Friday, March 30, 2018

Composition 101: 5 Avenues to Begin Composing

Which is better creativity or conformity?
For a person who likes the comfort zone of predictable instructions, checklists and rubrics to measure progress, conformity is definitely the easier path, so embarking on a new adventure of preparing students for a Composition Festival this year was an intimidating challenge for me. I tapped into a lot of resources and discovered that there are a lot of different paths that lead to the same destination.
As I led my students through the process of creating their own pieces I was amazed at the many layers of learning this project created as they applied rhythm dictation, fingering choices, time signatures, dynamics, form and note naming. The best part was that my students were so motivated to apply these rules of "conformity" because they were passionate about their compositions. Following is a roundup of links that can unleash the creativity and get the juices flowing in a variety of ways.
Make a Motive or Theme/Mood with Sound Effects or Patterns
Wynn Anne Rossi Creating Creature Sounds
Piano Improvisation, Scales and Composing with BenSound
Compose Create Cartoon Motif Contest
Scale Ingredients Composing with Flour and Salt
(Major, minor, Pentatonic, Blues or Whole Tone)
Scaling the Chords with Bradley Sowash

Launch with Lyrics First + Rhythm
Pianimation Song Starters
Teach Piano Today Trash to Treasure Composing
Teach Piano Today Crazy Critter Composing
Good Better Best Composing with Chord Harmony
I Like Candy Better Than Tricks Halloween Composing
Colors of the Wind Piano Improvisation
Do-Re-Mi Ice Cream Improv
Valentines Composing

Start from the Ground up: Chord Progression or Bass Pattern 
Pianimation 12 Bar Blues
Discover Blues Improvisation by Edwin McClean
4 Chord Songs Axis of Awesome
Begin with Primary Chords - examples: Try Everything Zootopia, Pixar Lava Short, Heart and Soul
Tim Topham 4 Chord Composing
Pattern Play by Forrest Kinney

Let a Rhythmic Motif Set You in Motion

Twinkle Twinkle Pattern with Beat Board
Hoffman Academy Piano Lesson 12 Rhythmic Composition
Hoffman Academy Lesson 13 Chocolate
Latin 3+3+2 Rhythmic Signatures Wynn Ann Rossi

Inspiration from the Experts: Variation on a Theme
Inspiring Creativity with Variation Cards
Canon in D Improv 
Compose Create Jingle Bells Variation Challenge

Related Posts:
Fun Tools for Teaching Composition: A Resource Roundup
Teaching Composing: Interesting Intros with Sowash and Faber

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