Predicates and Cadences


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How can we complete a sentence?

Lesson Process:

Step 1: Review the terms Predicate (the close of a sentence) and Cadence (a sequence of notes/chords comprising the end of a musical phrase). What do these terms both have in common?

Step 2: Practice identifying predicates by showing sentence fragments that go together – a beginning and a predicate – and having students match them. Do the same thing with musical phrases that students listen to or read (if that is something they have been taught previously)

Step 3:  Divide students into groups and assign each group 2 sentences. Ask students to create a musical phrase for each sentence. The phrase must contain a cadence that matches the sentence predicate.

Time Required:
40-60 minutes

Materials List:

  • Sentence examples, cut into fragments
  • Musical phrase examples, cut into beginning/end
  • Various Orff Instruments (optional)
  • Computer or MP3 player
  • Paper and pencils
  • Speakers


Perform the Sentence Cadences.

Student groups will each perform one of the musical sentences they created. They can sing the sentence or play it on instruments.

If played, the students should also read the sentence aloud.

Students in the class should raise their hands when they hear the cadence.