Monday, September 19, 2016

D Major Composition

Composition template in D Major for second year orchestra students

My second-year orchestra students write longer compositions (a minimum of eight measures instead of four), and with more of an emphasis on tonality and musical tools.  Sometimes these musical tools are drawn from the repertoire being studied, such as a specific rhythmic pattern, and change each year.

I use basically the same format as students were used to seeing their first year in orchestra, but I tailor it to the unit we are studying.  The "basic" checklist includes things like clef, key signature, time signature, proper number of beats in each measure, etc.  Then, the toolbox gives students options as to what they'd like to include in their composition.  This may include starting and ending the piece on "Do," adding slurs or the hooked bowing, beginning with an incomplete measure, or writing a rhythmic pattern drawn from a current full orchestra piece.

My sample composition is on the back side, with additional blank staff paper for those who choose to write longer pieces.  I also wrote a description of the musical tools I included in my composition as a sample for students to use when sharing their own compositions the following week in small groups.

As usual, I write comments on each student's sheet, and I type up all the compositions to make packets for everyone based on instrument.  In the packet, the list of musical tools is on the top of the first page to refer to so students can spot the different tools used in their classmates' pieces.

D Major composition with toolbox:

Happy composing!

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