Designing Sound


Students will demonstrate their ability to design the sound for a show by creating a sound cue script for “You Can’t Take It With You”.


Materials Needed

CD’s from Music Selections, CD player, soundboard access, scripts of You Can’t Take It With You (one per student), computer lab and library access
Music Selection:
1. Moulin Rouge Soundtrack, vol. 2—#11-Closing Credits: “Bolero”
2. The Other Side of Heaven Soundtrack—#17-The Hurricane
3. The Scarlet Pimpernel Broadway Cast Album—#1-Overture
4. Disney’s Mulan Soundtrack—#11-The Burned-Out Village
5. Back to Titanic Soundtrack—# 2-An Irish Party In Third Class


Related Documents

• Music Selection


Lesson Directions


Anticipatory Set/Hook

Play music selection #1 (from the attached Music Selections) as the students enter the classroom. When the bell rings begin by asking them what they thought about the music. What mood did it create? What time period or location did it seem to fit best with? What story could it be telling? etc. Repeat this process of listening and discussing with as many of the music selections as possible. (10 minutes)



Detail the process of designing sound for a show. Discuss with the students each of the following steps: reading the script (multiple times), identifying the necessary cues, identifying possible (though not indicated in the script) cues, research of the time period, research of how to produce some of the sounds live, where to find the recorded sounds, and how to create a sound cue script. (15 minutes)
Take students to the soundboard and give them an introduction on how to operate it. Show them the basic on/off switch, how to bring the sound up or down, where the play button is, how to enter the cues, where things hook in and where the various wires take the sound (i.e. monitors, house speakers, etc.). (15 minutes)


Practice: Divide students into four groups and assign one section of the show to each. (Act 1 scene 1, Act 1 scene 2, Act 2, and Act 3—also in charge of pre/post-show and intermission music.) Groups will follow the process of designing sound and create a sound cue script for their respective part of the show. They will be given access to the computer lab as well as CD’s from the library.
When only five minutes of class remains, have then return to their desks, take out a half-sheet of paper, and give a letter grade to each person in their group (as well as themselves) based on their participation during the project. Each grade must also be accompanied by at least one sentence of justification (or more if necessary).



Students will hand in whatever they have completed at the end of class as well as handing in the half-sheet of paper with the participation grades on them.