Learning how to read and perform music is an important goal of music education, but being able to use what you know to create your own composition is extremely important as well. This past week the 4th graders completed a composition inspired by our composer of the month, Franz Joseph Haydn.
After listening to Haydn’s Surprise Symphony, we examined the patterns found in the rhythm of the music. What we discovered is that the rhythm had 3 measures of rhythm that were exactly the same, followed by 1 measure that was different. This is the 3+1 formula, and its a pattern that commonly occurs in the music of many composers and songwriters.
With a partner, the students created a 3+1 rhythm and then learned to perform it. I then challenged them to “make it interesting”. We talked about all the different things that Haydn did to make his music interesting (changing dynamics), and we brainstormed ideas of their own. Here are the resulting compositions: