Peter Albertelli

July 19, 2004


PROJECT#4:  Middle School Lesson Plan






Students will compose pieces with ostinato patterns.




This lesson reinforces 6th grade curriculum of form and compositional techniques.




1.     Recording of Pachelbelıs Canon in D Major.

2.     CD player

3.     10 computers installed with the application ³Garage Band²

4.     Teacherıs computer station with projector

5.     Black or white board with chalk or dry erase markers




The students will walk in to the classroom with the recording of Canon in D Major playing on the CD player.




1.     Ask the students to describe what happens in the bass line.

2.     Define ostinato as ³a short musical pattern that is repeated continuously throughout a composition or a section of one² and write the definition on the board

3.     In groups of two, assign each student a computer station. Using the projector, the teacher will demonstrate the application ³Garage Band².

4.     Divide the students into small groups, and using the parameters defined below, ask them to compose simple ostinato pieces guided by the following criteria listed below:

-       Pieces should be no more than one minute in length.

-       An ostinato must play throughout the piece

-       Reminder that ³interesting pieces² will have different musical ideas surrounding the ostinato.

-       The music can be in any style- be as creative as possible.

5.     The students will be given time to compose their pieces in class.



            Students will play their pieces from their individual work stations and discuss what compositional techniques were used to make their pieces interesting.



Ask students to define and describe ostinato and what they experienced during the performance of their pieces.




Students compose contour pieces around an ostinato pattern using Morton Subotnickıs ³Making Music² composition software. Discussion and use of inversion, retrograde, and other compositional elements may supplement the lesson.