Thanksgiving Composing Activity

Thanksgiving Thanks 

A Composing Activity

There were so many nice things some of you told me about my last composing activity, that I thought it would be fun to make another one. One teacher even sent me a picture that is very special to me!  Some children need a break if they just finished the last composing activity. Use your teacher intuition or just ask them if they want to do another one.

Since Thanksgiving is almost here, I didn’t put too many notes in this song. Students can write just a melody, or they can write a melody with chords.

I have a student who wanted to write a melody with chords. I made some composing rules for him. After he decided on a key, he wrote the I chord in the first measure. Then in the 4th measure he wrote a V7 chord.  The last note had to end on the tonic note with a I chord.

The hard part was to write a melody that would sound good with the chords. I told him to use a note that was in the chord. Some other hints are to use only steps and few skips, since this is such a short song. You can play the melody to Ode to Joy and to show how Beethoven wrote a famous melody using only 5 notes with mostly steps. 

Now there are those who think this is not very creative. But some children are very fearful of composing and are not the type to sit at the piano and doodle around. This gives them some structure as well as make music theory come alive. Plus it is a way to do a little bit of composing in our very limited lesson time.

I am almost finished with the pre-reading version of this song that will be fun for 5-7 year old students. I’ll post it very soon.

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6 thoughts to “Thanksgiving Composing Sheet

  • Collin

    HI! I’ve just started using your composing worksheets and my students love them. For this one, I noticed that you had half notes where whole notes should be (in m. 4 & m. 8). Do you usually tell the students to use rests where the measure is incomplete?

    • Susan Paradis

      It sounds like I need an editor. I must have made a typo. I would ask the student to fix it!

  • Paula

    You are just the loveliest. I have used songs, worksheets and composing and though I have some ideas too, I just love your graphics, the fun nature of the photos and how the kids, through doing something more fun, can keep motivated til the next lesson and they’re excited to bring back their compositions. I’ve got the older ones started on the simple ones too, they laughed when I showed them. But I gave them some rules, like start on C,E, or G and then finish on G, and explained why and explained that half way through they should end the second line on a V7 chord. I’ve gotten them to do easy stuff and have continued by getting them to do much harder stuff. It’s so hard to compose and show their creations…it’s helping their confidence. Thank you for the inspirations….truly 🙂

    • Susan Paradis

      Paula, well, you’re so very welcome. I do the same thing you do, and you are right, it gives them confidence.

  • Kelly Koch

    Thank you so much, Susan! This is a perfect project for these “antsy” weeks around the holidays. I used your October activity in so many different ways, but especially enjoyed the “ear training” that we used in coming up with left hand chords. Will certainly use your suggestions on this one. I am a big believer in composing as an “all in one” learning tool. Thanks again!
    Kelly Koch
    Minds On Music
    Gulf Breeze, FL

    • Susan Paradis

      Thanks, Kelly. It is so good to hear feedback about things I post. I had one little guy who loved his own music so much he *had* to play it for me at every lesson, so that’s one reason I wanted to do this one. Also, I’m glad to know my new website is working! I know it looks the same, but on my end things are different, so I’ve been a little nervous about it!


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