Recently, I published an Index of Dollars and Sense posts so that you can quickly find the areas that interest you. I’m getting more and more questions about teaching composition, so I thought it might be helpful to also post an index of the Composition Corner posts. In addition to seeing them below with annotations, you can also see these articles here.
Helping Students Compose
Keep This in Mind
Before you read about specific things to do with students who are composing, here are 2 articles that discuss 2 things that should always be in the forefront of your mind as you work with your students:
What Do You Want Me to Do? If your own student brings you a composition, here’s one of the best things you can ask before they play.
How Much Should I Help My Student Compose? Many teachers wonder how much help they should give to their students if they are entering a composition contest.
Creating Harmony – Reharmonizing Here’s a very easy way to help students learn how to harmonize a composition. Includes some free worksheets to use.
Harmonizing Compositions Here’s a list of ways to harmonize a composition which might include some forgotten harmonies.
Constructing Good Melodies
Problems with Melody Here are some of the frequent problems with melody that I see in my own and other students’ compositions
Here’s what you can do about some of those problems:
Tapping into Creativity Article in AMT – Here is an excerpt of the article I wrote for the American Music Teachers which contains many tips about how to give your students easy, simple creative assignments to help them understand all the things you are already teaching!
Composition Contests for Students Yes, there are lots of opportunities for students that are still in grade school, Jr. High, High School, and even college.
Teaching Composition: Q & A
- When do you have your students first begin writing down their compositions?
- Do you have your beginning students use notation programs?
- How do you get your students to compose outside the scale of C Major?
- I have a student who writes beautiful compositions. Can she possible get these published?
- My elementary students compose pieces where I have to help them with their very complex rhythms. Should I encouraged them to stick with only rhythms they can notate?
Do you have question about teaching students composition? Please email me and I’ll be happy to help!
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