Category Archives: Composing Activities

Mother’s Day Composing Activity

Every year I plan to remind teachers about these Mother’s Day composing activities on my website, but I always wait until it’s too late. This year I remembered in time for students to compose an ending and even memorize it before Mother’s Day.  Here is the original post if you would like some suggestions on how to use it. Even if students have learned to read notes on the staff, they enjoy these simple composing activities.

mother-mother-love-notesMother’s Day (pre-reading, no staff)

For older students, below is an  “on the staff” printable. Notice there are skipping notes and hands together. Students can write a melody divided between the hands, or write a melody in one hand and an accompaniment in the other. Clever students can write words to their melody. By having the rhythm already written for them, it makes it easy to compose a melody.

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Mother’s Day (beginner, on the staff)

I didn’t want to leave Dad off, so here is one for Father’s Day.

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Father’s Day (beginner, on the staff)

These were originally posted about 6 years ago. I hope you enjoy seeing them again!

 

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Valentine Composing Printable for Beginners

ComposingValentine

Valentine Composing Activity for Beginners

Some years ago I posted a black and red version of this. As it happens with a lot of old material, I  forgot about it until it started showing up on Pinterest. It looked rather dated and I didn’t like it anymore.  I decided to do a makeover by adding more colors and flowers.

This is a fun Valentine’s “gift” for students to give to a special adult, especially if they can play it for them!

Objective

  • To compose a melody to a familiar Valentine rhyme
  • To review finger numbers

 Age

  • Pre-school to about age 7

 Materials

  • The printable
  • Pencil
  • Piano keyboard

Directions

  • Students place their right hand on the keys with the thumb or index finger on middle C
  • Starting on middle C, they make up a tune and write the correct finger numbers or letter names in the hearts
  • The tune sounds better if it starts and ends on C
  • Alternatively, students can use their left hand, the black keys, or use another position, such as G
  • Help younger students with the writing

Why I Like This Activity

  • It helps students become more interested in composing

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Thanksgiving Pre-Reading Composing Sheet

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Thanksgiving Thanks Pre-reading Version

Here is the pre-reading version of Thanksgiving Thanks, a composing sheet for beginners.

You might notice that I’m now putting my pre-reading sheets in portrait orientation. I finally decided to stop fighting having to turn their binder sideways. Continue reading

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Thanksgiving Composing Sheet

Thanksgiving Thanks Staff Version

Thanksgiving Thanks 

A Composing Activity

There were so many nice things some of you told me about my last composing activity, that I thought it would be fun to make another one. One teacher even sent me a picture that is very special to me!  Some children need a break if they just finished the last composing activity. Use your teacher intuition or just ask them if they want to do another one.

Since Thanksgiving is almost here, I didn’t put too many notes in this song. Students can write just a melody, or they can write a melody with chords.

I have a student who wanted to write a melody with chords. I made some composing rules for him. After he decided on a key, he wrote the I chord in the first measure. Then in the 4th measure he wrote a V7 chord.  The last note had to end on the tonic note with a I chord.

The hard part was to write a melody that would sound good with the chords. I told him to use a note that was in the chord. Some other hints are to use only steps and few skips, since this is such a short song. You can play the melody to Ode to Joy and to show how Beethoven wrote a famous melody using only 5 notes with mostly steps. 

Now there are those who think this is not very creative. But some children are very fearful of composing and are not the type to sit at the piano and doodle around. This gives them some structure as well as make music theory come alive. Plus it is a way to do a little bit of composing in our very limited lesson time.

I am almost finished with the pre-reading version of this song that will be fun for 5-7 year old students. I’ll post it very soon.

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