Introduction to New Technologies in Music Education

A&HG 4029

Project #3

Technology-Based Lesson Plan for 5th Grade

Natalie J. Ernstes page 1 of 2


Objective – The learner will compose in C-pentatonic using quarter notes, eighth notes, and quarter rests.  The composition must be at least four measures in common time.  The student will use notation software to ÒwriteÓ the composition.  This lesson will take three or four 30-minute classes to complete.


Purpose – To compose using standard notation with music writing software.


Materials Needed – Laptop computers; Smart Board; Finale NotePad software; Various Orff instruments.  Students will get their own laptop as they come into the music room.


Anticipatory Set – The students have already arranged pre-set rhythms in C-pentatonic with stick notation.  Using examples from their previous work, show the class, using NotePad how this will look on the screen – have a blank document ready using the rhythms and pitches from studentsÕ work.  Remind the students to use the charts on the walls to assist in note placement on the staff.  Review what a staff is.  Make sure the simple entry pallets are on the screen.  Ask the students what they think the pallets show.  Discuss each one – main tool pallet, simple entry pallet, and simple entry rest pallet.  Identify the notes and rests to be used in this exercise.  Question & answer throughout class for meaning and understanding.  Have students come up to the Smart Board and model inputting a measure at a time on the Smart Board using their own examples from previous work.  After putting in at least 2 measures, discuss the playback control box.  It works and looks like a CD player – play occasionally what has been entered.


Procedure – The students may power on their laptops.  Show the class how to open up a new music file in NotePad. Double click on Finale NotePad icon (hopefully itÕs on the desktop).  The first window asks for the title (C-Pentatonic), composer (first and last name), portrait or landscape (portrait).  Click NEXT.  The next window is instrumentation.  Click on Percussion, then Mallets, then Add.  Click NEXT.  The next window is for the time and key signatures – the defaults are C time and C Major, which is what weÕll be using (if students have questions, okay, but donÕt spend time on this right now).  Click NEXT.  We now have a blank staff with our title and name.  Review and/or explain the simple entry tool palettes having the students identify the notes and rests to be used in this exercise.  Question & answer throughout class for meaning and understanding.  Explain how to save files and do it frequently.  The file names will be their first and last names plus penta-c at the end.  Have everyone save his or her own file to the V drive.  Review the pitches in the C-pentatonic scale by placing them onto the Smart Board in NotePad.  Have the students note click the scale as well.  Have volunteers to come up to the Smart Board and place notes.  The range of the composition can be from middle C up to A above 3rd space C.  Leave this on the Smart Board for the students to refer to making mistakes along the to teach them how to erase.   See mrsernstesc-penta for an example of note entry order – we wonÕt be using repeat signs – those are there to show 4 measure divisions in the note entry order utilizing each element of the composition in a sequential order.  After having the students erase their pentatonic scale, the students may begin their composition.  Walk and talk.  After a few minutes, have the students stop and watch.  Review and/or show the students how to listen to what theyÕve written asking for a student to demonstrate at the Smart Board.  Play the scale for the class explaining the function of the play back key and that it needs to be on measure one to start at the beginning.  As the students explore the combinations of rhythm and melody, walk and talk around the room.  As students begin to finish their compositions, show them how to delete the extra measures at the end of the staff.  Click on the measure tool and highlight the first measure to be deleted – holding the shift key, click on the last measure to be deleted.  All of the empty measures should be highlighted.  Go to the Measure menu and click delete.  When the students have finished, they may print and go to an Orff instrument to play their composition.


Check For Student Understanding – As I walk and talk around the room observing student work and behavior, I will be able to check for surface understanding.  When students have printed their work, I will check for a deeper level of understanding identifying the use of the C-pentatonic scale, use of quarter notes, eighth notes, and quarter rests.  Students will also play their compositions for the class on an Orff instrument of their choice.  Aurally, the students should be able to identify the use of c-pentatonic pitches and appropriate rhythms.  After each student plays, find the tonal center for each composition.


Closure – When all students have finished their compositions, we will play them on the Orff instruments having a musical conversation.  Experiment with the students playing individually and then in groups combining their sounds for new textures.  Experiment with rondo form having everyone playing the decided A section.  Have the students divide into groups creating their own forms – the form they create doesnÕt have to be a standard musical form.  They can overlap their compositions beginning at different times, etc.


Extensions – Discuss with the students other activities they would like to try using software notation.  Expand the composition format using G and F pentatonic.  Explain to the students that they may download this free software at home with their parentÕs permission and experiment.  The students may bring their compositions to class or email them to me so we can open them on the Smart Board to analyze and play.