What’s the Answer?

What’s the answer?

Mark Williams
[email protected]
Pequea Valley H.S.

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:

Electronic Musical Instruments


High School


Music Theory


Sibelius 3, computer, midi keyboard


82 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

Basic, simple keyboard skills, staff letter names, basic note entry skills.

MENC Standards Addressed:

MENC 3: Improvising melodies, harmonies, and accompaniments.
MENC 4: Composing and Arranging Music within specified guidelines.
MENC 5: Reading and notating music.


Worksheet, staff on chalk or white board (or other media as available) to demonstrate examples, recordings or scores of music (particularly from the Classical period) that can be played for the students. (i.e. keyboard, any musical instrument, CD player,…)


SWBAT create a melodic ‘answer’ to a provided musical ‘question’.
SWBAT analyze the structure of a melody.
SWBAT enter the melody into a notation program (i.e. Sibelius 3)
SWBAT play the entire, completed melody on a keyboard.


1. Play recordings and/or perform live on any instrument examples of music that clearly demonstrates phrase construction that can be identified as “question and answer”, “Antecedent and consequent”, or simply “rise and fall”. Discuss this concept. (20 min)

2. Present students with handout containing several examples of melodic ‘questions’ with an empty staff where the ‘answer’ would occur. (2 min.)

3. Students will then compose their own responses to each example based upon the beginning of the melody. This response will first be hand written onto worksheet’s provided staff. (20 minutes)
4. At least one entire melody will then be entered into the music notation program in a new document that the student creates. (Print out scores) (20 min)
5. Students will perform each other’s melodies. (20 min.)


The work sheet will be graded based on completed work and the quality of composed ‘answer’. Emphasis will be based on the relationship between the answer to the question, its feeling of completion, adherence to music notation norms and rules.

Students will critique their own and optionally, other students’ responses.

Follow Up:

Musical Jeopardy! What’s the Question?
The answer will be presented in the same fashion but the beginning of the melody must be composed by the student.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.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

Scroll to Top