Beacon Lesson Plan Library

The Sorcerer and You

Sharon Hardy


Students will become familiar with The Sorcerer's Apprentice and the tone poem written by Paul Dukas. They will identify instruments (bassoon) and understand how music can communicate ideas suggesting events, feelings, and moods.


The student identifies, upon hearing, familiar instruments and voice types (e.g., trumpet, piano, child, or adult).

The student understands how music can communicate ideas suggesting events, feelings, moods, or images.


-Book and/or story of The Sorcerer's Apprentice, A brief synopsis is included in the Associated File.
-CD player
-CD or tape of The Sorcerer's Apprentice
-Cd or tape of bassoon sound
-Copies of Listening Maps and Finger Puppets for each student.These are available in Teacher's
Copying Masters - Grade 3 - Music and You - Macmillian Publishing Company, 1988.
If these are unavailable, pictures of a broom, sorcerer, boy and bassoon can be hand drawn or copied from other sources.
-Overhead projector
-Transparencies of the Listening Maps and /or bassoon.
-Picture (color) of a bassoon. It would be great if you could have the actual instrument for demonstration!
-Tape or Cd of bassoon sound
-Video of the Sorcerer's Apprentice or version clip from Disney's FANTASIA.


1. Teacher should become familiar with the story The Sorcerer's Apprentice and the music of the symphonic poem by Paul Dukas. There are any number of versions available both in storybook form and on tape and CD. Often the story is found in the Children's section at bookstores and libraries. A brief synopsis of the story is included in the Associated File.
2. Set up CD and/or tape player and cd's and/or tapes.
3. Have book with story ready.
4. Set out pictures of the bassoon. If using actual instrument, have it ready for playing. 5. Have copies of the Listening Map and/or teacher-prepared materials, transparencies, and comprehension questions ready.
6. If using other props such as a wizard's hat or broom, gather them beforehand.
7. Be sure overhead projector is in working order.


1. As students enter the room have The Sorcerer's Apprentice playing - perhaps teacher could be wearing a wizard's hat or cape or both!!
2. Tell students that today they will listen to a story about a boy who did not follow directions.
3.Either read or tell the story to your students.
4. Ask comprehension questions. You can ask any # of these to assure that the students have grasped the -idea- of the story. Or you may ask several students to retell the story in their own words.(Ex. Why did the sorcerer tell the boy not to use magic? Why did the apprentice decide to use magic? )
5. Explain that instruments can be used to tell the story.
6. Play the -It's Magic!- theme. This is the music that is played whenever a -spell- is cast.
7. Show the bassoon and play the -walking broom- music (theme).
8. If actual bassoon and/or bassoonist is available, play the theme on the instrument and discuss the sound.
9. Allow students to hear the theme several times.
10. Have students listen to an excerpt from the piece and raise their hands when the -It's Magic! - theme is heard and walk their fingers when the -walking broom- theme is heard.
11. Pass out the Listening Maps or teacher produced listening paper.
12. Have students locate all the -walking brooms.- Explain these are shown as brooms made of instruments. Count the number of brooms on the Listening Map.
13. Locate the sorcerer and the apprentice.
14. Locate the -It's Magic!- theme and count the number of times it appears on the Map.
(Note) If you are using teacher prepared materials you may omit steps 12-14 and have students draw a line under the broom as they hear the theme in the piece and place an exclamation point under the -It's Magic!- theme when heard.
15. Play the piece. Use your transparency to help students follow their Listening Map or teacher-prepared material.
16. After the piece has played, determine through questioning how many times the themes were heard. Write the # on the board for future reference.
17. While listening again you may wish to have the students color their Listening Maps.


The assessment is formative and addresses the following standards: -The student identifies upon hearing familiar instruments- and -The student understands how music can communicate ideas suggesting event,......and images.- The teacher will observe the students as they follow the Listening Maps. The students should recognize the themes with 75% accuracy (-Its Magic!- Theme 3/4 and -walking broom- theme 8/10.) The teacher can collect the Listening Maps for documentation purposes.


In successive lessons, the teacher might use finger puppets of the sorcerer, the boy and the broom to have students act out the story as the music plays. Students could watch a video version of the story. This is a great way to review both the story and the music. There are several good versions available. One of the best is the Disney clip from FANTASIA (this is about 10 minutes in length) Have individual students act out the story as the music plays. Some students really get into this, especially when the experience is complete with wizard's robe and hat!!

Web Links

Web supplement for The Sorcerer and You
Paul Dukas

Attached Files

A brief story synopsis of The Sorcerer's Apprentice.     File Extension: pdf

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