Arrange a Familiar Song
Working in small groups, students will arrange a familiar song. They will take a vocal piece that they have learned in previous lessons and arrange it as an instrumental piece. This assessment will require both individual and group work. Students will be responsible for playing an instrument of their choosing and writing out the part that they will play. Students will work together to make sure that all parts of the song are covered. They may use a variety of melody instruments and unpitched percussion instruments, including electronic or nontraditional sound sources.
Students will work in groups of four. Teachers may need to arrange for smaller or larger groups if the class cannot be divided into groups of four. Each student must play his or her part at the time of the performance. The arrangement will typically be 8 or 16 measures long. However, the length of the arrangement is up to the teacher and will be dependent on the amount of time that the teacher has with the students as well as the experience of the students. The final performances will be video recorded for scoring later. The parts of the assessment are as follows:
Part 1 (Day 1)—Students will take notes on and practice writing elements of notation on blank staff paper in their Student Booklets. This part may be skipped if the teacher wishes to use non-traditional notation, no notation, or a different method of teaching notation.
Part 2 (Day 2)—Students will meet in their groups to decide on instrumentation. Groups of four students will be created and assigned by the teacher using the template found on page 21 of this Teacher Booklet.
Students will use a checklist when meeting in their groups to make sure that all criteria for the arrangement have been met. They will at least need a melody instrument, a rhythm instrument, a tone-color instrument, and a nontraditional sound source in their arrangement.
Part 3 (Day 3)—Each student must write out his or her own part on the staff paper in his or her Student Booklet. This part may continue on to Day 4 if necessary. This is a workshop day, during which students can ask questions of the teacher and each other as they write their parts.
Part 4 (Day 4)—Students will have time to practice their parts both individually and with their groups.
Part 5 (Day 5)—Students will perform their arrangements in their groups for the class. These performances will be video recorded and evaluated by the teacher. This may continue for another class period if necessary.
Part 6 (Day 6)—Students will reflect on their work. Students will reflect on the quality of the final product and their experience. Students also will be asked to reflect on the assessment and what aspects overall make a good arrangement.
This item has been voluntarily field-tested by Michigan teachers with a non-representative sample of students.
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