Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Simple Melody

Susan Dane


Students write out the rhythm to a song using stick notation.


The student writes notation for simple melodic patterns that have been performed by someone else.

The student understands how composed music communicates text, ideas, meanings, and emotion.

The student knows how to analyze simple songs in regard to rhythm, melodic movement, and basic forms (e.g., ABA, verse, and refrain).


-Staff paper or wipe off staffs
-Markers in various colors
-Overhead projector
-Staff paper transparency


Copy staff paper
Prepare staff paper transparency


Authentic Context:
You have been hired as a scribe for a famous composer. You must write the simple melody patterns that are performed for you using musical notation.

1. Explain the scenario to the students.
2. Sing a simple tune. Write out the rhythm in stick notation on an overhead transparency as you sing and display to the class. Sing the tune again; use a different color marker to write out the solfege syllables underneath the notation. Transfer the stick and solfege to a staff overhead transparency.
3. Sing a simple two-measure pattern. The students should sing the pattern back and write stick notation for the pattern.
4. Repeat the two-measure pattern and have the students write solfege underneath the stick notation.
5. Distribute staff paper and have the students transfer the stick and solfege to a staff including time signature. Designate a given pitch as -sol- (i.e., middle line).
6. Practice in 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4 time.
7. As practice continues, the students should be given patterns that are four measures or longer.
8. Use more difficult melodic patterns as the students progress. Starting with Sol, Mi, La patterns, add Do, next add Re, then Fa, and finally Ti.


The staff paper with the melody written can be used for assessment purposes. Stick notation and solfege should also be assessed by the teacher (errors may occur when transferring to the staff paper).

What part of this activity was most difficult for you: writing the rhythm; the syllables; transferring to staff paper?
Why was this activity difficult?

I need more practice on . . .
I was good at . . .
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