Can 5 Year Olds Compose Music?

What a wonderful experience to substitute teach Kindergarten through 6th grade music this past May 2022–student composers at EVERY level!

Kindergarten Composers

The kindergartners were my last to try Hyperscore–they wrote steady beat and alternating steady beat compositions in the rhythm sketch window. These pieces made perfect accompaniments for “The Ants Go Marching”. We enjoyed playing one student composition for each verse as we did the movements!! Who would have thought a 5-6 year old could:

  1. turn on a computer
  2. log in with their Clever badge
  3. click a link to the software
  4. drop a rhythm sketch window in the workspace
  5. fill in quarter notes and then make them alternate the next day
  6. use their piece for their peer’s movement activity

Can 5 year-olds compose? YES!! Look for future blog posts about my two 5 year olds that submitted pieces and check all the pieces out after I finish loading them onto our YouTube Channel!

1st Through 6th Grade Composers

My 4th graders willingly composed for 13 class periods! They received 4 lessons on how to use the tools as their only instruction and had time to create without rules in between the lessons. 5th and 6th did guided lessons and at least one piece was a shining example of creativity, but sadly was not submitted. 1st and 2nd graders had to write quarter and eighth note rhythm patterns that stood for creatures in the ocean with 2nd adding the half note they’d learned from their year-long teacher. Completing that task earned creative composition time–lots of submissions from this group. My 3rd graders wrote songs using the notes B A and G which I had hoped to have them play on their recorders to end the year but they wanted to compose instead! Permission forms went home for anyone who wanted to post their piece on our YouTube channel and I am loading them now:

What next?

Student composers? You bet! Now to get all that experience written into National Core Arts Standards lessons for YOU to achieve success with your student composers! Watch our Resources for Educators page on this website as I write Summer 2022…


How Do I Love Hyperscore? Let Me Count the Ways…

MusicFirst – Profiles in Teaching with Technology ยท MusicFirst: Profiles in Teaching with Technology – S4 E19 – Cece Roudabush


One Grade Level to Go!

When we say that “anyone with a device and the web can compose using Hyperscore”, we want to mean it. With my current long-term job subbing K-6 music until the end of the school year, I am testing those waters daily! I have tied up the loose ends of the teacher (on leave to have her first child) and transitioned every grade level but one to Hyperscore.

I am following the requirements for the National Core Arts Standards since a team and I will be writing that curriculum this summer. 5th and 6th graders are using every note value grouping, writing harmony and creating form. My 4th graders are preparing this week for harmony and have really enjoyed choosing tone color and the rhythm sketch window! 3rd graders were learning recorders so we start writing B A G songs today.

My most amazing moment was getting 1st and 2nd graders logged in to Hyperscore. Seriously, when you make the first student who successfully logs in into the program an IT consultant, suddenly everyone is helping everyone else and you’re there!! We are using Hyperscore to write quarter, eighth and quarter rest patterns in the rhythm sketch window. 2nd graders will add a half note. I will do 3 days with Kindergarten next week writing steady beat and alternating steady beat. I sure hope Peter can make a QR code for me to get them logged in or it might take all week. Wish me luck!!

News Product Updates

MusicFirst Launches Hyperscore on the Web: 5/2/22 Webinar

New Harmony Line is proud to present the online webinar hosted by MusicFirst’s Founder and Director, Dr. Jim Frankel and Rachel Nicastro, Director of Marketing. Our panel included M.I.T. “Opera of the Future” Professor Tod Machover, New Harmony Line Executive Director June Kinoshita, Chief Technology Officer Peter Torpey and Director of Education, Cecilia Roudabush. Very special guests included Dr. Kevin Jennings and Anne Dugan. Ms. Dugan spoke briefly about her role as Director of Community Partnership for the Sister Cities GirlChoir then eloquently spoke about the power of composition for the girls in their amazing organization. Dr. Jennings Zoomed in from Ireland at 12 midnight to share information about his passion for, and contributions to, the pedagogy of Hyperscore as well as his love of composition.

Do you have a moment to fall in love with Hyperscore if you’re not already there? Please join us in celebrating HYPERSCORE ON THE WEB!!!


Increased Social/Emotional Wellbeing with Hyperscore?

One of our Beta pilot teachers felt unsure about having her elementary music classes use Hyperscore to become student composers after having spent so much time using Zoom and the computers for class the past 2 years. Understandable for sure! Fortunately, New Harmony Line wanted to do a preliminary study on the social and emotional benefits of composing so we decided to try a mini-study with this teacher and 2 of her primary sections.

I met with the class five times. We started each session with a movement activity, a short lesson and then composition time on individual devices. Students composed rhythms, melodies and a basic harmony with two lines of texture. We collected data at the beginning of the study, every day after composing and at the conclusion of the study. A graduate-equivalency student and a professor agreed to take on the task of analyzing the data which we expect to have this May.

The observational data was outstanding. Students exclaiming, “I made this” and “That was cool–who did that?” and “Hey, everybody, try pushing this button” made my heart sing. My favorite comment of all was the student who assured me he’d figured out “the physics behind this thing”!! Of course, there were students who were frustrated by an uncharged device, trouble logging in or anxiety about trying something new but for the most part the teacher and I saw a lot of joy and creativity. I am long-term subbing K-6 music until the end of the school year June 1st. Guess what we are going to be doing?!!!

Empower kids to tell their stories through music.