This is the second part of a two-part post on Melody Writing Step by Step.
During Session 1, the class decided on a four-bar/measure chord progression.
Example: C | Am | G | C ||
I vi V I
Session 2 explores how to create a simple melody from that progression.
5. Chord Symbols
During this session/lesson, you will demonstrate how to create a simple melody using ONLY the chord notes for each bar/measure. It is essential to show students this process with student input before attempting this part of the process themselves.
For example, the chord for bar/measure 1 is C. The only notes to be used in this bar are C, E, and G.
Have students write the chord symbols with the three letters of the notes that spell the chord above each measure/bar.
Bar/measure 2, the Am bar, will use only notes belonging to the A minor chord when writing the skeleton melody.
6. Skeleton Melody
Using only the chord notes, students write their skeleton melody.
At this point, ensure that students understand they don't have to use all the notes in order. They don't have to use all three notes. (Because it's bar/measure 1, they will need to begin with the note C)
Keep the rhythm of the skeleton melody very simple; half notes (minims) and quarter notes (crotchets) only.
As you and your students create the skeleton melody, share the following basic melody writing tips with them:
Check that students have copied the skeleton melody example into their melody writing workbook.
To end this session/lesson, the students complete an activity to create a skeleton melody based on a four-bar/measure chord progression. They can make the chord progression, or you can give them one to follow.
Students need to play their skeleton melody with the chord progression, or you play it for them to hear how it sounds. Allow them to make changes to the melody if they wish.
The final step in this melody writing process is to add passing and auxiliary notes between the chord notes.
7. Passing and Auxiliary Notes
Explain Passing and Auxiliary notes and demonstrate where they could be added in the skeleton melody created in session 2.
PASSING NOTES are non-chord notes/tones that are used to move from one chord note to another. They are placed on unaccented beats/parts of a beat.
For beginners, stick to adding simple passing notes, i.e. between two chord notes that are a 3rd apart.
Skeleton melody with passing notes added
AUXILIARY NOTES are used between a repeated chord note to add interest. It is the note that is one step above or below the chord note.
Skeleton melody with auxiliary notes added
These SEVEN steps break the melody writing process down into easy to digest segments for students and checks for understanding along the way.
To help you further, the MTR MELODY WRITING for BEGINNERS gives you the teaching slides and student workbook, all prepared and ready to print off.
Download the PREVIEW of the Melody Writing for Beginners for a FREE, two-page melody writing activity!
See PART 1 of this blog post.
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