candy corn

Lesson: Candy Corn Composition

October brings crimson leaves, glowing jack-o-lanterns, and children eager for Halloween tricks and treats.

Amy Fenton shares a creative process for capturing the rhythms of the season in her Halloween lesson for soprano recorder: Candy Corn Composition.

Amy Fenton

Amy Fenton

Amy Fenton is a music and movement teacher for grades 1-5 in Haslett, Michigan. She holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership, a BA in Vocal Performance (with a minor in Flute), and Post-Baccalaureate Certification in Music Education. Amy has completed all levels of Orff Schulwerk certification and Master Class. She is a Recorder Teacher Educator for AOSA Levels courses. Amy has served as President of the Mid-Michigan Chapter, as well as Regional Representative on the AOSA NBT, and is currently serving as AOSA Treasurer.

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21 Comments

  1. Avatar Andrea Nichols Halstead on September 30, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    This is a great lesson. I will be using it for sure with my Recorder Club this month. My 4th graders will love this and I love that we will be meeting the standard of Composition in such a unique way. Thank you so much!

    • Teaching With Orff Teaching With Orff on October 14, 2015 at 11:10 am

      That’s wonderful Andrea! We hope your Recorder Club enjoys creating their candy corn compositions!
      – Your friends at Teaching With Orff

  2. Avatar Mrs. Melton on September 30, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing the lesson plan “Candy Corn Composition.” This is such a wonderful resource. I have been working with my students on recorders and I have wanted to include something for October and this is just perfect. Thank you again!!!

    • Teaching With Orff Teaching With Orff on October 14, 2015 at 11:11 am

      You are welcome Mrs. Melton! We are so pleased that this was timely for you and your students.
      – Your friends at Teaching With Orff

  3. Avatar Alicia Glaser on September 30, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    This sounds like so much fun! I love any creative way to have the kids write their own music! Thank you for sharing!

    • Teaching With Orff Teaching With Orff on October 14, 2015 at 11:12 am

      Thank you for the feedback Alicia! We hope your students love their candy corn compositions!
      – Your friends at Teaching With Orff

  4. Avatar Jacquie Yoerges on October 1, 2015 at 7:46 am

    I love this lesson. Especially the inclusion of the elemental form. This really helps kids make sense when they are composing. Bravo!!!!

    • Teaching With Orff Teaching With Orff on October 14, 2015 at 11:13 am

      We are so pleased that you enjoyed the lesson, Jacquie! We hope your students do too!
      – Your friends at Teaching With Orff

  5. Avatar Carolyn Disser on October 2, 2015 at 7:59 am

    Thank you for the creative idea! I shall have to simulate the candy with cut-outs, however, since our school policy does not allow candy, and I would not want to tempt my students:)
    Carolyn Disser

    • Avatar Keira Quintero on October 6, 2015 at 2:42 pm

      Hi! I just wanted to share that I used mini erasers from Oriental Trading as a substitute for the candy.

      • Teaching With Orff Teaching With Orff on October 14, 2015 at 11:17 am

        That’s a great idea Keira! Thank you for sharing!
        – Your friends at Teaching With Orff

    • Teaching With Orff Teaching With Orff on October 14, 2015 at 11:14 am

      You are so welcome, Carolyn! And you can certainly substitute the candy with stickers or clipart cutouts.
      – Your friends at Teaching With Orff

  6. Avatar Alicia Coon on October 7, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    I did this lesson with one of my 3rd grade classes today. I provided ziplock bags for them to take their candy home following the lesson. The students really enjoyed using candy to compose rhythm patterns so it was well worth the cost of the candy. Thanks for sharing.

    • Teaching With Orff Teaching With Orff on October 14, 2015 at 11:19 am

      We’re so pleased to hear that your students enjoyed the lesson Alicia!
      – Your friends at Teaching With Orff

  7. Avatar Teri Hammon on October 15, 2015 at 10:49 am

    I really like this idea, however, candy is not allowed at my school and we do not celebrate holidays. Instead, I made sheets with picture sets, 8 each, of a cat, 2 pumpkins, candy corn, an owl (a substitute for the ghost), and leaves. The students enjoyed cutting out the pieces they wanted to use and gluing them to copies of the composition template to create their rhythm patterns. Students are working on adding the note names. By limiting the rhythm (picture) options, I was able to modify this as a rhythm activity for my younger students.

    • Teaching With Orff Teaching With Orff on October 15, 2015 at 3:54 pm

      What a wonderful adaptation, Teri! Thank you for sharing with us.
      – Your friends at Teaching With Orff

  8. Avatar Tiffany on October 20, 2015 at 11:00 am

    I used this in my 4th and 5th grade classes! A HUGE success!
    Thank you for sharing!

    • Teaching With Orff Teaching With Orff on October 20, 2015 at 5:29 pm

      We are so pleased that you students enjoyed this lesson, Tiffany!
      – Your friends at Teaching With Orff

    • Amy Fenton Amy Fenton on October 21, 2015 at 10:14 am

      I’m so glad that you liked it!

  9. Avatar Franca on November 11, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    I loved this lesson (and so did my 1st Grade students!) We used it as a group composition project. I laminated sheets of different rhythm pieces; pumpkin, jack-o-lantern, ghost, candy corn, etc…then added magnets to the back so we could use the board. We talked about possible patterns (forms) that our piece could take, AABA, ABAB, ABCB, etc…then students began to choose the rhythms they liked best for the first line. After that, we talked about the concepts of same, different, repetition and surprise ending!!! Next year in 2nd Grade, I would like to add more rhythm pieces and have students work with a partner! Then turn their compositions into notation! Thanks so much for this wonderfully creative idea!!! It brought me and my students such joy!

    • Teaching With Orff Teaching With Orff on November 16, 2015 at 4:25 pm

      We are so pleased that you and your students enjoyed this lesson, Franca. And we love hearing how you used it in your classroom!
      – Your friends at Teaching With Orff

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Jennifer B. believes everything Studio 49 makes is of the highest quality with amazing sound. Never a “dead bar!”