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The Arts

Year level:

Level 5, Level 6

Fire up close

Activity 1 – Building background knowledge

This activity is a part of the Fire in song resource.

Fire up close. Mornington Island, Lardil country. Photographer: Joe Sambono. Source: Ngarrngga. © Joe Sambono 2023. Used with permission

In this activity, students are encouraged to build their understanding of Yolngu culture and beliefs, including their societal structures and the significance of fire in their narratives.

* NOTE: Seek permission from respective communities for non-Indigenous students to learn and perform music from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 

Step by Step guide 

Step 1: Develop background knowledge

Students build their knowledge of the Yolngu people, where they are from, their basic societal structures and their fire narrative from the background information presented above and/or from suitable websites such as the Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation 0 . Students share and discuss their findings, asking questions that arise from their reading. 

Step 2: Exploring musical examples

Once students have established some understanding of Yolngu culture 0 and beliefs, they will have a context for exploring some musical examples as follows: 

Bäru (Saltwater Crocodile) by Yothu Yindi (1999): 

Bäru (Saltwater Crocodile) by the Saltwater Band (1999): 

Gurtha (Fire) by Dhapanbal Yunupingu (2016) 0 : 

Waru (Fire) by the Warumpi Band (1985): 

Related activities within this resources:

Fire up close

Activity 2 – Evaluating examples

In this activity, students will listen to the Yothu Yindi song 'Fire' and analyze various musical elements such as structure, pitch, duration, tone color, texture, and dynamics.

Required resources:

Computer and speakers to play the soundtrack

Fire up close

Activity 3 – Performing

In this activity, students begin by singing along with the song 'Fire' and gradually progress to playing chord instruments like guitar and keyboard in synchronization with the recording.

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