Great lessons ideas for the start of the year include lessons incorporating Found Sounds. Teachers often limit "found sound" to making music with unusual objects, but remember it can include recorded and edited sound tracks and other environmental "natural" sound. Think in terms of found sounds as new instruments, recordings, natural sound (water/wind, etc.) and man-made sounds e.g. traffic, construction, etc.
"Music Composition for Teens - first course" has a lesson, also featured on this website under "Lessons".
As a teacher in the classroom for many years, some guidelines:
- Structure the activity (do not just hand out objects and say "Compose!")
- Provide guidelines such as "make three rhythm patterns", ""identify three timbre", "plot an order for the rhythms and timbre", etc.
- Have students draw a graphic score
- Have students record the various sounds and rhythms they came up with, edit and save the composition as an electronic work.