Saturday, March 19, 2011

Elementary Composition?

I was recently asked to complete a survey on my ideas about composition in the elementary classroom. The survey boiled down to one simple question:  

Why do you think composition is important at the elementary level? 
Once a composition is created, the composer is left to decide if it depicts an accurate representation of their OWN idea of music. That thought process is a vital component in the development of a creative, confident, and well rounded musician. When students are left only to 'perform' the ideas (compositions) of others, they become highly skilled at 're-creation' of musical ideas and they are rarely inspired to develop their own personal idea of what music is all about. Do you learn painting only by reproducing the work of great artists? Do you learn to dance only by following the moves of a great dancer? When you speak, are you only saying phrases and sentences that you have learned from great orators? As my two year old son would say...."No, MINE do it!" Sure, it is not "proper", but it is his way of communicating, and it is very effective! (And for all we know, he is channeling Shakespeare)

In the coming weeks, I will be posting 6 years of student compositions on the web. Follow me on twitter to get the links.

Thanks,
John

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