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IN MY DREAM: High School Lesson Plan #2

High School Lesson Plan #2, PDF version

Making Progress: From Chords to Melody

Back to In My Dream Introduction


  • Students will recognize and name simple chord progressions.
  • Students will aurally analyze passage of music.
  • Students will write original melodies to fit supplied progression.
  • Students will perform original melodies.


  • In My Dream: tracks 19 (The Way You Do the Things You Do), 25 (It's Time to
    Make a Change
    ), and 27 (Hold On).
  • Worksheet (accompanies this lesson)
  • Extra manuscript paper if available

  1. Define/review "chord progression" and give examples of simple progressions. Play track 19 as example of I-IV-I.
  2. Play track 25 and discuss. What additional chord is used?
  3. Distribute Hold On (track 27) worksheet (page 2 of this lesson). Students will fill in missing chords. Play track several times or until students indicate completion. Go over worksheet as a class. Review questionable passages, playing students' solutions to compare with recording. Consider validity of alternate chords.
  4. Individual students will write a melody to fit chord progression. Provide enough time for each student to complete at least one phrase. Have students sing their melodies individually or as a class if time allows.
  5. How did students depart from the original melody? What process did they use to compose, and what steps would they take next?


  1. Using the initial chord progression as a basis, have students create harmonies to add to their original melodies.
  2. Look at ways a walking bass line includes non-chord notes; compare to simple arpeggiation.
  3. Given several chord progressions, match one to a supplied song.

  • Did students recognize and name simple chord progressions?
  • Did students aurally analyze passage of music?
  • Did students write original melodies to fit supplied progression?
  • Did students perform original melodies?


Singing alone and with others.
Improvise original melodies over given chord progressions.
Students analyze aural examples of a varied repertoire of music.
Students identify and explain compositional devices and techniques used to provide unity and variety.
Students compare ways in which musical materials are used in a given example relative to ways in which they are used in other works of the same genre or style.
Students evaluate a performance, composition, arrangement, or improvisation by comparing it to similar or exemplary models.

*From National Standards for Arts Education. Copyright © 1994 by Music Educators National Conference (MENC). Used by permission. The complete National Arts Standards and additional materials relating to the Standards are available from MENC -- The National Association for Music Education, 1806 Robert Fulton Drive, Reston, VA 20191

Hold On
In My Dream, track 27

Music for "Hold On" from track 27 of "In My Dream"