Category Archives: Composing Activities

Father’s Day Beginning Composing Activity

FathersDay

Fathers Day Composing Activity

Were you a Daddy’s girl? I was. I remember my Dad sitting at his desk working while I played the piano next to him for hours. He was a wonderful audience and always so supportive, never suggesting I take a break. Since I was usually making up stuff, that is pretty amazing! Back then, my parents were told that my hands were too “small” for piano lessons. Fortunately after several years of playing by ear, they tried again and found a teacher for me!

With Father’s Day in the summer, Dads are often left out when it comes to student-made gifts. So if you are teaching in June, here is a composing activity for a Father’s Day gift.

This music is actually a remake of the one I posted about 8 years ago. I updated the entire page and even changed the hand position.

As you can see, the left hand is not in Middle C position. I have found that if students get used to putting their hands in different positions from the beginning, they learn to read by intervals easier. However, every teacher is different so feel free to “white out” finger numbers.

If you’re new to beginning composing pages, here is how to use the pre-reading page – the one without a staff.

  • The student plays the part of the page that has words using finger numbers.
  • The student makes up a tune to fit the rhythm in the part with stars, using the rhythm above the stars. The last note should be C.
  • Students write the finger numbers of their melody in the yellow stars.
  • Some students also like to write words.

I use this as a way to introduce how to write a melody, so I instruct students to end on the key note, which in this piece is C. Encourage him/her to move down or up an octave. It is fun to discuss how Dads have low voices, so my students like to move down to the bass notes for the last four measures.

Writing music on a staff is difficult for children.That is why we break it down into small steps. Since the rhythm is given to them, they can concentrate on the melody.

Of course, students also love to doodle around and make up their own pieces, like I used to do for my Dad. I encourage my beginners to memorize these “compositions” because the music is usually beyond their abilities to write down.

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Mother’s Day Beginning Composing

MothersDay

Mothers Day Composing Activity

Originally posted in 2008, I’ve revised the art and words, and put both the pre-reading and on-the-staff versions in the same file.  They use less ink, too. Print only the version you want and save paper!

If you have trouble printing these, please save them to your desk top or in any file and the file. If you subscribe to this blog, don’t try to print  from the email that you receive from WordPress. Also, if you have upgraded to Windows 10, you might not be able to open my files unless you make some changes. Check out my FAQ for more help.

Some students take meticulous care in writing their melody. Others dash it off as just one more thing they have to hurry through! Some like to add words and others want to change my rhythm all around. It’s interesting to watch their reaction and it’s fine with me! My rule is that it has to end on the tonic to work with my melody.

If you’ve never seen this kind of composing sheet, here is a quick tutorial.

Pre-reading

  • Use any 5-finger position.
  • Sing the first 8 measures.
  • Clap and count the rhythm of the last 8 measures until they know it well.
  • Students write in the finger numbers they want to use inside the flower pictures. Be sure to use pencil! A good composer is always revising!
  • Optional: Laminate and add a bow as a Mother’s Day present!

On-the-staff

  • Follow the same directions as above, except students write their melody on the staff.
  • Students who are more advanced like to write in chords or notes in the l.h. and melody in the right.
  • Beginning students limit their melody to the right hand in C position.
  • Explain a good sounding melody often will end on the 5th note of the scale in measure 12 and the tonic key note in the last measure. This is a great opportunity to discuss how to write a good melody.

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Filed under Composing Activities, Holiday Activities and Worksheets, Music Printables, Preschool Music Resources

St. Patrick’s Day Beginning Composing

 

St Patrick's Day Composing

St Patrick’s Day Composing

In my never-ending quest to change everything on my website to portrait orientation, I have updated these two St. Patrick’s Day composing pages and put them together into one PDF file. It’s time-consuming, which is why it is taking me so long!

The first page is for composing on the staff.  I wrote a little poem and put the rhythm above the staff. The student can write a melody with bass notes, or just the melody.

The pre-reading page has the rhythm written above shamrocks, and they write the finger numbers of their melody on the shamrocks.

I always suggest to my students  to start and end on the same note if they want a singable melody and I suggest D using only white keys for an Irish sounding melody.  It is always amazing to me that some students have an innate ability to come up with a good melody! Other students write notes willy-nilly here and there and it sounds rather like me composing 12-tone music for a theory class. 🙂

Some students want to compose melody and accompaniment, so I suggest they start with fifths in the left hand and use D minor and C parallel fifths. If they get carried away and want to expand their composition, check out the staff paper I’ve posted that has a braced grand staff, measures, and bar lines. It’s one of the pages in this bundle.  Staff Paper Variety Pack

Staff Paper Variety Pack

If you don’t know how to print only one page in a PDF bundle, there is a tutorial in my FAQ.

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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.

mother-mother_on_staff

Mother’s Day (beginner, on the staff)

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

fathers-day-song_comp_atv

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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