THEME AND VARIATIONS

Deborah Kelchner
kelchnerd@bpsmail.org
Barrington Middle School

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:

Notation

Level:

Middle School

Class:

General Music

Equipment:

Computer, Print Music notation program, Theme and Variations Worksheet

Duration:

45 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

Students have studied the Theme and Variations form of music as part of a Unit on musical Form. They would have listened to pieces such as “Variations on America” by Charles Ives and discussed the ways that the composer creates a variation of the theme. The students should have an understanding of what a rhythmic variation is by listening to them with examples presented by the teacher and within “Variations on America”.
The students should be able to notate rhythms using half notes, quarter notes, eighth notes, sixteenth notes and quarter rests.

MENC Standards Addressed:

MENC 5: Reading and notating music.
MENC 6: Listening to, analyzing and describing music.

Materials:

Theme and Variations Worksheet,
Prepared Print Music File with just the melody of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and a 12 measure blank staff to create a rhythmic variation.

Objectives:

The students will be able to:
Identify the melody “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” from notation.
Create a rhythmic variation of the “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” theme, using half notes, quarter notes, eighth notes, sixteenth notes and quarter rests, altering the rhythm of the theme only, not the theme melody.

Procedures:

1. The teacher will distribute the Theme and Variation worksheets to the students working at the computer stations.

2. The students will complete the worksheet and compose their rhythmic variation for the theme “Twinkle,Twinkle Little Star”.

3. The students will open the prepared file “Theme and Variations” in the Print Music program.

4. They will notate their variation of the theme on the blank measures provided.

5. The students will listen to their variation on the computer and make changes to improve their variation if necessary.

6. The students will share their variation with the class

Evaluation:

Theme and Variation Rubric:

4 – Rhythmic variation has no note errors, and utilizes only the notes listed. The rhythmic variation does not alter the theme melody

3 – Rhythmic variation has 1-2 note errors, and utilizes only the notes listed. The rhythmic variation only alters 1-2 pitches of the theme melody

2 – Rhythmic variation has 3-4 note errors, and utilizes most of the notes listed. The rhythmic variation only alters 3-4 pitches of the theme melody

1 – Rhythmic variation has 5 or more note errors, and utilizes some of the notes listed. The rhythmic variation only alters 5 or more pitches of the theme melody

Follow Up:

Compose a rhythmic variation on the “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” theme by changing the rhythm and the time signature.

Listen to Variations on “Ah vous dirais-je Maman” by W.A. Mozart and hear how Mozart composed variations on the “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” theme.

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