Composing in Common Time
Aim: How can we create and perform rhythmic patterns in simple and compound meter?
Summary: Students compose and notate short 4/4, 3/4, and 6/8 rhythms across multiple class periods.
Standards: US 2, 3, 4, 5; NYC 1, 2, 3
Modality: performing, creating
Materials: Student Worksheet
Time Required: 20 minutes
- Review steady beat.
- Review simple four-beat rhythmic patterns by clapping or tapping together as a class through call and response.
Download Student Worksheet
- As a class, create several examples of 4/4, 3/4, and/or 6/8 rhythmic patterns by getting suggestions from individual students. Write out then practice clapping and repeating each example measure.
- Have students work in small groups to compose their own 4/4, 3/4, or 6/8 measures by completing the Student Worksheet. Invite students to teach their rhythms to the class.
- Have each small group add body percussion to their rhythms (e.g., snap for quarter-notes, pat shoulders for eighth-notes, etc.).
- Try clapping all of the newly composed 4/4, 3/4, or 6/8 measures in a row without repeats. Decide on an order that seems the most interesting and musically rich.