Composing using QCreatives

After a week in amazing San Antonio Texas presenting and attending TMEA I came back ready to get through our last week before February break. I tried a few new things this wonderfully hectic week which included learning composition and performance of rhythms and melodies. I focused on 2nd and 3rd grade for the following below with each ending off with an ‘A ha!’ moment for my amazing kiddos!

QComposer (2nd grade):

Materials:

  •    QComposer up on the projector
  •    Whiteboard and Markers
  •    Xylophones and mallets
  •    Recording device

Process:

  •    Our precursor to this is learning the rules of what makes a good melody. We review them and write them on the board.
  •    We choose a starting note and I then go around the circle giving the students the option of going “up or down” to the next line or space. We use only quarter notes and always start and stop on the same note.
  •    We listen to it and using whiteboard markers we label the letter of the notes together.
  •    We clap to the beat and say each letter name.
  •    Our last step is to practice each measure on the xylophones and put it all together. The students were so proud to play their own work!
  •    If it sounds great and the students are focused I would head to the recording device you have and get it recorded! The teachers love to hear what their students are working on!

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QBackbeat (3rd grade):

Materials:

  •    QBackBeat up on the projector
  •    Whiteboard and Markers
  •    Rhythm sticks and a rug

Process:

  •  This was another activity as my students explored what percussion is all about.
  •  First, all you will need in QBackbeat is lines 1 and 3 (I called them the red and green beats)
  • Together I asked students what they thought a slow steady beat would look like on the red line. We ended up filling every other space until it filled the screen.
  • Next we practiced the beat using our voices with the word “Boom” acting like a bass drum and practiced saying “Boom” together as a class.
  • Next we added a green beat and I did this on my own as students watched because we are still working on eighth notes. I created the eighth beats in QBackbeat by clicking each box twice. The students wanted to say this beat as slow “Ticka Ticka” so we practiced saying this all together.
  • Next we divided the class in half, half said the red line beat and half said the green line beat before we switched parts.
  • Passing out the rhythm sticks I had them all sit in a horseshoe shape around the rug and we practiced each line saying and playing as one of my students pointed on the board.
  • Then we divided up the class again and each played the red and green lines together and after switched parts.
  •  I began playing the two lines at once as the class listened intently. After a minute one of my ‘chair drummers’ shouted out, “Hey! That’s a rock beat on the drum set!” I nodded my head with a grin and mouthed ‘try it’. They were so pumped I listened to the sweet sound of floor drumming for a good 10 minutes. All they needed was QBackbeat as a visual!

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These lessons were used both this week to great success and grabbed student’s attention right before break!

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