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 Composing1. Would you rather begin with a top down or bottom up approach?
- Top Down: Trash to Treasure Composition Words-Rhythm-Melody-Fillers
- Top Down: Animal Menagerie/Crazy Critter Composing Words-Rhythm - Melody - Harmony
- Top Down: Poetry/Lyrics on a Theme Words - Rhythm
- Bottom Up:Primary Chords
- Bottom Up:4 Chord Song
- Pentatonic or Whole Tone Scale
- Copycat Melody
- Variations of Chords
- Conversation between left and right
- Ostinato (repeating bass)
- Add a contrasting middle section (different key? rhythms? tempo? dynamics?)
- Add a variation on the theme (change rhythm? inversion? retrograde?)
- Add an intro? outro? or coda?
- What dynamics would you like to add? Hint: Repeating sections usually change dynamics
- What would be a good tempo for this piece? Discuss tempo terminology and the mood they want to create.
- Which articulation do you like better?
- Do you want to add any staccatos, slurs, accents, fermatas, ritardandos, pedaling or other expressive marks to make your piece even more artistic?
- Could changing the rhythm in some measures make it more interesting?
- Add fingering
- Change octaves for smoother transitions
- Add rests, fermatas, or ritardandos to allow time for shifting
- Less Hands together or simpler combinations
6. What do you want to name your piece?
- Something that matches the lyrics theme?
- What do you imagine when you hear it?
- 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|