations of John William’s Harry Potter theme song ("Hedwig’s Theme")
Choose the interpretation of the Happy Potter theme song that you like (or like best) and explain why
Individuals of a variety of abilities, ages, stages, backgrounds, and preferences. This is an intergenerational activity.
Brief Description of Activity
Like telling a story, there are different ways to play or sing a musical piece. We can sharpen our listening and other brain skills by listening to different interpretations of a musical piece, choosing the interpretation that we like, and explaining what we like about a particular interpretation of the musical piece that we chose.
Streaming Music App, such as YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and Qobuz. YouTube or Spotify, at no cost, are the easiest to use.
Devices, such as tv monitor, computer, iPAD, iPhone, and other handheld devices, to play different renditions of a musical piece.
Precautions and Adaptions needed for different strengths and capabiliti
Some individuals may not be able to define “Earworm” (musical piece that plays over and over again in your mind) or choose the interpretation that they like with words, but may be able to choose the interpretation that they like using their other senses, such as by dancing to the music, clapping their hands, stamping their feet, singing, and expressing their appreciation through facial and other body gestures. I would be interested in exploring how this activity can be experienced by folks with varying degrees of hearing impairment.
Environment and Set-Up
A quiet environment without distractions is best so that the listener/s can concentrate on listening to a musical piece played or sung in different ways. This activity can be used with groups of varying sizes and with individuals one-on-one or by themselves, depending on their ability.
2 minutes Introduction to Activity: Let’s listen to the musical theme from the Harry Potter film (Hedwig’s Theme, composed by John Williams).
2 minutes Purpose/Objectives: Like telling a story, there are different ways to sing or play a musical piece. We can sharpen our listening skills by listening to different interpretations of a musical piece, such as the Harry Potter musical theme, and choosing the interpretation that we prefer.
2 minutes Instructions: LISTEN to variations of an Earworm, such as the Harry Potter theme song. After listening carefully to a few variations, you can CHOOSE the interpretation that you like. At the end of this activity, I shall ask you three questions: (1) What is a “Earworm” ? (2) What Earworm did you listen to? (3) Which interpretation of that Earworm did you like best? Why?
10 to 20 minutes: Listen to Variations of an Earworm, such as the Harry Potter theme song (Hedwig’s theme).
7 minutes Group Discussion: Participants share with another person or a smaller group of 3 to 5 people, which interpretation of that Musical Story they liked best and why.
10 minutes Group Presentations: Partners or small groups share with the larger group why they chose a particular variation of the Earworm and why.
2 minutes Summary: Like telling a story, there are different ways to play or sing a musical piece. We sharpened our listening skills by listening to different interpretations of the Harry Potter musical theme, choosing the interpretation that we prefer, and explaining why we prefer that interpretation.
5 minutes Evaluation: What is an “Earworm”? What Earworm did you listen to? Which interpretation of that Earworm did you prefer? Why did you prefer that particular version of the Earworm?
Evaluation/Assessment of Learning (1 to 5 Questions or other ways of documenting participants’ learning that relate directly to objectives)
What is an “Earworm”?
What musical piece did you listen to?
Which interpretation of that musical piece did you like?
What did you like about the musical piece that you chose?
Optional additional sections:
Piece of music, https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/piece%20of%20music
Key-notes blog, https://www.key-notes.com/blog/what-is-musical-interpretation
Sample Variations of John Williams’ Harry Potter Theme Music (Helwig’s Theme)
Harry Potter Theme played on Harp, https://www.classicfm.com/discover-music/periods-genres/film-tv/harry-potter-soundtrack-hedwig-theme-john-williams/
Harry Potter Theme performed by L’orchestra Cinématique, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=770K5IkD8z0
Harry Potter Theme performed on Violin, Taylor David, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ki8hN7AWsZ4
In addition to listening to variations of a musical piece (Musical Story), we can also practice playing a musical piece with different instruments, different degrees of loudness and softness, different pace and other variations.
*This activity is voluntarily donated by Marin Activity Professionals to MAP for web posting as a free public resource.
Thanks to Betsy Best-Martini, Mary Anne Weeks, and Priscilla Wirth for including the outline, as a basis for this activity, in their Long Term Care for Activity Professionals, Social Services Professionals, and Recreational Therapists, Seventh Edition.