M.T201

Composition – Melody and Soundscape

Composition–Melody and Soundscape

Students will create their own melodic line using a traditional sound source (e.g., recorder, voice, piano, other classroom instrument). Students then will create a soundscape to accompany their composition, using a nontraditional sound source. This nontraditional sound source can be a found instrument, objects around the classroom, a synthesized sound from a computer program, or any other source of the teacher’s choosing. This assessment is broken into several parts:

  • Students will take notes on and practice classical conventions of notation on a notation worksheet in their Student Booklets. This part may be skipped if the teacher wishes to use nontraditional notation, no notation, or a different method of teaching notation.
  • Students will compose their melodic line. The composition must be eight measures or 32 beats long and make musical sense. This will involve staying within the key and time signature that the student designates at the beginning of their composition. Students will compose in the key of C. They will compose in the time signature of either 4/4, 3/4, or 2/4. Students will be evaluated on their notation conventions: time signature, stem direction, line and space notes notated correctly, etc., if traditional music notation is used.
  • Students will practice, perform, and discuss their melodic compositions.
  • Students will reflect on their melodies and brainstorm their soundscapes for Part 4. Students will compose soundscapes to accompany their melodies. These soundscapes will not be notated, but they will be audio or video recorded. A soundscape, in this assessment, is a background sound composition that provides a context and depth to the melodic composition. This soundscape will last for the duration of each student’s composition. It should be recorded as if the student were playing or singing the melody with the soundscape.
  • Students will reflect on their project—on the compositional process, the quality of their final product, and the reasoning for the decisions that they made in their soundscapes. Students also will be asked to reflect on the projects of their peers and what aspects overall make a good composition.

This item has not been field-tested by Michigan teachers.


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.

Note-Taking

  • Dimension
  • Neatness

  • Accuracy

  • Completion

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • Few or no symbols are drawn neatly. The paper is nearly impossible to read.

    N/A at this time.
  • Some symbols are drawn neatly. About half of the symbols are easy to read, while the others are not.

    N/A at this time.
  • Most symbols are drawn neatly. A few may be hard to read.

    N/A at this time.
  • All symbols are drawn neatly. All are clear and easy to read.

    N/A at this time.
  • Most of the lines are inaccurate. There are many errors with the stem directions, beams, and spacing. This makes the staff paper very difficult to read.

    N/A at this time.
  • Some lines are accurately completed. Most practice lines have multiple errors. Some of the stems are on the correct side of the notes, and some of the beams are in the right direction.

    N/A at this time.
  • Most lines are accurately completed. The practice lines have some errors. The stems are mostly on the correct side of the notes, and the beams are mostly in the right direction.

    N/A at this time.
  • All lines are accurately completed, including the practice lines. The stems are on the correct side of the notes, the beams are in the right directions, and each symbol takes up the correct amount of space on the staff.

    N/A at this time.
  • Fewer than three lines are completed on the staff paper.

    N/A at this time.
  • Three to five lines are completed on the staff paper.

    N/A at this time.
  • Five or six of the lines are completed on the staff paper.

    N/A at this time.
  • All seven lines of the staff paper are completed.

    N/A at this time.

Melodic Composition

  • Dimension
  • Music Notation

    (If used in the assessment)

  • 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.

    N/A at this time.
  • Most notes are written clearly using the proper barline placement. The difference between line and spaces notes is fairly clear.

    N/A at this time.
  • 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.

    N/A at this time.
  • The composition was creative, clean, easy to read, and included all required elements.

    N/A at this time.

Reflection on Melodic Composition

  • Dimension
  • Thoughtfulness

  • Completion

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • Student does not reference her/his composition when answering the questions. Answers to parts of questions are missing. Responses are too short.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student seldom references her/his composition when answering the questions. Responses may be short and lack detail.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student mostly references her/his composition when answering the questions. Responses are a good enough to properly answer the question, but may lack detail.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student clearly references her/his composition when answering the questions. Responses are thorough.

    N/A at this time.
  • Fewer than three questions are completed.

    N/A at this time.
  • Three or four questions are completed.

    N/A at this time.
  • Five or six questions are completed.

    N/A at this time.
  • All questions are completed fully.

    N/A at this time.

Soundscape Composition

  • Dimension
  • Planning

  • Completion

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • The soundscape is nothing like the student’s composition as described in the brainstorm.

    N/A at this time.
  • The soundscape has elements that are like the student’s composition described in the brainstorm. However, there may be some gaps between the student’s plan and the final product.

    N/A at this time.
  • The soundscape is similar to the student’s composition as described in the brainstorm.

    N/A at this time.
  • The soundscape accurately represents the student’s composition as described in the brainstorm.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student does not record a soundscape

    N/A at this time.
  • Student records a soundscape, but it is very short or shows minimal effort.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student records a soundscape that shows thought and effort.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student records a soundscape that demonstrates thought, effort, and extraordinary creativity.

    N/A at this time.

Final Reflection

  • Dimension
  • Thoughtfulness

  • Completion

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • Student does not reference her or his composition when answering the questions. Answers to parts of questions are missing. Responses are too short.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student seldom references his or her composition when answering the questions. Responses may be short and lack detail, but all parts of the questions are answered.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student mostly references his or her composition when answering the questions. Responses are lengthy enough to properly answer the question but may lack detail.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student clearly references his or her composition when answering the questions. Responses are thorough.

    N/A at this time.
  • Only one question is completed.

    N/A at this time.
  • Two questions are completed.

    N/A at this time.
  • Three questions are completed.

    N/A at this time.
  • All four questions are completed.

    N/A at this time.
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