Creating a Lead Sheet

Creating a Lead Sheet

David Matthews
[email protected]
North Hills High School

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:

Electronic Musical Instruments
Notation Software
Instructional Software


High School


Music Theory


Dell Computers with Audiophile 2496 sound cards, Yamaha PSR Keyboards, Behringer mixers, Finale notation and Band-in-a-Box software.


40 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

Introductory knowledge of the tonic, subdominant and dominant chords; The students have used Finale simple note entry as well as the chord symbol tool.

NAfME Standard of 1994 Addressed:

NAfME Standard of 1994: Improvising melodies, harmonies, and accompaniments.
NAfME Standard of 1994: Composing and Arranging Music within specified guidelines.
NAfME Standard of 1994: Reading and notating music.

NAfME 2014: Creating 


Computer projector at the teacher workstation.


Given the melody and words to Up on the Housetop, the students will use Finale notation software to create a lead sheet that includes the melody, chord symbols and lyrics. An accompaniment will be added using the Mibac Jazz Rhythm Section Generator.


1. The students will be provided a copy of the melody and lyrics to Up on the Housetop. Fill-in-the-blanks indicate where chord changes occur. 2. The students will first enter the melody into Finale using simple note entry. (10 minutes). 3. The students must choose the appropriate chord (tonic, subdominant or dominant) and enter it to correctly harmonize the melody. (14 minutes) 4. Using the computer projector, the teacher will demonstrate entry of words using the lyric tool; the students will follow. (8 minutes) 5. Using the computer projector, the teacher will demonstrate the addition of an accompaniment pattern using the MiBAC Jazz Rythm Section Generator and the students may select their favorite style. (8 minutes)


A four-point scale will be used to evaluate the students’ work for entry of melody, chords and lyrics. In each category, 90% correct entry will be considered a 4, 80% a 3, 75% a 2. Below 74% in a category will be a 1. The students’ use of the MiBAC Jazz Rhythm Section Generator will be evaluated on a “checklist” basis.

Follow Up:

Follow-up lessons would use other tonic, subdominant, dominant songs, to reinforce and reteach concepts.

Items to Purchase:

A computer projector at the teacher workstation is an essential part to teaching with technology and certainly helps this lesson.

When budget should be submitted:

Preliminary budgets must be submitted in January for the following school year.

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