Posted in Student Work

4th Grade 3+1 Compositions

Learning how to read and perform music is an important goal of music education, but being able to use what you know to create your own composition is extremely important as well. This past week the 4th graders completed a composition inspired by our composer of the month, Franz Joseph Haydn.

After listening to Haydn’s Surprise Symphony, we examined the patterns found in the rhythm of the music. What we discovered is that the rhythm had 3 measures of rhythm that were exactly the same, followed by 1 measure that was different. This is the 3+1 formula, and its a pattern that commonly occurs in the music of many composers and songwriters.

With a partner, the students created a 3+1 rhythm and then learned to perform it. I then challenged them to “make it interesting”. We talked about all the different things that Haydn did to make his music interesting (changing dynamics), and we brainstormed ideas of their own. Here are the resulting compositions.


Posted in Student Work

4th Grade Theme and Variations

The 4th grade began this project last week by exploring our the piece Variations on Simple Gifts by composer of the month Aaron Copland. We discussed the many ways he created musical variations on his theme, as well as brainstormed new ideas. This week, each class chose a song that they could play on recorder to be the theme. In groups they created a variation to perform. In the end we created one large Theme and Variations piece by stringing them all together. Here are some of the results: