How do writers create their art? What do people who write books and people who write music have in common? How can you write a story with words and with music?

In the Musicfest Winds Concert Assembly, students partner with members of the Musicfest Wind Quartet (Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, & Bassoon) to create the bare bones of a unique story. Students and teaching artists consider the Setting of the story, the Main Character, additional Characters (both Pro- and Antagonists), the Action of the story, and the overall Mood of their story. 

Musicians from the Wind Quartet present students with musical options to describe the story choices made and students vote on which option best fits the group’s unique story. Before performing the full piece, students and teaching artists discuss what it is about the music that makes it so effective for their story.

Schedule a performance and find pre- and post-concert materials in the tabs on the left; we look forward to visiting you and your students!

The Musicfest Winds Concert Assembly is currently available for Fall and Spring Semester scheduling. Please use the form link below to request a performance:

Scheduling Form


Intended for Grades: 2-5

Maximum Number of students: 200



Runtime: 40 minutes

Setup time: 25 minutes

Teardown time: 15 minutes


Staging Requirements:

Potential performance areas: Cafeterias, Gymnasiums, Auditoria, MPRs, or Classrooms.

Space needed for performers: 15’ x 10’


Materials Required for Performance:

Requested from School: PA System

Provided by Musicfest: Music Stands, Whiteboard, Easel, & Markers

Thank you for booking the Musicfest Winds Program! Below, please find a few resources to help set up your students for the day of the performance:

Music Class Activity for before the concert:

The Storyteller’s Score:

Introduction: Composers and filmmakers often work together to use their separate art-forms (music and movies) to tell a single story. The filmmaker uses dialogue, lighting, action, and more to tell the story, and the composer uses instruments, dynamics, tempo, rhythm and more to tell it at the same time – this is called a “score”. Today,  we’re going to describe the music composers have written to describe the stories of movies.

  1. Create a playlist of movie themes, or use this playlist. For each, ask students if they recognize the theme. 
  2. If so, ask them to describe the associated character, scene, or story point.
    1. Where is this part of the story taking place?
    2. What words would you use to describe the character, setting, or scene?
  3. If students do not recognize the theme, ask them to use cues from the music to deduce things about the character, setting, or scene.
  4. You may elect to use a Bubble Map for each example in this exercise.
    1. Standard Bubble Map, for describing characters, settings, and scenes.
    2. Musical Elements Bubble Map, for describing aspects of the music.
  5. Finally, ask students if they think the music they hear successfully describes the character, scene, or setting in the story.

Conclusion: During the upcoming Wind Quartet Concert, students will work with musicians to score a newly-written story. Students will use the skill practiced in this activity to make decisions about what music best fits the story they’ll write.

Music Class Activity for before the concert:

Instruments of the Wind Quartet

Introduction: We’re going to have a Woodwind Quartet visit our school to give a concert on {date}. Together you and the musicians will write a story and choose music to go along with that story. Today, we’re going to learn a little about Woodwind Quartet and the instruments we’ll hear in the concert.

Navigate to the Be Part of the Music website: Select “Videos,” then select “Instruments.” 

Ask students, based on the words “Woodwind Quartet,” how many musicians will be in the ensemble. What does “Quartet” mean?

Ask students what “Woodwind” means. Can they name any woodwind instruments? Refer students to the twelve videos that should be onscreen and ask them which of the instruments are woodwinds.

Explain to students that there are four members of the Woodwind Quartet: a Flutist (Flautist), an Oboist, a Clarinetist, and a Bassoonist. 

Select one of the instruments and watch the one-minute video.  

Conclusion: Ask students to describe the sound of the instrument they saw, and remind them that they will hear that instrument during the upcoming concert. You may elect to watch videos about the other instruments as well.

ELA Class Activity for before the concert:

Story Descriptions (ELA)

Introduction: When writing stories, authors will make decisions about where the story takes place, who the story is about, who else is in the story with them, and what happens in the story. Authors use these story elements to tie together the theme, mood, and main idea of their written work. Today, we’re going to reflect on some well-known stories and describe these elements in each.

  1. Create a class list of favorite stories. Alternatively, list off stories read in school over the past year.
  2. Ask students to list or describe the following story elements:
    1. What is the setting of the story? Where does it take place?
    2. Who is the main character of the story? What do they want (to do?) Why can’t they?
    3. Who are some of the other characters in the story? Are they protagonists (characters who help/are friendly with the Main Character) or antagonists (characters who are opposed to/harm/hinder/enemies).
    4. What happens in the story? What does the Main Character do?
    5. What is the Mood of the story? What is the overall feeling?

Conclusion: Demonstrate for students how they can explore these elements in ANY story they read, watch, or hear. During their upcoming concert, they will begin writing their own story using these elements, and pick music that describes what they write.

Thank you for bringing Musicfest Winds to your school! Below, please find class activities to reflect on the performance with your students.

Music Class Activity for after the concert:

Anchor Standard MU.PR.4: Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for performance.

Reflect on the pieces chosen from the concert from the pieces listed below, asking students to describe the elements of the music. You may use the same bubble map from the pre-concert activity as well:

Movement: Rhythmic/Smooth?

Dynamics: Loud/Quiet (forte/piano)

Tempo: Fast/Slow (and relevant Italian terms)

Melody: Stepwise/Skipwise (conjunct/disjunct), Melodic Contour

ELA Class Activity for after the concert:

Using the story elements collectively chosen during the concert, have students complete the story individually, in groups, or as a class. You may choose to use this story map to record and write the story: 

Musicfest Winds Story Map

RL.3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences)

RL.7: Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words. (2-5.RL.7)

SL.2: Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

MU.RE.7: Perceive and analyze artistic work

MU.CN.11: Relate artistic ideas and words with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.