part of their training in composition, senior cycle Music students
have to write a melody based on a given phrase. Their tune must
is a website an effective tool for teaching melody writing?
ability to hear what they have composed on paper does not come naturally
to everyone, so a step-by-step approach is adopted to encourage
the user to listen to, recognise and recycle good features of tunes.
Students will learn to associate the visual aspects of the notated
music with the aural results. This, after all, is one of the most
important aims of music writing - coping with written scores
can a Leaving Cert student learn melody writing here?
project addresses the problems encountered by Music students who
are trying to work creatively under exam conditions, without the
aid of any musical instrument. Interactive examples are used throughout.
This allows an exploration of tonality, cadences and awkward intervals.
project has three main objectives. It shows how
continue a given opening to complete a 16-bar melody with modulation
cope with strict parameters such as a dance style, metre or
set a verse of poetry, not limited to 16 bars
I.T. tools are used here?
computer with a free, downloadable plug-in, called Scorch,
enables the user to work through the notated examples. Examples
of keys, rhythm patterns, compositional devices and instrumental
ranges are illustrated visually and aurally with MIDI and notation
are some Internet links - interesting, although optional. Headphones
may prove useful if the students are allowed to spend time playing
paper and pencil should be at the ready so that students can copy
down ideas they will need for further work. Teachers also need
not abandon the blackboard and piano.
about the lesson plan?
testing of the lesson material has generated ideas which have
been incorporated into the design of the 40-minute lessons.
are fifteen sections in all, under three main headings - tools,
techniques and composing. The teacher will refer to the tools
and techniques sections in most lessons.
is recommended that three lessons revolve around the writing
of major melodies - found in the composing section.
class periods could be spent on dances.
further lessons are needed to cover minor melodies.
wordsetting section takes two sessions and should not be attempted
until basic rules of melody writing are undertood.
package is a resource for teachers who may wish to use it in class
to reinforce and compliment their own lessons. It is also geared
towards students who wish to work at their own pace at home. If
you are interested in using this resource, go to the section called