Saturday, October 3, 2015

Composition #1--Pizzicato Open Strings

Composition Packet--pizzicato open strings

Composition is an important component of my students' experience in orchestra.  From the very beginning of the school year, students are composing music that they can play on their instruments and that their classmates can play too.  I use composition as a way for students to dive into music literacy and to reinforce what they are learning about reading music.  It is an opportunity for students to be creative and actually create music to play instead of just read what others have written.  They start identifying as composers as well as string players.  It's very gratifying to see how different all the compositions are from each other within the limitations I've placed for them (open strings, pizzicato, four measures, quarter notes/rests).  I do type up everyone's compositions and turn them into packets so students can see what their classmates have created, see their own piece in print (they are published composers by the end of September!), and have lots of pieces to practice at home.  We also feature a few student compositions at our winter concert.  In their end-of-the-year orchestra surveys, there are always students who write that what they are most proud of with their work in orchestra that year are their compositions.

My example composition plus check-list

Composition #1 (open strings, pizzicato):


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