Creating an Accompaniment Line for Cellists

Creating An Accompaniment Line for Cellists 

Laura Cipriano
[email protected]
Taipei American School

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:



Middle School




Siblelius Notation Software
Computer and Midi Keyboard


45 min Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

The students should have previous listening and playing experience with the tune used for the assignment;
Treble and Bass staff note-reading
Basic note input entry skills for Sibelius

NAfME standard of 1994 Addressed:

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

NAfME 2014: Performing 

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 

NAfME standard of 1994: Listening to, analyzing and describing music.
NAfME standard of 1994: Evaluating music and music performances.

NAfME 2014: Responding 

NAfME standard of 1994: Understanding Music in Relation to History and Culture

NAfME 2014: Connections


Peek-A-Boo Waltz from the Children’s Fiddling Method by Carol Ann Wheeler

Student Worksheet for the assignment
Notation Rubric



The students will improvise and then notate a bass line accompaniment for a familiar tune.


1. The students will have rehearsed and performed the melody of this waltz in previous classes. The violin melody can be transcribed for violas and cellos. Cellists can play if they have experience with shifting.
2. The class will discuss the meaning of the chord names above the staff. The teacher can demonstrate a simple chordal accompaniment as one of the students, or a small group of the students, performs the melody.
3. The students can try improvising an accompaniment by playing the root of the chord with each note length simply as a dotted half note.
4. After the students have some experience hearing the sound result of their improvised accompaniment in with the melody they will do a worksheet for further information and guidance and go over the notation rubric.
5. Finally they will notate their accompaniment on a bass clef staff using Sibelius.


The students will share the notated accompaniment with a partner for peer assessment using the notation rubric. The notated part and the points earned will be submitted to the teacher.

Follow Up:

Future lessons could focus on style such as the use of ornaments in the melody. The performance of the tune could also be combined with movement.

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