Composing Melodies with the Pentatonic Scale

Keys of F or G (both examples are provided). F is preferable for singing within most students’ range, but G is preferable if you are also teaching them absolute note names because of recorders starting with B, A and G.

Lesson 1

  1. Music Handwriting Practice Worksheet – I show how to do first measure and eighth notes in the 4th measure. They finish, then show me, then go back to riser to practice the melodic patterns on paper xylophone.
  2. When all done, I sing pattern, they echo sing and play on paper xylophones.

Lesson 2

  1. Pass out Handwriting Practice papers again.
  2. Paper xylophone practice
  3. Take turns on “real” xylophones
  4. Teach chant: Peas Porridge Hot
  5. Use melodic patterns on Handwriting Practice with lyrics, such as use “do, re, mi” pattern with the first phrase “Peas porridge hot,” such as “do, re, re, mi”. You are giving the students examples of singable tunes they could compose. You want to emphasize that “do, re, mi” are “stepping” notes and “re” to “re” is a repeated pattern. They should mostly use stepping and repeating notes. Some skipping is fine, such as from “mi” to “do” or from “mi” to “so.”
  6. Teacher sing examples, students echo sing and play on paper xylophones and take turns on xylophones

More lessons available below.

Handouts / Worksheet / Assessment

(See downloads at bottom of page.)

or purchase here (printables only)

  • Lesson ideas, Composition Worksheet (2 keys), Handwriting Practice, Paper Xylophones, Rubric (PDF)

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