M.E210

Composing a Melody

Composing a Melody

This assessment has three parts. In Part 1, students will compose their own 16 macrobeat or 32 macrobeat melodies. Third-grade students will be asked to compose a four-bar melody, while fourth-grade students will be asked to compose an eight-bar melody. This assessment can be done using tone-bar instruments or voice in third grade and recorder or voice in fourth grade. In Part 2, students will have time to practice their melodies and perform them for the class. In Part 3, students will reflect in writing on their compositions.

Third-grade students will be asked to compose and practice their melodies using the pitches B, A, and G, while using eighth notes, quarter notes, quarter rests, half notes, half rests, whole notes, and whole rests.

Fourth-grade students will be asked to compose and practice their melodies using the pitches C, B, A, G, and F#, while using eighth notes, quarter notes, quarter rests, half notes, half rests, whole notes, and whole rests.

Students will be given the opportunity to practice their melodies at the beginning of the second class period before students perform them. These performances will be video recorded for later scoring.

Students will write their melodies on the staff paper included in the Student Booklets. If students are composing vocal melodies, they will do this composition without lyrics.

Students will reflect in writing on their compositional experiences in their Student Booklets.

This assessment will be video recorded by the teacher for scoring purposes. This assessment may be easier to administer if someone other than the teacher supervises the video recording. If this is not possible the teacher should be careful to ensure that students who are performing stay in the video frame during the recording process.

This item has been voluntarily field-tested by Michigan teachers with a non-representative sample of students.


These are analytic rubrics. The column on the left shows the dimension that is being measured in the student’s performance. The levels across the top row indicate the performance level in the dimensions. Occasionally all dimensions and performance levels are exemplified by multiple students in a single recording.

TEACHER SCORING RUBRIC–MELODIC COMPOSITION

  • Dimension
  • Music Notation

  • Meter and Rhythm

  • Overall Creativity and Craftsmanship

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • Notes are written in a sloppy and illegible manner. Barline placement is not correct. Line and space notes are indistinguishable from each other.

    N/A at this time.
  • Notes are written clearly, but barline placement is often incorrect. The difference between line and space notes is not easily seen.

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  • Most notes are written clearly using the proper barline placement. The difference between line and spaces notes is usually clear.

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  • All notes are written neatly using proper barline placement. The difference between line and space notes is easily seen.

    N/A at this time.
  • Less than 50% of the measures have the correct number of beats.

    N/A at this time.
  • Between 50% and 70% of the measures have the correct number of beats. Rhythms are very basic and do not expand beyond quarter notes.

    N/A at this time.
  • Between 70% and 85% of the measures have the correct number of beats, and a variety of rhythms are used.

    N/A at this time.
  • More than 85% of the measures have the correct number of beats, and a variety of rhythms are used.

    N/A at this time.
  • The composition was not complete and very difficult to read. Less than half of the required elements were included.

    N/A at this time.
  • The composition was very basic and somewhat legible. At least half of the required elements were included.

    N/A at this time.
  • The composition was somewhat creative and legible. Most of the required elements were included.

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  • The composition was creative, clean, easy to read, and included all required elements.

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TEACHER SCORING RUBRIC

  • Dimension
  • Pitch Accuracy

  • Rhythm Accuracy

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • Student seldom plays correct rhythms and may alter the tempo to accommodate difficult parts.

    Approximately 0–20%

    N/A at this time.
  • Student plays some correct rhythms and may alter the tempo to accommodate difficult parts.

    Approximately 20–50%

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  • Student usually plays correct rhythms. Student does not alter the tempo to accommodate difficult parts.

    Approximately 50–90%

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  • Student consistently plays correct rhythms with precision and accuracy. Student does not alter the tempo to accommodate difficult parts.

    Approximately 90–100%

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