• Grade 4: Rhythm and Meter / Pitch

  • Composing a Melody

    Aim: How can we create and perform a melody using our names?
    Summary: Students compose and notate short melodies using their names.
    Standards: US 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; NYC 1, 2, 3
    Modality: performing, creating
    Materials: Student Worksheet
    Time Required: 20 minutes
    This activity is part of: Music Educators Toolbox

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  • Instructions   |   Going Deeper   |   Video   |   Assessment
  • MET Rhythm-Pitch Instructions
    1. Form a circle and have students establish a steady beat by snapping fingers, patting knees, or clapping hands. Once the beat is established, go around the circle and have each student speak his or her name in rhythm.
    2. Pick a few names as examples and determine how many syllables are in each name.
    3. Using the Student Worksheet, have students assign a note value and a pitch for each syllable of their name. Students should compose their name melody within one to two measures in 4/4 meter – or Common Time. To help students get started, provide a few examples on the board (see Teacher Worksheet).

      MET G4 SW-TW Composing Melody
      Download Teacher and Student Worksheet: Composing a Melody
    4. In small groups, have students combine their name melodies into a larger composition, using rests to put space between each name.
    5. Have students perform their compositions for the class.
  • MET Rhythm-Pitch Going Deeper
    • Compose melodies for a sentence or poem.
    • Give students different composition parameters, such as major or minor mode, types of rhythms, range of pitches, or expressive qualities.
    • Compose melodies in 3/4 or 6/8 meter.
  • Toolbox Rhythm-Meter and Pitch Video

  • Activity Exemplar: “Composing a Melody”