Using the EduCreations App on our iPads, students began composing with musical Dice.
This past week, several grades tried their hand at composing music on the iPad with a musical staff die. We talked about how Mozart did something similar in his day. We’ve been learning about the staff, and I thought it would be a fun adventure to jump right in and get the boys and girls writing down music. We can drill the names of line and space notes later… I wanted to make it real… instantly!
A Melody must have these two ingredients rhythm and pitch.
I had them think of their favorite song and be prepared to sing it. Then I tossed the ball to them, and they had to quickly sing one phrase. We decided that in order to have a memorable melody, we must have pitch and rhythm.
This is our first try… I’ll get to the question and answer phrases and all the other blah, blah, blah soon enough.
We used the EduCreations iPad App.
At first, I had the children draw the staff… but after two classes of that time-consuming idea, I had the rest scan a QR code to download a staff image. The children duplicated the image and then took a picture of the two staves to keep in their photo roll.
We explored possible rhythmic patterns using the Magic Pen on the SMARTboard.
Before we started rolling for the notes, we spent a few minutes deciding on a simple rhythm pattern to use in each measure. On the SMARTBoard, I drew 5 note heads on the staff and let the children use the magic pen to quickly create possible patterns using quarter and eighth notes. That was pretty cool because the next person was ready to create their rhythm just as the previous child’s ink was disappearing. I’ve got to remember that trick for a future activity!!
Download the pattern to make the Dice at the end of this post.
I copied the pattern onto card-stock and used double-sided and clear packaging tape to put them together. The bad news is that it takes about six minutes per die to cut and tape together; the good news is that once the dice are made, they last forever.
Take a look at the video…
It turned out to be a super fun way to learn about the staff and use the iPads.
Composing music on the iPad was so cool because the children were able to learn about the staff, learn how to write down notes rolled on the staff die, and figure out for themselves how to turn 5 noteheads into four beats. The iPad was not just a drawing tool; the best and most exciting feature of using the iPad was how the students could record their composition to create a complete project. It was a great start to notation and created many questions in the process… When my students are asking questions, I know they are really learning.
I hope you can use the idea!
rhythm dice pattern.pdf
|Date:||January 29, 2015|
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