My second graders have continued their work on their four measure compositions. Since composing the rhythm of their pieces (see Second Grade Compositions: Step 1 for more details on that), they have been learning about pitch by studying the solfege scale. They’ve become quite proficient in labeling the solfege syllables of a song written in standard music notation, and then being able to sing the tune accurately without hearing it first. I was considerably older than second grade before I could do that! This new knowledge was applied to their compositions last week.
The students had to work within set guidelines as they added their pitches, just as they did when they were writing their rhythms. Although they have learned the entire diatonic solfege scale, they were instructed to use only the pitches of a pentatonic scale for their compositions: do, re, mi, so, and la (in C major, that would translate to the notes C, D, E, G, and A). Most of the students seemed to approach this assignment thoughtfully, as indicated by their frequent requests for erasers. Several of their creations were very melodic and creative, like the one pictured here.
Next, each of my students will write their compositions on a staff in standard music notation!