Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Composing Music with Music Dice

 This week we've been making practicing fun by using several different kinds of music dice.  My 6 year old resists practicing more than my other girls so I'm trying to motivate her to enjoy music and that includes writing music.  She has absolutely loved this activity which we spend a couple minutes between chunks of our practice time.

I have this great staff paper that is really big and long.  This is great for the kids who like to write big.  I bought it at Music in Motion and I'd like to stock some in my store soon.  However, there are plenty of free sites where you can download staff paper with a variety of sizes like this one that has three different sizes.


The first step was teaching her how to make a treble clef.  It's so much fun to draw treble clefs, don't you think!  I love doodling treble clefs.   After she drew a treble clef she would roll a time signature die to determine the time signature of her composition. 


The next step was to use the musical notes die to determine which notes to draw.  Since she's a violinist she used the A Pententonic die.  There are other dice available such as the C Pentatonic die (great for pianists and general musicians) and the G Pentatonic die in the bass clef for cellists.  Basically all of the pentatonic dice have the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 8th note of a scale (A, B, C#, E, F#, and A for the A Pentantonic dice.)  These notes generally sound pretty good when arranged in any order.

I let her decide what kind of note (we were only doing quarter and half notes) and she figured out where to put the measure lines.  When her measures were finished she and I would play her composition.  I would play different versions of it as well (different rhythm, different pitches) so she could see that she could develop it into a song.  She got such a kick out of listening to me compose a little piece out of her melody.  I noticed her doing this later on her own.


Here is one such composition (notice the half note is backwards.  :)  This has sparked an interest in practicing again...at least this week.

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