Janelle King

MUED 518

Lesson Plan Project




  1. The students will demonstrate the comprehension of composing a string quartet piece by working together in small groups to write a short composition based around a pentatonic scale for all four instruments.
  2. TSWD synthesis of composing by creatively integrating their knowledge of how a basic piece of music for string quartets is composed, as well as their knowledge of a pentatonic scale and creating a piece of music that they can perform as a string quartet.
  3. TSWD evaluation of their peers compositions by comparing and contrasting the differences in the music¹s melodies and harmonies, as well as critiquing the string quartets professionalism as performers.



   This lesson has been created to not only fulfill the state requirement, ³1.2.8 B. Music

1. Perform compositions containing progressively complex notation and use standard notation to record musical ideas.² but also to help the student understand the different aspects of creating music.  This lesson fits into the unit we are on ³Major and minor scales/keys and rhythms² by taking a pentatonic key and writing music to it with the rhythms that fit into their time signature.  The more advanced students who understand I V and IV vii chords can use those chords in the sequence suggested to create a more sophisticated piece.



  1. Sibelius
  2. Dry erase board/ marker
  3. Lap tops
  4. Cd of Villa-Lobos -Bachianas Brasileiras


Anticipatory Set:

            When the students walk into the room, I will have on Bachianas Brasileeras (a piece written for a cello ensemble).  This is to expose students to the idea that a string ensemble does not necessarily need to be written for two violin parts, a viola, and a cello part.  This will open the students up to the idea that they can be creative when thinking of what kind of ensemble they would like to write for.  We will discuss the different ensemble possibilities and break into groups. We will also discuss how a composer could notate music through the use of Sibelius.



  1. Once the students are divided into their groups we will review the use of a pentatonic scale, ABA form as well as using Sibelius.
  2. The teacher will explain the requirements (at least 12 measures long for a quartet in ABA form) for this project and discuss in details what will be expected of them.
  3. Students will begin their independent work using Sibelius on their lap-tops while being monitored by the teacher.
  4. Those students who have completed their 12 measure requirement, will be allowed to continue on with a C section of four measures followed by the A section, etc.
  5. Students will present their projects to the class explaining their decision making process as well as performing the piece they wrote.


   The teacher will know how well the students understand this concept based on how they write their compositions.  If the students have followed the basic pentatonic scale as well as written their rhythms into the measures and created an ABA form, they will receive full credit.  Students will also be evaluated on their understanding based on the verbal presentation as well as their performance.



   Teacher asks the students, ³What is one new concept you learned today?² ³How can this help you as a performer/musician?²



   Some learning activities that could follow are: Students could work together to record their compositions in Garage Band or to perform their compositions at a concert.