Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Composition Assignment

At the conclusion of our unit study on melody, I ask my 5th grade students to compose a 4-measure piece of music following these compositional rules:
  • Your piece must be in Common Time and in the key of C-Major
  • You may only use the pitches C-D-E-F-G
  • Your piece must be no more than four measures long
  • Your piece must begin on the tonic, move to the dominant by the end of the first line; begin on the dominant and move back to tonic by the end of the second line
  • You may use whole notes, half notes, quarter notes and eighth notes (and their corresponding rests)
  • You must give your piece a title that reflects the character of the composition
The students are given 25 minutes to complete the assignment.  They work in cooperative groups of 2-3.

At the conclusion of our class period, I play the "world premier" of their composition on the piano.  Some students are paralyzed by this assignment; others take it and run with it.  Students who study piano privately are the best-equipped to handle the task.

Nathan performed the piece written by he and Noah
It was entitled, "The Jumping Song"

Until next time...

Friday, March 9, 2012

Beat Boxing on a 'Cello

I have never encountered anything like this.  A stringed intrument is hard enough to play, much less play and "beat box" simultaneously.  Simply amazing!

Until next time...