John Zatorski


High School Lesson Plan


Objective: Introduce a beginning music theory class to rhythmic notation by having students write a percussion ensemble piece that is 16 measures long, incorporates only quarter and eight notes and rest, and is for fixed pitch percussion only.

It must have 4 parts i.e. snare, bass, cymbal, triangle.


Purpose: To reinforce previous lessons on eighth and quarter notes and rests, measures and time signatures.


Materials needed: Work stations with computers and Sibelius Notation Software, a projector and screen.


Anticipatory Set: We will examine a piece that I have written with regards to form, patterns, movement and space and cadence




1.     I will review the process of setting up a score and data entry in Sibelius.

2.     Students will work independently. I will spend some time checking each student making sure they are meeting the criteria and are not having difficulties with either the program or the content.

3.     The class will look at each otheršs pieces and analyze them for rhythmic accuracy form, movement use of space and cadence.


Check for student understanding: We will break the class into groups of 4 and perform each piece. Students will give feedback on each piece with regard to the criteria above.


Closure: I will ask the students to comment on the use of dynamics and tempo change with regard to their piece. What other things can be done to make your piece more interesting.


Extensions: This lesson is part of unit on rhythmic notation. In subsequent lessons we will expand our pieces to include triplets, sixteenth notes different time signatures compound rhythms and more instrument parts.