Composing a Pentatonic Recorder Song

Composing a Pentatonic Recorder Song

Pam West
[email protected]
South Hamilton/Scotland Elementaries, Chambersburg, PA

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:

Notation Software




General Music


Computer lab or several computers, Finale NotePad or higher


3 45-min. sessions Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

Students will have had at least one group introductory lesson in Simple Note Entry and know how to use Edit>Undo.

NAfME Standards of 1994 Addressed:

NAfME Standards of 1994: Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.

NAfME 2014: Performing

NAfME Standards of 1994: Composing and Arranging Music within specified guidelines.
NAfME Standards of 1994: Reading and notating music.

NAfME 2014: Creating

NAfME Standards of 1994: Listening to, analyzing and describing music.

NAfME 2014: Responding


Finale NotePad, printer, recorders, worksheets, charts (Simple Note Entry keypad and Document Setup Steps)


1. Students will learn to compose simple melodies using a non-MIDI point and click notating system.

2. Students will be introduced to notation software and be able to use Simple Entry and Playback.

3. Students will perform their songs on the recorder.


Lesson 1:
Students will do a guided composing example with the class using the boxed notation worksheet assigning rhythmic notation and pentatonic pitches to each note (BAGED).

Lesson 2:
Students will individually compose an original 16-measure melody using the boxed notation worksheet in the same manner as Lesson 1.

Lesson 3:
1. Students will use setup their composition with title,
composer, time signature and soprano recorder in the notation software using the following steps (displayed on the Document Setup chart).
A. Open NotePad, click on the File Menu and choose New.
B. Click in the Title box and type [Student Title].
C. Click in the Composer box and type [Student Name].
D. Click Next.
E. From the left hand column, choose Woodwinds. From the center column, choose Soprano Recorder. Click Add, then Next.
F. Click the 4/4 box in Select a Time Signature. Click Next.
G. Click Finish on the next screen.

2. Students will enter their compositions using Simple Note Entry following the Simple Note Entry chart displayed as outlined below.
A. Select the note value from the number keypad.
(ex. quarter note = 5)
B. Type the letter of the pitch you want to use.
C. Select the note value for your second note.
D. Type the letter of the pitch you want to use and continue until the entire song is entered.
E. Click on the Measure Tool.
F. Double click in the last measure of your song.
G. Click on Final in Barline row of boxes. Click OK.
H. Hit the Spacebar to hear your song. Hit it again to stop.
I. Print your song and practice it on your recorder.

Lesson 3:
Students will perform their songs on the recorder for the class.


Manuscripts will be checked to see how accurately the students reproduced the music.

Students will perform the song for the teacher and class.

Follow Up:

Students will continue to follow this procedure for song with more rhythmic and melodic options.

Students will be taught how to copy repeated measures easily using the Mass Edit tool.

Students will learn how to change the note into the proper octave and to change the note value as needed.

Items to Purchase:

School districts would need to install a free copy of Finale Notepad for student use in the lab or on the school computers.

When budget should be submitted:


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