Posted in 4th and 5th Grade, Composing, Fourth Grade, Instrument Activities

4th Grade Composition Unit

Fourth grade students are working on a composing unit. Students begin by drafting a composition using a plain piece of paper folded into 16 small boxes. Each box represents one BEAT. If a note is worth four beats, that note must take up four boxes. Students are using xylophones and glockenspiels to work with partners to draft their compositions. A finished draft looks like this:

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Students label each note with a letter on the xylophone. The downward and upward arrows signify whether a note is a higher (smaller key) note or a lower (larger key) note. The notes A and B do not need arrows because each xylophone has only one A and one B!

When students are finished their drafts, they then transfer their composition onto real staff paper. The finished product looks like this:


The final step in the process is to enter our compositions into a music writing website! We will be using the website to transform our compositions into masterpieces! Students have been encouraged to check out the website at home and create their own free account. ┬áStudents use a checklist to make sure they have finished all the steps…

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and the final, FINAL product looks like this:

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Below are some examples of student work!

Mrs. Morrison’s Class

morrison shea will bradelee the laser dance

morrison maggie and lily midnight dream

morrison emily and chiyu ostrich dance


Ms. Keeley’s Classkeeley joyful fields yuna abby matt m

Ms. Grattan’s Class

dreamcatcher caitlin autumn

a rainy day peter and ethan

what if it happened adam and brendan

patches lucas

aqua zone