The educator must understand the base knowledge of composition of his/her students. The students' creations do not have to be masterpieces, but it is important to know how much instruction will be needed on composition. If the student cannot read music, then this lesson will be extremely difficult.

The educator must also be very familiar with the software being used so that s/he can answer all questions directed at him/her by the students.

Group Size: Any

Learning Objectives:

After a week of instruction and immersion into composition, students will be able to understand how to operate composition software by creating 2 minute long song.

Upon creating their own music, students will articulate the differences between manual and digital composition.

Guiding Question:

Do you think modern-day composers compose by paper and pencil or with digital software? If you were a composer which would you use?


Pencils Staff paper Finale or Sibelius Computers capable of running the above programs


  1. Begin class with sample of created song:
  2. Use pencil and staff paper to create a song
  3. Discuss process of manually writing a song
  4. Transition to computers
  5. Get to know software by taking the manually composed song and creating it in the software
  6. Create new song that is 2 minutes long using the software
  7. Transition to seats
  8. Discuss the process of digitally composing a song
  9. Complete a page paper evaluating the differences between the two methods of composition weighing the pros and cons of each

The digital composition and page paper (double spaced). Digital copy must have substantial content: not just one repeated note, and shows variety of notes and rhythms. Paper reflects on differences, evaluates the pros and cons and forms a synthesis for why one style is better than the other and how they would use it in the future.

Answer Key or Rubric:

For full credit the student must have a 2 minute long digital composition consisting of more than just one note. Also, the student must have demonstrated critical thinking in his/her comparison of the two modes of composition while using the whole page. Student supports reasoning for which method is better with their personal experiences with the assignment.

Benchmark or Standards:

Benchmark Number:
MU.68.F.1.1Benchmark Description:Create a composition and/or performance, using visual, kinesthetic, digital, and/or acoustic means to manipulate musical elements.
Subject Area:MusicGrade Level:68Big Idea:Innovation, Technology, and the FutureEnduring Understanding:?
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