Before diving in, I asked the students, "What was the first thing God did in the Bible?" They thought for a few seconds before eagerly proclaiming, "He created everything!" We talked for a few minutes about how we see God as the Creator in Genesis 1. Later in the same chapter, He tells us that he created us to be like Him. And, He even gave us the task to be creative! (See Gen. 1:27-28. In theology, this is known as the Creation Mandate.)
Then, I shared that a person who writes music is creating something new. In musical terminology, people who create music are composers. And, you don't have to be a famous, old dead guy to be a composer! I reminded the students that they were going to participate in the very work of God--creating--even thought they were "only " composing one new section of the song.
So, why only one measure instead of a whole new song? In the Genesis account of creation, even God created within parameters (the 6 days, one focus a day, etc.) We have to begin somewhere! In the Orff-Schulwerk methodology, the focus is on the elemental aspects of music. These concepts are referred to as the building blocks of all music. Elemental components are foundational patterns of rhythm and melody that are easy to produce and manipulate. In the next few lessons, we will move from one measures to two measures, then to a full Question and Answer form.
After we got the parameters of the composition project laid out, the students worked in groups of 2 or 3 to create their own version of Hot Cross Buns. Then, we played them for each other, showing off our creations. The neat thing was that even using the same set of notes and rhythms, each group created a distinct version of Hot Cross Buns!
Here are several examples from Mrs. Rabun's class last week: