September 17, 2015     Tori Cook

15 Lesson Plans – Teaching the National Core Music Standards through Music Travel (Lesson 2)


MU:Cr2.1.E.Ia Select and develop draft melodies, rhythmic passages, and arrangements for specific purposes that demonstrate understanding of characteristic(s) of music from a variety of historical periods studied in rehearsal.

MU:Cr2.1.E.Ia Preserve draft compositions and improvisations through standard notation and audio recording.


Establish guidelines for a composition assignment using the characteristics listed in Lesson 1. Determine required length of composition, how many musical traits to include, instrumentation, deadline for completion and notation specifications (hand-written, software or other).


  • 16 measures in length.
  • Include at least one line for melody, though multiple parts allowed.
  • Include 2-4 musical traits characteristic of region (marked in the score).
  • Can be written for any instrument or voice type.
  • Should students prefer to improvise, they may use a popular piece of the country’s origin as a starting point and write an improvised melody to coincide with the piece.
  • Must be notated. Hand-written assignments on staff paper or use of musical notation software are both permitted.
  • Recording of composition must be submitted. Students may produce audio file on musical software or record themselves singing/playing the piece.
  • Hand-written submissions will be turned in at the beginning of class, while online submissions will be sent via email prior to class.


Following the guidelines specified, use your chosen musical characteristics from Lesson 1 to create your own composition. Notate and record your work.

Violin and bow on classical sheet music

Since the new core music standards were launched in June 2014, music teachers across the country have been identifying ways to teach them in their classrooms. For ensembles that travel, some standards can easily be met through pre-departure preparations, while on tour and even upon return. This is the second lesson plan for a new e-book which directly addresses each new core standard while also incorporating touring elements. Download the full e-book here:

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