Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Piano Teacher's Guide to Creative Composition - Part 3 (Reading Together)

I continue to be impressed with the richness and practicality of the information that Carol Klose offers in each of these short chapters.

This week's chapter focuses on how to map a composition. Klose recommends mapping out a composition in order to help students develop a more coherent piece.

Using a Graph
The graph is used to depict the levels of excitement within the composition.
This section includes the following examples:
- an example of a basic graph (blank)
- an example of a graph with title, story, levels of excitement, and form
- an example on how to add more detail to the graph, including tempo, dynamics, and characteristics of the sections

Generating Assignments
Klose gives two detailed examples of how to generate easily understood assignments based off of the graph.

Useful Tool to Evaluate Standard Repertoire
When students learn to use a graph for their own compositions, this is a skill that then easily transfers over to standard repertoire. They are familiar with how to use a graph and then are able to use it as a tool to analyze standard repertoire.

What stood out to you from this chapter? Please leave your comments below.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Piano Teacher's Guide to Creative Composition - Part 2 (Reading Together)

I hope you have had a good week. I've enjoyed this week's reading again and hope you have as well.

This chapter focuses on the "tools" of composition. Here are some notes regarding this chapter.

Elements of Composition
Klose starts with a simple list of things that students can do to add different elements to their compositions.

Basic Building Blocks
The next section then lists the basic building blocks of composition, such as musical forms, rhythm, tempo, pitch, melody choices, and harmony.

Expanded Elements
A further section on more expanded elements follows. It includes a list of more complicated and more finely nuanced elemnts of music. It also contains ideas on music notation, including ones outside the norm.

Explaining Compositional Terms
The final section of this chapter outlines how to explain compositional terms to your students. It focuses on three main concepts of music composition (and how to explain each). The three concepts are architecture, texture, and articulation.

I am finding so far that I really like the hands-on information that Klose gives in her chapters.

What did you like from this chapter? Please leave your comments below!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Piano Teacher's Guide to Creative Composition - Part 1 (Reading Together)

I have enjoyed getting started on this book this week. I have found some new ideas from my reading this week and am excited about implementing them in my studio.

Here are some notes regarding this chapter:

Klose starts off by listing three sources for inspiration: emotion (or feeling), text (such as lyrics or poetry), and models.
She then outlines types of sources and examples of each source. She also describes the process of how to develop a composition for each type of source.

Thinking Outside of the Box
The next couple of pages cover some examples that you can have your students try in order to get them thinking outside of the box.

Question-Answer Game
One of my favorite sections (and one I plan on using with my students!) is her Question-Answer Game. The idea is for the teacher to play a simple and short melody line and to have the student answer back with a melody line that imitates the rhythm of the question line.

Klose finishes out the chapter with an excellent FAQ section. Among other things, she addresses how to implement these ideas with your students and what to do about having your students write down their compositions.

What stood out to you from this chapter? Please leave your comments below!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Sheet Music - Miniature Sonatina for Guitar

Here's a new arrangement of a sonatina for easy guitar.  This is a great piece for a beginner student.

To order, click here.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Reading Together

For the new year, I will be switching up my posting schedule here on the blog. I will no longer be posting weekly finds on Fridays. If you'd like to keep up with the things I find around the internet, feel free to connect with me on twitter, where I post my findings.

I will be starting a new series instead, where I will be reading through a music-related book, one chapter a week, and writing about that chapter once a week on Tuesdays. I invite you to join me in this reading. We'll be starting off with Piano Teacher's Guide to Creative Composition by Carol Klose.

We'll begin the chapter next week, and then we'll discuss it the following Tuesday (January 17th). It's that easy: just one chapter a week.
This program allows us to read works together that can help us in our professional development as well as providing a level of accountability and the added interest of comparing notes as we read together.

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