Improvisation and Composition Activity Series 1


A fun series of themed prompts to inspire improvisation and composition. Students are encouraged to use musical elements to develop musical expression.

Sold By: Kate Thompson


This printable activity is intended for use in musical instrumental lessons, (or class music lessons where pitched instruments are available), to:

  • Support strong rhythmic skills
  • Make improvisation fun and accessible
  • Develop musical expression through the use of dynamics, tempo, articulation and pitch
  • Incorporate an understanding of time signatures
  • Inspire composition


  • Five theme cards
  • Six sets of rhythm cards, of varying complexity (in the time signatures 4/4, 3/4 and 6/8)
  • Instructions

The five themes included are:

  • A trip to the beach
  • A cold, snowy day
  • Into Space
  • Into the jungle
  • The cool Alpine forests

Activity instructions

  • Choose a set of rhythm cards and a theme
  • Place the rhythm cards in the spaces on the theme page in any order you like
  • Identify the time signature and place it in the space on the theme card
  • Clap the rhythm
  • Think about the theme – how might you use articulation, tempo, pitch and dynamics to convey the theme in your music?
  • Playing your instrument, improvise a melody inspired by the theme, using the rhythm on the cards
  • Try changing the order of the rhythm cards, using a different set of rhythm cards or using a different theme
  • The activity can be extended by developing longer compositions

Additional information


Primary School (4-11)


Beginner (Initial), Early Elementary (Grade 1), Elementary (Grade 2), Early Intermediate (Grade 3)

Resource Type


Teaching Focus

Composition, Improvising, Rhythm


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