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December 6, 2009

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i-Phones Are Now Musical Instruments

A U.S. university has found a new use for the Apple iPhone – as a musical instrument. Academics from the University of Michigan have joined forces to create what they call a 21st century orchestra. There are no traditional instruments, only 20 of Apple’s best-selling mobile telephones. The project is a group effort from the university’s music, computer science and engineering departments. They call themselves the Michigan Mobile Phone Ensemble and describe their work as "new, crazy, electronic ensemble music". They will hold their first concert on Wednesday, December the 9th. Each ‘musician’ will ‘play’ the notes and tunes that they programmed into their handset. The result will be an original piece of... music.


The brains behind the iPhone orchestra is assistant professor Georg Essl. He is a musician and an engineer. On his course, he encouraged students to experiment with the iPhone’s advanced technologies. They wrote special applications that used wireless radios, motion sensors and the touch screen to produce different noises. The result is the hi-tech sound of the experimental new orchestra. Professor Essl was excited about this innovative form of music. He said: “We can do interesting, weird and unusual things. This kind of technology is in its infancy, but it's a hot and growing area to use iPhones for artistic expression." He called the iPhone “a very nice platform for exploring new forms of musical performance". He didn’t say when the orchestra would record its first CD.


 
 

WARM-UPS

1. ORCHESTRAS: Walk around the class and talk to other students about orchestras. Change partners often. Sit with your first partner(s) and share your findings.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

university / musical instrument / projects / computer science / crazy music / musician / brains / experiment / technologies / noises / innovative / artistic expression / CDs

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. MOBILE PHONES: Are they perfect? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you heard.

Function

I like this function because…

How it could be better

Telephone calls

 

 

Mail / text / SMS

 

 

Camera

 

 

Video

 

 

Games

 

 

Internet

 

 

4. ALL YOU NEED: Students A strongly believe mobile phones will be all we need in the future – they will replace computers; Students B strongly disagree with this.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. NEW USES: What new uses can you think of for these things? Talk about this with your partner(s). Change partners and share your ideas. Vote as a class on the best ideas.

  • pens
  • keys
  • hats
  • watches
  • shoes
  • English
  • friends
  • schools

6. iPHONE: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘iPhone’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if  a-h  below are true (T) or false (F).

a.

An American university is using iPhones as a musical instrument.

T / F

b.

The university started an orchestra with iPhones, pianos and violins.

T / F

c.

The orchestra is a joint project from three different departments.

T / F

d.

They have already toured many states in the USA.

T / F

e.

The person who thought of the idea knows nothing about music.

T / F

f.

A professor’s students made programs that generated iPhone noises.

T / F

g.

The professor was excited at the new musical genre.

T / F

h.

The orchestra’s first CD will hit the shelves later this month.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

1.

found

a.

collaborated

2

academics

b.

early stages

3.

joined forces

c.

mobile phone

4.

effort

d.

programs

5.

handset

e.

ground-breaking

6.

brains

f.

discovered

7.

applications

g.

endeavour

8.

innovative

h.

strange

9.

weird

i.

scholars

10.

infancy

j.

mastermind

3. PHRASE MATCH:  (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

1.

a new use

a.

the iPhone orchestra

2

joined

b.

effort

3.

The project is a group

c.

unusual things

4.

They will hold

d.

their handset

5.

tunes that they programmed into

e.

of musical performance

6.

The brains behind

f.

for the Apple iPhone

7.

he encouraged students

g.

applications

8.

They wrote special

h.

their first concert

9.

weird and

i.

forces

10.

exploring new forms

j.

to experiment


WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

A U.S. university has found a new use for the Apple iPhone – as a ____________ instrument. Academics from the University of Michigan have joined forces to ____________ what they call a 21st century orchestra. There are no traditional instruments, only 20 of Apple’s best-____________ mobile telephones. The project is a group ____________ from the university’s music, computer science and engineering departments. They call themselves the Michigan Mobile Phone Ensemble and describe their ____________ as "new, crazy, electronic ensemble music". They will ____________ their first concert on Wednesday, December the 9th. Each ‘musician’ will ‘play’ the ____________ and tunes that they programmed into their handset. The result will be an original ____________ of... music.

 

 

 

work
selling
piece
effort
musical
notes
create
hold

The ____________ behind the iPhone orchestra is assistant professor Georg Essl. He is a musician and an engineer. On his ____________, he encouraged students to experiment with the iPhone’s advanced technologies. They ____________ special applications that used wireless radios, motion sensors and the touch screen to produce different noises. The result is the hi-tech ____________ of the experimental new orchestra. Professor Essl was excited about this innovative form of music. He said: “We can do interesting, ____________ and unusual things. This kind of technology is in its infancy, but it's a hot and ____________ area to use iPhones for ____________ expression." He called the iPhone “a very nice platform for exploring new forms of musical performance". He didn’t say when the orchestra would ____________ its first CD.

 

 

artistic
course
growing
brains
sound
wrote
record
weird

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

A U.S. university has ____________________ the Apple iPhone – as a musical instrument. Academics from the University of Michigan have joined ____________________ they call a 21st century orchestra. There are no traditional instruments, only 20 of Apple’s best-selling mobile telephones. The project is ____________________ the university’s music, computer science and engineering departments. They call themselves the Michigan Mobile Phone Ensemble and ____________________ "new, crazy, electronic ensemble music". They ____________________ concert on Wednesday, December the 9th. Each ‘musician’ will ‘play’ the notes and tunes that they programmed into their handset. The result will ____________________ of... music.

____________________ iPhone orchestra is assistant professor Georg Essl. He is a musician and an engineer. On his course, he encouraged students to experiment with the iPhone’s ____________________. They wrote special applications that used wireless radios, motion sensors and the touch screen to produce different noises. The ____________________ sound of the experimental new orchestra. Professor Essl was excited about ____________________ of music. He said: “We can do interesting, weird and unusual things. This kind of technology ____________________, but it's a hot and growing area to use iPhones for artistic expression." He called the iPhone “a ____________________ for exploring new forms of musical performance". He didn’t say when the orchestra would record its first CD.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘musical’ and ‘instrument’.

musical

instrument

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

  • use
  • forces
  • effort
  • call
  • crazy
  • piece
  • behind
  • course
  • result
  • weird
  • platform
  • record

STUDENT MOBILE PHONE SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about mobile phones in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

MOBILE PHONE DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘mobile phone’?

c)

How important is a mobile phone to you?

d)

Is the iPhone the best mobile in the world?

e)

What do you think of the iPhone being a musical instrument?

f)

Do you think this is a worthwhile thing to do at a university?

g)

Would you like to hear this music and attend the first concert?

h)

Do you think the iPhone as a musical instrument will become popular?

i)

Do you think the ‘music’ will be really music?

j)

Would you like to learn how to play the iPhone?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

What have you been the brains behind?

c)

Would you like to e a student in professor Essl’s class?

d)

How interested are you in computer technology and mobile phone software?

e)

What have you seen or heard recently that was weird or crazy?

f)

Do you think an iPhone can really used for artistic expression?

g)

What things about mobile phones annoy you?

h)

Do you think mobile phones will replace laptop and desktop computers?

i)

What new function would you like someone to invent for your mobile?

j)

What questions would you like to ask assistant professor Georg Essl?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

A U.S. university has found a new (1) ____ for the Apple iPhone – as a musical instrument. Academics from the University of Michigan have joined (2) ____ to create what they call a 21st century orchestra. There are no traditional instruments, only 20 of Apple’s best-(3) ____ mobile telephones. The project is a group effort from the university’s music, computer science and engineering departments. They call (4) ____ the Michigan Mobile Phone Ensemble and describe their work as "new, crazy, electronic ensemble music". They will hold their first concert on Wednesday, December the 9th. Each ‘musician’ will ‘play’ the notes and tunes that they programmed (5) ____ their handset. The result will be an original (6) ____ of... music.

The (7) ____ behind the iPhone orchestra is assistant professor Georg Essl. He is a musician and an engineer. On his course, he encouraged students to experiment with the iPhone’s (8) ____ technologies. They wrote special applications that used wireless radios, motion (9) ____ and the touch screen to produce different noises. The result is the hi-tech sound of the experimental new orchestra. Professor Essl was excited about this innovative form of music. He said: “We can do interesting, weird and unusual things. This kind of technology is in its (10) ____, but it's a hot and (11) ____ area to use iPhones for artistic expression." He called the iPhone “a very nice platform for exploring (12) ____ forms of musical performance". He didn’t say when the orchestra would record its first CD.

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

useful

(b)

useless

(c)

usefully

(d)

use

2.

(a)

forces

(b)

forceful

(c)

force

(d)

forcing

3.

(a)

sold

(b)

selling

(c)

sales

(d)

sale

4.

(a)

them

(b)

they

(c)

themselves

(d)

these

5.

(a)

at

(b)

up

(c)

into

(d)

to

6.

(a)

song

(b)

piece

(c)

melody

(d)

stuff

7.

(a)

minds

(b)

intelligences

(c)

IQ

(d)

brains

8.

(a)

advanced

(b)

advance

(c)

advances

(d)

advantage

9.

(a)

senses

(b)

sensors

(c)

scenes

(d)

scenarios

10.

(a)

kindergarten

(b)

newborn

(c)

childhood

(d)

infancy

11.

(a)

grew

(b)

growth

(c)

growing

(d)

grows

12.

(a)

new

(b)

news

(c)

newly

(d)

anew

WRITING

Write about mobile phones for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about the Apple iPhone. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. MOBILE PHONES: Make a poster about mobile phones. What are their good and bad points? Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. i-PHONE ORCHESTRA: Write a magazine article about the first performance of the Michigan Mobile Phone Ensemble. Include imaginary interviews with a musician and a member of the audience.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. LETTER: Write a letter to an Apple executive. Ask her/him three questions about the iPhone. Give him/her three suggestions on how to make mobile phones better. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

T

b.

F

c.

T

d.

F

e.

F

f.

T

g.

T

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

found

a.

discovered

2

academics

b.

scholars

3.

joined forces

c.

collaborated

4.

effort

d.

endeavour

5.

handset

e.

mobile phone

6.

brains

f.

mastermind

7.

applications

g.

programs

8.

innovative

h.

ground-breaking

9.

weird

i.

strange

10.

infancy

j.

early stages

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

a new use

a.

for the Apple iPhone

2

joined

b.

forces

3.

The project is a group

c.

effort

4.

They will hold

d.

their first concert

5.

tunes that they programmed into

e.

their handset

6.

The brains behind

f.

the iPhone orchestra

7.

he encouraged students

g.

to experiment

8.

They wrote special

h.

applications

9.

weird and

i.

unusual things

10.

exploring new forms

j.

of musical performance

GAP FILL:

iPhones are now musical instruments

A U.S. university has found a new use for the Apple iPhone – as a musical instrument. Academics from the University of Michigan have joined forces to create what they call a 21st century orchestra. There are no traditional instruments, only 20 of Apple’s best-selling mobile telephones. The project is a group effort from the university’s music, computer science and engineering departments. They call themselves the Michigan Mobile Phone Ensemble and describe their work as "new, crazy, electronic ensemble music". They will hold their first concert on Wednesday, December the 9th. Each ‘musician’ will ‘play’ the notes and tunes that they programmed into their handset. The result will be an original piece of... music.

The brains behind the iPhone orchestra is assistant professor Georg Essl. He is a musician and an engineer. On his course, he encouraged students to experiment with the iPhone’s advanced technologies. They wrote special applications that used wireless radios, motion sensors and the touch screen to produce different noises. The result is the hi-tech sound of the experimental new orchestra. Professor Essl was excited about this innovative form of music. He said: “We can do interesting, weird and unusual things. This kind of technology is in its infancy, but it's a hot and growing area to use iPhones for artistic expression." He called the iPhone “a very nice platform for exploring new forms of musical performance". He didn’t say when the orchestra would record its first CD.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - a

3 - b

4 - c

5 - c

6 - b

7 - d

8 - a

9 - b

10 - d

11 - c

12 - a

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