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Image by Weston MacKinnon

La Gruta:The Bat Cave

2023 • Grade 2 Band • 3'

Let students experience the collective Bat Colony and compose their own Bat Themes to become part of the work!

Available for purchase in late 2023.

Here's the magic

Students learn the "Bat Colony" theme

The Bat Colony Theme is a primary musical idea that unifies the work. In the worksheets, all students can learn to play this music and its counterpoint idea which appears throughout the piece. This melody exposes students to parallel keys (Concert B♭ major and minor) and to phrase structure models which they can reference for their own creations.

Students create their own "Bat Themes"

I have created step-by-step worksheets to guide students and directors to compose their own 4-bar "Bat Themes." Students draw and describe their bat's personality and movement, then make musical choices within a framework to match their bat.

This activity can be done as a whole ensemble and in flex small groups. The sheets include:

  • The parallel major and minor scales (in transposed keys for each part)

  • 3 Sample Bat melodies

  • Rhythm Skeletons: 1) pre-made 4-bar ideas, or 2) a rhythm bank for students to choose their own according to a pattern

  • Pitch Bank: Sample ideas of pitch shapes that students can apply to their rhythm

These individual bats can then be inserted in key places within the work, making each performance unique.

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