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Assessment Resource Centre (ARC)

  1. Stage 2
  2. Creative Arts
  3. Activities
  4. Music: Thematic compositions
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Music: Thematic compositions

There are no Work Samples available for this Activity.

Foundation Statement strands

The following strands are covered in this activity:


Description of activity

Students compose and perform a piece of music.

  1. Students work in groups to brainstorm onomatopoeic words related to an integrated theme eg whoosh, bang, sshh.
  2. They arrange these words onto large paper or cardboard using repetition to create a theme composition.
  3. Students then perform and record their composition using voices in a chant.
  4. They then replace their voices with body percussion, and record their performances.
  5. Students assign symbols to words on their chart and compose a score using commonly understood musical terminology for rests and dynamics.
  6. They perform their composition using non-melodic instruments for each symbol.

Suggested materials

Variety of music, paper, pencils/textas, percussion instruments, CD player, recording equipment

Prior learning

Students have learnt about various musical concepts including beat, duration, dynamics and structure. Students have experimented with body percussion and non-melodic instruments, and discussed how to relate concepts or images to sounds and symbols.


Performing (MUS2.1)
Sings, plays and moves to a range of music, demonstrating a basic knowledge of musical concepts.
Organising Sound (MUS2.2)
Improvises musical phrases, organises sound and explains reasons for choice.
Organising Sound (MUS2.3)
Uses commonly understood symbols to represent own work.
Listening (MUS2.4)
Identifies the use of musical concepts and musical symbols in a range of repertoire.

Criteria for assessing learning

Students will be assessed on their ability to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the musical concepts of structure, dynamics, beat and duration
  • record ideas onto paper in the form of a composition
  • competently perform their composition using voice, body percussion and non-melodic instruments
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