Third Graders recently composed a song in music. First, they learned an old folk song and determined there were two melodic patterns and wrote them using solfege, a way of identifying notes with the syllables do, re, me, fa, sol, la ,ti, do. They recognized most of the song was written with the notes do, la, sol and ended with mi, re, do.

Their challenge was to compose a new melody with four measures, four beats per measure, and using the patterns they had dictated from the folk song. Once their new melody was written in solfege, they translated the solfege into treble clef and played their song on xylophones. Four verses for lyrics were agreed upon, written (with lots of giggling!), and then sung and played on xylophones.

Finally, the students added an accompaniment to play on castanets. Their accompaniment is an ostinato, a continually repeated rhythm. The song was complete when they sang while half the class played xylophone and the other half played the ostinato on the castanets.

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