Music Theory Assignments


In groups no bigger than three, choose one of the following options:

1-Compose three short songs that could be used in a "Fairy Tale Musical". You do not necessarily need to tell the entire fairy tale in your three songs; each song will simply represent one moment in the overall story. Accompaniment can be live or recorded. Final performance can be live, written out, or recorded.

2-Compose three short pieces that could serve as background musical for a "Fairy Tale Ballet". You do not necessarily need to tell the entire fairy tale in your three pieces; each piece will simply represent one moment in the overall story. Each piece needs to be a minimum of 90 seconds. This can be performed live or recorded. All members of the group must perform and play a near equal role (meaning you can't have one pianist who does all the work and then have two people who hit a bass drum at the very end of the piece).

3-Pick an album by a well known artist and then list every chord progression for every song both in pitch and roman numeral format. 

Individual Project (Due on your last day of class)

You should have already started on this project and by now decisions should have been made regarding whether it will be a song or instrumental piece and whether you will be performing it live, recording it or will be turning in sheet music. 

The song/piece needs to be at least 2 mins in length and/or 48 measures long. PLEASE do not hesitate to ask for feedback as you work through the writing process.

5/17--Today is the last day before the IB Music test, so I'll be spending most of the day with them. Here's what I need you to do:

15-20 minutes of music theory games at

Then you will have the remainder of class to work on your final project and take the chords proficiency.

5/11--You'll spend the first 15-20 mins of class playing games at: In the last minute, please email me with the name of the game you played and what specific music theory skill you were working on.

As a whole class you will then do a quick analysis of the following song: 

Use Google Docs to type it up--in narrative form (not just a list). Make sure you share the document with me so I can grade it and give you credit. The basic prompt is, "Describe, in musical terms, what you hear." Make sure you include the overall form and then specific details about each section (melody, harmony, instrumentation, phrasing and rhythm). This should take approx. 25 mins. 

Then you'll have a chords proficiency that the sub will pass out to you. After turning that in you may use any remaining class time to work on your final project. Please do not hesitate to email me with any quesitons or concerns regarding your final project.

5/09--Same as last class. Use your work time divided between the theory training games and working on your final project.

5/05--Use your class time to play on these theory training games:

I will be coming around and checking in with many of you. After 20 mins of games you should begin working on your final project.

5/03--After we do our work together as a class you will begin working on your final project: A large scale composition. The first step is to make a few decisions: 

1. Do you want to compose a piece or write a song?
2. What style do you want to write? (this can be adjectives such as "slow" or "energetic" or specific musical styles such as "a tango")
3. What instrument(s) do you want to write for?
4. What is the form of your piece going to be?
5. Give three adjectives describing each section of your piece.

The total composition/song needs to be at least 2 minutes in length. 

Please write out these answers in Google Docs and share it with me.

4/28--No daily assignment today. We'll be doing broccoli together then an analysis and then finish the class with a chords proficiency.

4/26--When I am not working with you one on one, please work on the following website until you get 10 answers correct in a row:

Once you complete that, you will begin working on our next composition: step one is to compose a 16 measure melody in d dorian.

4/22--We will finish the worksheet we started last class. Please make sure you turn it in before you leave today.

4/20--Today's daily work is an old school, tree killing worksheet. Make sure you turn it in to Mr. Rust by the end of the class period.

4/15--I'm very sorry I can't be there today--we'll catch up next week. For today I'd like you to use the time to catch up. Almost all of you are missing at least one assignment. Use today to go back through and get caught up on all daily assignments. Make sure you share your assignments with me. I'll be available Monday during 8th period to answer any questions or concerns.

If you are all caught up with your assignments then go ahead and take a look at these videos:

4/13--Using Noteflight, compose a melody in the key of D Lydian, using the following text:

I'll tell you the story of Cloony the Clown
Who worked in a circus that came through town.
His shoes were too big and his hat was too small,
But he just wasn't, just wasn't funny at all.

Make sure you share the file with me when completed.

4/7--Using Noteflight, compose three sixteen measure melodies (all on one file, but seperated with double bar lines). One melody should be written using G Lydian, one using D Mixolydian and one using F Dorian.

4/5--Using Noteflight, write the following scales: G Lydian, G Mixolydian, G Dorian, F Lydian, F Mixolydian, F Dorian, D Lydian, D Mixolydian, D Dorian. Reminder: Lydian=Major + raised 4th, Mixolydian=Major + lowered 7th, Dorian=minor + raised 6th.

3/30-- Using Noteflight, write the following scales: G major, C Major, F Major and D Major (leave an empty measure in bewteen each scale). In the blank measures, use the exact same pitches as the previous scale, but start and end on the fourth scale degree (Example: After the G Major scale, your first and last pitches will be "C" with the notes of the G Major scale used to create the scale). Make sure you send me the link when completed.

Reminder: Your partner melody composition is due Friday, April 1st.

3/16--1. Open in your browser
2. Enter the 5-digit game code 59588, and click "Proceed"
3. Now enter your name and click "Join Game!"
4. You will get an avatar, and then see a "Start Game" button. Click it to begin!

3/14--We will begin working on a larger scale composition project: the partner song. For today, you will need to do the following: 1-Pick what key you are going to compose in. 2-Choose a four-chord chord progression (Example: I--ii--IV--V). Then compose a left and right hand pattern THAT ONLY USES PITCHES FROM THOSE CHORDS. Repeat this pattern on each chord and then copy those four measures six times. Your sheet should look something like this:

Make sure you save your work!

3/09--Using Noteflight, add on to your previous assignment:

Beginner: Take each of the scales you wrote out and make a chord on each pitch (only using the notes from the scale). 

Intermediate: Start a new piece (don't add on to your previous assignment) Use the following chords to make a left hand chord pattern (in the key of D Major): D Major, b minor, G Major, A Major

Advanced: Compose a 16 measure "B" section to follow up your previous composition.

3/07--Using Noteflight, create the following:

Beginner: Write out the following scales (make sure you include all sharps and flats!): Bb major, g minor, f# minor, c minor, F Major, Db Major and Eb Major

Intermediate: Write out the following chords (whole notes): D Major, e minor, f# diminished, C Augmented, Bb Major, c minor, c diminished, g diminished, Db major, b diminished

Advanced: Compose a 16 measure melody in the key of g minor (make sure you use F#, the raised 7th).

After you complete your work, click "Connect" on the upper left hand side. Then change your settings so that anyone with the link can view and comment. Email me the link to your assignment: