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How about a great project for getting back to school in January. Get your students to compose using their friends and classmate’s names. Work in groups or individually. They’ll have fun, learn more about syllables, practice rhythmic derivation and notation and be creative. This composition project uses quarter notes, joined eighth notes and quarter rest. Optional rhythms are single eighth note and single eighth rest. With the teacher’s instruction, students use the “Let’s Get Ready to Compose” worksheet to derive the rhythms of their teacher’s name and their classmates first names. Students derive the rhythms of their names by defining the number of sounds in each name, and then finding where the long and short sounds occur within the name. Flexibility is needed in this process. The names are inserted into the chart which lists names with one sound (quarter note), two sounds (two eighth notes), etc. Then, the Name Rhythms Composing Sheet is used by the students to construct their own unique rhythm pattern using their classmate’s names. The pattern may be limited to 16 beats or extended to include as many beats as you wish. This project does not include melodic composing.
Suggested for grades 4, 5 and 6.
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