Wednesday, October 7, 2020

How Multiple Choice can guide Beginners in the Composition Process

Freedom to Choose

Choice is usually a good thing, but when it comes to composing, some students have a difficult time sorting through all of the options.  This short questionnaire can help them narrow down their choices and provide a step by step path to help them go through the composition process one step at a time without getting overwhelmed.

Guided Question Composing

1. Would you rather begin with a top down or bottom up approach?
  1. Top Down: Trash to Treasure Composition Words-Rhythm-Melody-Fillers
  2. Top Down: Animal Menagerie/Crazy Critter Composing Words-Rhythm - Melody - Harmony
  3. Top Down: Poetry/Lyrics on a Theme Words - Rhythm
  4. Bottom Up:Primary Chords
  5. Bottom Up:4 Chord Song
  6. Pentatonic or Whole Tone Scale
2. What would you like to add in the left hand?
  1. Copycat Melody
  2. Chords
  3. Variations of Chords
  4. Conversation between left and right 
  5. Ostinato (repeating bass)
3. How do you want to expand on your theme?
  1. Add a contrasting middle section (different key? rhythms? tempo? dynamics?)
  2. Add a variation on the theme (change rhythm? inversion? retrograde?)
  3. Add an intro? outro? or coda?
4. What details can you add for more flair or artistry?
  1. What dynamics would you like to add? Hint: Repeating sections usually change dynamics
  2. What would be a good tempo for this piece? Discuss tempo terminology and the mood they want to create.
  3. Which articulation do you like better?
  4. Do you want to add any staccatos, slurs, accents, fermatas, ritardandos, pedaling or other expressive marks to make your piece even more artistic?
  5. Could changing the rhythm in some measures make it more interesting?
5. Do you need to make any changes to make it easier to learn to play?
  1.  Add fingering
  2. Change octaves for smoother transitions
  3. Add rests, fermatas, or ritardandos to allow time for shifting
  4. Less Hands together or simpler combinations

6. What do you want to name your piece?
  1. Something that matches the lyrics theme?
  2. What do you imagine when you hear it?
  3. Is your title memorable?
7. Perform your piece for at least 2 people and ask them for positive feedback and/or suggestions. Consider if you want to make the changes or keep it the same. Record yourself playing and take note of what you did well and what you would like to do better.

Trash to Treasure Sample Compositions

Trash to Treasure Sample Composition 2

How the "The Hate to Love Clap" came to be.

Start with the Blues Scale melody, change it up, add rhyming lyrics, dictate rhythms, add left hand "conversation" and sound effect claps for fun.

No comments:

Post a Comment