Title: Composition and Improvisation Day 3-4 *remember to combine days and
lessons as needed*
MU:Cr1.1.E.5 Compose and improvise melodic and rhythmic ideas or motives
that reflect characteristic(s) of music or text(s) studied in rehearsal.
Demonstrate understanding of relationships between music and the other arts, other
disciplines, varied contexts, and daily life.
What tools do we use to create music?
1. Students will understand components and tools of musical language in order to identify
and notate note/rest symbols, values/durations and time signatures as well as compose
short compositions in a given time signature.
Do Now (3-5 min)
Students will complete the Do Now note naming and notation review activity. Review the answers
as a class.
Lesson (12-15 min)
Distribute reference sheets (found in included materials). Explain that students should keep these
sheets as they will use them for the remainder of the unit. (Keep them in a class folder if necessary)
Read aloud the slide on “Notes and Rests Duration and Value”. Have students attempt to fill in the
Duration chart on the reference sheet on their own before showing the next slide.
Explain the relationship between notes and values on the next slide (2 half notes fit in one whole
note, etc). Have students clap this chart to show the relationships. To clap a whole note: Clap on 1,
keep hands together, circular motion for beats 2, 3, 4 to show continuous beats. Do the same for
half notes but for 2 beats. (Suggestion: make this a group competition to see which group claps
notes evenly and in time).
COMPOSITION AND IMPROVISATION
At this point, create practice rhythms on the board, without time signatures that intentionally have
a different number of beats per measure. Have students clap and count the measures.( If students
need more practice, continue to practice, if not, introduce time signatures and continue).
● Ask students what they notice about the rhythms they are clapping and counting (they are made up
of different notes and rests, there are a different number of beats in each one, etc. )
● Introduce time signatures and why they are important. Have students write time signature notes
form the slide in the appropriate place on their reference sheets.
Cooperative Learning and Independent Practice (10-12 min)
On the next slide, notate rhythms in various time signatures, challenge students to clap and count
in groups and then as a class. Have students come to the board and write the beats.
Distribute the Time Signature grid worksheet. Explain that students will need to look at the time
signature at the beginning of each row, count the rhythms in each box (measure) and determine if
it is correct for the given time signature. If not, place a big X on that box.
Review the rhythms on the board. (Suggestion: Peer or self grading may be helpful at this point.
The time signature grid will be the assessment for this lesson.
Time Signature Grid
Student has 80% or more
correct on the time
District of Columbia Public Schools | August 2014
Student has 70-79% or
more correct on the time
Student has 69% or less
correct on the time