Activities such as composition and arranging provide a wonderful opportunity for students to synthesize melodic and rhythmic learning, and enables teachers to assess student learning in a meaningful way. By creating in small groups, students are able to develop ensemble skills and take leadership roles with their peers.
In this folk arranging activity, students use do- or la-pentatonic folk songs from their class repertoire (ex. Rocky Mountain, Dinah, and Great Big House in New Orleans) and work in groups to arrange a new, unique performance incorporating classroom instruments and part singing. Manipulatives help students to clearly see and understand the form of their composition, and a planning worksheet helps the students to keep track of their work. A performance rubric is provide for teachers to use in assessing the final performance of the folk arrangements.