This is the goal: to be put out of a job. These guys did it! After learning the song Leatherwing Bat, these amazing second graders of mine spent time coming up with several options for a bordun pattern on the xylophone that would 1) fit within a 4/4 meter, 2) use a half note, and use the two pitches E and B. They shared all of their solutions and chose one that felt and sounded natural when they played it. Then, using the notes EGAB, they explored many options of rhythmic patterns that would be a nice compliment to the bordun. After thorough discussion and many shared opinions about which type of instrument (metal or wood) should play each part and WHY, they made up their mind. The metals are playing EGAB because the ring sounds cool and represents a bat flying up. The woods are playing the bordun, which is nice and percussive. Many students took turns being the director whose job was to start the ensemble by "counting off" to the appropriate meter. They decided how many times to play before singing.
Music class is not just about "singing songs" and "having fun". Of course, we do those things! We KNOW how to have fun. But we are going deep, and we want a beautiful blend of skill, knowledge, creativity, and independent dependence ("I'll take care of my part, but WE bring the music to life).