Last week I went to the GA music educators conference in Athens. I was lucky enough to hear Dr. Boonshaft speak about our profession and how our job was to make kids curious (I encourage you to check out his work. Here is Part 1 and Part 2 of an interview he did on YouTube.) I love that, as this is what we are all about at Note Knacks Music! We love to give kids the tools for them to explore and discover what is possible in music!! 


Right now, my fourth graders are exploring time signatures. We are singing Fais Do Do in An American Methodology and it is in 6/4 time. This is the perfect opportunity to explore the steady beat among other musical concepts, so I gave them a challenge: create a composition in 6/4 time that only uses a steady beat! 

So ~ what else do we have at our fingertips in music to help a piece be interesting? They came up with the most interesting ideas!! I did this with my sixth graders, and they had answers I hadn’t even thought of, as well! It was so fun!! Here is their combined list:

  • replace notes with rests
  • add pitch ~playing one or two notes at a time
  • add dynamics
  • change tempo (we will see how this goes, but I am not confident that this will be a viable option!)
  • add a repeat sign
  • add lyrics
  • mix time signatures (for the sixth graders only)
  • add orchestrations
  • create solos


  • use only a steady beat, no rhythms
  • create at least 2 measures
  • work in groups of 3-4

That’s it! It was so great to see kids working together and trying out different ideas! They were pulling out various instruments to see what they liked the best and making decisions as a group as to what stayed and what went!

I can’t wait to share with you what they came up with!!