This version of It’s October is a composing activity for students who can read music. The rhythm is written above the staff. The student can choose which notes he/she would like to use. Students can write a melody divided between the hands or a melody with chords, depending on their age. Usually when students try to write music down, they become frustrated, so this gives the student some structure. The only rules are to chose the key for the piece, and use the tonic as the last note. If you are not a musician, the tonic is the first note of the scale, sometimes called the “key note.”
Of course, some of your students will come to their lesson with elaborate music they play for memory. That is great, but the music is often too difficult for them to write down, and time-consuming for you as the teacher to transcribe! It is, however, a wonderful thing to do, and often these are your students who will be your best composers!
One of the great joys of being self-published is the ability to change things around, and in this case, borrow from myself. I first used this poem in a pre-reading song I posted a few years ago. It is suitable for their first piano lesson. I’ve included the pre-reading version in this PDF for your convenience.