In this short unit of work, aimed at Year 7 or 8 pupils, Pachelbel’s Canon is taken as the starting point. Pupils revise both the Treble and Bass Clefs before listening to part of Pachelbel’s work, practising the Ground Bass itself and then adding two, three or even four melodies on top of it.
Where keyboards with the ability to record different tracks are available, this also doubles up as an introduction to layering techniques. Where the keyboards do not have this function, pupils can work in pairs or groups of three or four to achieve the results.
The task can also be undertaken using acoustic instruments where a suitable mix is available.
Where practical, the unit of work could be extended to allow pupils could go on to compose their own Ground Bass and add two or more melodies above it.
The suggested Levels can, of course, be ignored and replaced by your own standards of assessment.