After we sang their compositions a couple of times, I asked the students if they liked the order of their measures. One first grade boy mentioned that he wanted the measure with the gray to be last, so we switched the last measure with whole note measure. We sang it through to see if we liked it. We did! Everyone was in agreement that that sounded best. This was fascinating to me. Our society is so used to hearing a long note at the end of a song, that even these first grade boys thought the long note at the end finished the piece off nicely!
The older students were a bit more analytical in their measure moving choices. There were 2 measures that were identical: 2 eighths, a quarter and a half. One student thought that it would be cool if we turned the second measure upside down in order to create a fun inverted pattern. How amazing!! So we sang it through and then the discussion began! Someone mentioned that he didn’t like the 2 half notes right after each other. So we switched it so the first duplicated measure was upside down, rather than the second. Someone else mentioned that he wasn’t crazy about the 4 eighths together. So the debate began! We continued playing around with switching measures, placing them upside down, etc… until it was time to leave. We will continue the exploration next week!
I was so excited….my students were thinking critically about music! They were having full blown discussions on what should go where and why; it was an artistic debate. This is why I do what I do! We don’t want to only teach songs and dances, we are here to ignite the imagination and inspire our learners to participate in the music they hear. . What more could we ask for as music educators??