- Students play (or sing) the given “Question” phrase so-so-so (GGG). Teacher makes up and plays the “Answer” phrase. Teachers: select the concept you are working on, e.g., repeated notes (M1 and 2 below), thirds (M3 below), triads (M4 and 5 below), neighbor notes (M6 and 7), running notes, dotted rhythms, triplets, etc. in your Answer phrase.
- Switch. Teacher plays the “Question” phrase (the so-so-so or GGG), students (one at a time) respond in an improvisatory manner with “Answer” phrases based on the parameters you provided (triads, neighbor notes, repeated notes, etc.).
- Next step, work on writing down some of the improvisatory responses.
- Use the “So, So, Simple” template and fill in the blank measures
(individually or in small groups).
- Demonstrate a class composition with the whole group
Fun online composing tool for the younger kids! Check it out at https://www.classicsforkids.com/games/compose_your_own_music.php
Fun composing on the online Song Maker! Try it out!
Song Maker https://musiclab.chromeexperiments.com/Song-Maker/
Our top seller this past school year has been "Music Composition for Teens - a Graded First Course" Available on amazon. Get yours now for the new school year. Enjoy!
Introduce the topic: “We are going to compose cellphone ringtones”.
Listen to some well-known ringtones (select a few from your cellphone). Below I selected a few from my iPhone. Listen and discuss, e.g.:
Play the ringtone, have students identify the instrument, pattern, rhythm, melody and/or any other descriptors:
Ascending: ascending major scale on xylophone
Bell Tower: classic bell/chime melody
Marimba: short, catchy pattern on marimba
Piano riff: five melody notes on piano
Timba: drumming pattern, no melody
Xylophone: short melody, catchy rhythm on xylophone
Students compose a piece of music directed by a set of graphic notation sound tiles which they will use to write a short narrative or poem and perform as multimedia orchestrated work for narration, sound effects, instrumental parts and/or images.
Introduce the tile. Discuss how symbols on the tile may be interpreted. E.g.
What is a Leitmotif?
For example: explore, look and listen to the following contemporary style leitmotifs:
For example: Listen to the leitmotif associated with Jaws
Short 2-8 note motifs similar to the "Jaws" leitmotif.
- Choose a character from a book, text, play or movie.
- Identify his/her/its characteristics
- Compose a rhythm only or melodic leitmotif.
_ Project the image of your character
- Perform the matching leitmotif
I spent a lovely week in Spartanburg, South Carolina earlier this month working with teachers at an elementary school: two full days of professional development with the focus on integrating music and literacy followed by classroom demonstrations. Amazing team, well-organized, very receptive faculty - thank you for the invite! I trust I left you all with some ideas, a broader scope for integrating creative activities into the curriculum and a renewed enthusiasm for arts integration.
Music Composition for Teens and Pre-Teens
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