Beacon Lesson Plan Library

My Way

Terry Gladfelter


Students perform an improvisation of the Blues that could be used to accompany a video about a decade in American history.


The student performs on at least one instrument, alone and in groups, using proper playing technique (e.g., embouchure, posture, or bow control) and attends to melodic phrasing, rhythmic accuracy, and articulation.

The student performs in large and small instrumental groups with proper ensemble skills (e.g., blend, balance, and intonation).

The student improvises melodies over a given chord progression with appropriate notes and rhythm.


-Tape recorder
-Blank tapes
-Blues chordal background
-Bb, Eb, Ab blues scales


Gather resources.
Establish lesson schedule.


Authentic Context:
As part of a final humanities project, groups of students are presenting a video about a decade in American history. The assignment includes the use of original music for the video. Your group has chosen to perform an improvisation of the Blues to accompany the video of the 1930ís.

This is a multi week project that can be a part of a daily band warm-up.
Provide students with a copy of the Bb, Eb, Ab Blues scales.

Week 1
1. Teach the Bb Blues scale.
2. Begin improvisation with half and quarter notes.
3. Continue improvisation on Bb Blues with half, quarter, and eighth notes with a chordal background.
4. Improvise on Bb Blues scale using half, quarter ,eighth, and sixteenth notes with a chordal background.
5. Use the band warm-up, with random students performing on the Bb Blues scale with a chordal background.

Week 2
Follow the same procedure as week 1 using the Eb Blues scale.

Week 3
Follow the same procedure as week 1 using the Ab Blues scale.

Week 4
Record the improvisation to accompany the video.

Apply the same procedures to other genres of music.


Use the -My Way- Melodic Improvision Rubric provided in Associated Files to assess the student's performance.

What made you choose the method of improvisation that you used?


Students will learn how to improvise a basic melodic line.

Attached Files

File Attachment.     File Extension: pdf

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