Assignment Update #4 Composition Reflection

Some reflections on the composition component of my ibook.

As this ibook resource will be used as part of an informal learning context, I had to take some care in the scaffolding of the tasks – especially the composition related ones. As a result, I decided to provide all the instructions for the task on the first page of the composition section of the ibook. This way students know exactly what is expected and have a clear order of tasks. They can then find all the resources for the tasks in the pages following. As the resource is intended for Year 9 students (within Stage 5), it is really important that they are well supported in successfully achieving the completion of the tasks. To this end, the tasks were sequenced so that the students moved from familiar to unfamiliar territory. It is a requirement that students should use the recently analysed material (Pastance’s arrangement of Skye Boat Song) as a model for their own composition (a model for structure and a model for melody writing). Skye Boat Song has a A B Verse – Chorus structure with 4 bar phrases that are repeated and the melody has been composed with the pentatonic scale.

The composition task involves:

  • Students improvising with backing tracks
  • Composing and notating their own melody using the G pentatonic scale (and phrase structure of Skye Boat Song)
  • Record the newly composed melody into a garageband arrangement
  • Rearrange the provided tracks in the garageband project to create a unique arrangement
  • Compose any additional parts to the arrangement

I hope that I’ve structured this composition task in such a manner to helpfully support Stage 5 students in what I’d like to be a positive and beneficial musical experience.

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