I saw a version of this via Buchanan Music on Instagram and tweaked it to fit my classroom. It includes so many concepts my 4th graders have been working on and was so easy to fit it all into one simple thing. Here is a link to the paper I used: Recorder Composition
Here is the way I used it in my room:
My 4th graders have been working on recorders for awhile so this combines all the topics we have been covering. Rhythm writing, notes names, fingerings,placement on the lines and spaces, and playing. But, now the students had to put all their knowledge together to create their own melody.
We started out by doing the paper as a whole group. I projected a copy of it on the board and used my dry-erase markers to fill in the answers. Here are the steps:
- Write a 4 beat rhythm at the top.
- On the lines in the next box write the letters of the notes you are wanting to play.
- Fill in the fingerings for the recorder on the blank recorder picture.
- Write the rhythm note on the correct line or space.
- Practice playing the simple melody.
- Play the melody together. Can repeat if desired.
Some helpful tips I told my students:
- Stick to rhythms that were 1 beat in length (quarters, eighths, rests, sixteenths) to keep it easier. Some asked to use Syncopa but I told them to K.I.S.S the music *Keep It Simple Silly* instead.
- When picking your notes, think about how those notes would be on the recorder. Don’t jump all over the place and make the fingerings tricky for yourself.
- You can always make changes. If you don’t like how something sounds, change it!
Students then completed this on their own. They practiced their melodies and played them for me. I graded their playing and their writing on the paper. Once they had played for me, I told them they could show and play for their classmates and even try to add some of the melodies together to make longer songs.