On Teaching Music Composition in General Music Classes

March 27, 2014

mister a music place

2011Symposium_1_2 Although most music educators have solid training in vocal and instrumental techniques, expertise in teaching music composition is less common. There are, I suspect, fewer music teachers who are composers than instrumental or vocal specialists. Even so, music composition is an important part of musicianship, the development of which is at the heart of music curricula and standards. At some point, students need to advance from interpreting expressions of others to expressing themselves through original work. Creating was part of the original content standards, and are even more prominent in the new standards. I will offer some suggestions on how to approach teaching music composition.
All creative work begins with fluency and thought. Fluency is necessary for the clear articulation of ideas, and thought is necessary in order to imagine and form those ideas. To write a poem one needs to be fluent in a language, and to compose music, one…

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