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.
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