This composition project was designed for my 5th grade band students (they start learning an instrument in 4th grade). It was probably the single most effective thing I have done with my students in terms of how it increased their knowledge base of music theory...and my ten year old students *enjoyed* it!
This project provides you with a cover page that describes that project, a rubric for assessment (this should be provided to students), and a check-list that students can use to make sure they are completing the assignment correctly. This does not provide manuscript paper. Free, blank manuscript paper can be easily found in a google search.
This project can be used for band or orchestra students. While I used this with 5th graders, it is also highly appropriate for middle school and even high school students. Best of all, this project allows for many types of differentiation. If you have a struggling student you can have him or her compose a shorter piece with less complexity while a student who excels can be given a more challenging time signature or be asked to compose for an instrument that is not their own.
This project was a HUGE success when I did it with my 5th graders last year. I ended up mounting their compositions on colored paper and posting them on my bulletin board. The students used higher order skills of analysis and synthesis to complete this project. They were also able to demonstrate and employ meta-cognitive skills.
Best of all, my students willingly helped one-another and were overall very enthusiastic composers. Parents remarked at how much their child worked on this at home. As the teacher, I was pleased that my students were digging into understanding the difference between tempo and dynamics and looking up terminology in the back of their book.
Please feel free to contact me with questions regarding this project. I would love to share with you more ideas on how to implement this in your classroom.