Notating Original Compositions

Notating Original Compositions 

Melissa Ricci
[email protected]
Lincoln Central Elementary: Licoln, RI

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:





General Music


MIDI Computer/Keyboard Lab
Finale Notepad Software


40 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

The students know how to read basic musical notation including letter names of notes and simple rhythms.
In the previous class the students learned about the C Major scale.

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 


-An overhead machine.
-An overhead transparency of a C Major scale and several examples of simple folk songs in the key of C Major.
-Xylophones and other classroom pitched and non-pitched percussion instruments.


1. The students will have a better understanding of how a composer writes music.
2. The students will learn how to compose a simple melody in C Major with specific guidelines.
3. The students will learn to notate their compositions using the Finale Notepad notation software.


1. The teacher will briefly review the C Major scale with the sixth graders using the overhead machine. (3min)
2. The teacher will go over a number of folk songs that are in the key of C Major and lead a class discussion of how a composer will use a scale to create a melody.(5min)
3. The students will take turns coming up to the xylophone and improvising a melody by using just the notes in the C Major scale.(2min)
4. The teacher will show the class how to notate music using the basic click and drag technique on the Finale Notepad program.(5min)
5. The class will be divided into groups of four students. Each person in the group is assigned an instrument. One student on the electronic keyboard, one on xylophone and two on non-pitched percussion instruments.(5min)
6. Each group must compose an eight measure song using only the notes in the C Major scale. The song must be in 4/4 and use only quarter and eighth notes and rests.(15min)
7. Each student will be responsible for notating his or her own instrumental part on the Finale Notepad Program.(remaining class time and next class)


-The teacher will circulate around the classroom and observe the progress of the students.
-In the following lessons the student groups will perform their notated piece for the class and pass in a printed copy of their work.

Follow Up:

-In the next lesson the students will finish writing and notating their songs.
-When the students are finished notating their parts, they will perform their song for the class.
-Each student will hand in a printed copy of their intrumental part.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top