- Use a well-known melody, e.g., Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, or Mary had a Little Lamb (and yes, even older kids enjoy using these melodies).
- Start with a simple idea - insert one blank measure after each measure of the melody (see my lesson on Auld End Games on this blog). Use notes of the preceding measure and scramble then either in the same note values or introduce a new rhythm pattern.
- Write the major melody in the minor key.
- Embellish the melody with echoes, or Baroque-style ornamentation (write out mordents and trills)
- Combine the melody with another similar melody.
- Change the accompaniment style: try Alberti-bass, or a Toccata-style percussive bass.
- Change the meter, e.g. 4/4 becomes 3/4
"Sad Mary Lost her Lamb" (now in the minor key) and Mary Meets Mozart (Alberti-bass accompaniment).