Were you a Daddy’s girl? I was. I remember my Dad sitting at his desk working while I played the piano next to him for hours. He was a wonderful audience and always so supportive, never suggesting I take a break. Since I was usually making up stuff, that is pretty amazing! Back then, my parents were told that my hands were too “small” for piano lessons. Fortunately after several years of playing by ear, they tried again and found a teacher for me!
With Father’s Day in the summer, Dads are often left out when it comes to student-made gifts. So if you are teaching in June, here is a composing activity for a Father’s Day gift.
This music is actually a remake of the one I posted about 8 years ago. I updated the entire page and even changed the hand position.
As you can see, the left hand is not in Middle C position. I have found that if students get used to putting their hands in different positions from the beginning, they learn to read by intervals easier. However, every teacher is different so feel free to “white out” finger numbers.
If you’re new to beginning composing pages, here is how to use the pre-reading page – the one without a staff.
- The student plays the part of the page that has words using finger numbers.
- The student makes up a tune to fit the rhythm in the part with stars, using the rhythm above the stars. The last note should be C.
- Students write the finger numbers of their melody in the yellow stars.
- Some students also like to write words.
I use this as a way to introduce how to write a melody, so I instruct students to end on the key note, which in this piece is C. Encourage him/her to move down or up an octave. It is fun to discuss how Dads have low voices, so my students like to move down to the bass notes for the last four measures.
Writing music on a staff is difficult for children.That is why we break it down into small steps. Since the rhythm is given to them, they can concentrate on the melody.
Of course, students also love to doodle around and make up their own pieces, like I used to do for my Dad. I encourage my beginners to memorize these “compositions” because the music is usually beyond their abilities to write down.