Creating Our Own Songs

Creating Our Own Songs

Margaret Skidmore
[email protected]
Eastern Michigan University

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:

Music Production




General Music


Computer Lab with 25 I-Mac computers.
Garage Band installed on each. Large screen monitor for student viewing.
25 blank CD’s for recording.


3 sessions each 45 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

Students have an understanding of form through singing and movement. They can recognize and identify contrasting sections based on melodic, rhythmic and instrumental differences.

MENC Standards Addressed:

MENC 4: Composing and Arranging Music within specified guidelines.
MENC 6: Listening to, analyzing and describing music.


CD player.

Text books for students, Silver Burdett, Making Music Grade 6(2002).
Companion CD recordings for text.
Students need to bring paper and pencil to class.


1. Students will identify the four different themes and coda used in the “Waltz of the Flowers” from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite.
2. Students will be able to articulate what they hear as the difference between sections; melody, rhythm, and instruments.
3. Students will determine the overall form of the piece.(ABA)
4. Students will demnstrate their understanding of ABA form by creating their own composition in Garage Band using ABA form with a coda.


Introduce the Ballet the Nutcracker to students briefly explaining story line. Explain the place of our listening selection, “Waltz of the Flowers” within the total ballet.

A)Briefly review with students how we recognize the difference between sections of a song. How many sections can a song have?
B)Students will listen to “Waltz of the Flowers” and follow along with the listening map (pg. 317 Making Music, grade 6) pointing to the appropriate theme as they hear it. Teacher will have Introduction, A,B,C,D and Coda on the board to help point out when the music has moved to a new theme.
C) Students listen again, and this time be able to describe what what they hear as differences between themes. (Melody, rhythms, instruments, tempo, texture) Teacher writes student observations on the board for each theme.
D) Students will listen again, this time calling out the theme as they hear it. Teacher wi! ll write these on the board as they are called out. The order: ABABCDCABAB
E) Challenge students to see a pattern in the order. Can the themes be grouped together to create a larger form? (ABAB)(CDC)(ABAB) for ABA
D)Listen one last time for any unifying concepts between sections, such at rhythm, instruments, or tempo. Have students describe what they heard.

A) Student will go to the computer lab and open up Garage Band.
B) Students will be given a sheet with the guidelines for their composition.
The composition must be in ABA form.
Each A section must be 16 measure, the B section must also be 16 measures. The coda can be 4 to 8 measures.
Students must use at least 3 different loops for each section.
There must be one unifying sound (or loop) that runs between sections.
C) Teacher will demonstrate on the large screen how to open Garage Band and create a new song and label it. T! itles can be changed or created later, but they must put their last na me on their work.
D) Teacher will demonstrate how to find different loops and listen to them. Students should take their paper and fold it in half. One side should be labeled “Loops I Really Like” and the other side “Loops I Sort of Like.” Students should listen to many different loops and write down the ones they like in the appropriate columns. For example, World>Latin Triangle 01, so they can then go back and use the sounds they like and know where they were. They must have at least 7 different loops in each column.

E) Teacher will demonstrate how to put the loops students select into their composition, how to extend the loops for the desired number of measures as well as how to periodically save their work.
F) Students are then to work on their own in using the loops they like putting them together to create their own composition with the guidelines they have been given.
G) The teacher will monitor students, hel! ping as needed as they work on their compositions.
H) Upon completion, students must name their composition and save it.

The teacher will then burn CD’s for each student to take home of their composition.


Listening for Day 1 will be a formative assessment. Teacher will note in planner students who were on task, listening attentively and contributing to the discussion.

The Final product will be the summative assessment. Compostions will be graded according to how well students followed the guidelines that were given.

Unacceptable – Only 2 of the 3 sections or a missing coda, no unifying sound between sections.

Acceptable – 3 sections and a coda, but not meeting the required number of measures for each. A unifying sound but not for all sections.

Target – 3 sections and a coda of the required length with a unifying sound throughout.

Follow Up:

Students can explore Rondo Form and create their own compositions in a similar manner.

Items to Purchase:


When budget should be submitted:


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