Why?: Composition and improvisation encourage and bolster higher-order thinking. Students must take what they know about music literacy and apply it in a number of different way, strategies that can be used in mathematics and other problem-solving disciplines, such as engineering.
Sample Lesson: An overview of the 5th grade GarageBand composition unit
What?: Potential topics in composition/improvisation for the six grade levels include:
K: What is the role of a composer? Making choices, instrumentally and rhythmically, that augment a pre-existing piece of music.
1: Composing using basic musical form (AB, verse-refrain) to tell part of a story or convey an idea, writing rhythms.
2: Composing using musical forms (ABA, ABCA); writing rhythms; incorporating dynamic and tempo, using body and instrumental percussion
3: Composing using musical forms (rondo) and ideas (program music). Incorporating pitch into composition; performing original compositions on percussion and recorder
4: Composing using basic I-IV-V-I cadences; performing original compositions on recorder, percussion, and ukulele.
5: Composing using harmony, melody, and original ensemble. Composing using Garag
How?: The study of composition/improvisation fulfills and/or supports the following Common Core standards:
Anchor Standard 1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work (Cr1.1a.K-5 & Cr1.1bK-5)
Anchor Standard 2: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work (Cr2.1a.K-5 & Cr2.1bK-5)
Anchor Standard 3: Refine and complete artistic work (Cr3.1aK-5 & Cr3.2aK-5)