Composition workbooks - Any good workbooks to teach composing?

Discuss the pros and cons of various "methods" with other teachers

Postby Stretto » Fri Oct 28, 2005 3:10 pm

As a teacher, teaching composing is kind of one of those hit and miss "extras" in my lessons to students as there never seems to be enough time unless I were to add time to the lessons for those interested or offer separate composition lessons. The only time I spend on it is if a student comes with something "made up" at times or goofs around making something up (when they're suppose to be focusing on the lesson :( ) - I sometimes just go with what they're doing and talk about where they get the notes from and try to help them begin writing it out.

Anyway, recently I have ran across some workbooks designed for writing music. I'm not sure how long decent workbooks for composing have been around but I just discovered a couple that I believe are fairly new. One is copyright - 2004.

So, my question is, does anyone have any experience using composition workbooks either as a teacher or as a student? Does anyone have any good recommendations? I ran across one recently called: "Music by Me, A Composition Workbook" by Kevin Olson and Wynn-Anne Rossi put out by The F J H Music Co. Inc. Has anyone else heard of it or had any experience using it? There's another one I saw recently that looked new but I don't remember the name of it. Again, does anyone have any experience or opinions on using composition workbooks? This one I found looks pretty interesting and fun. I have one student who does seem to end up with extra time at the end of lessons and I think these might keep that student's attention on something of interest to them at the lesson.


Edited By Stretto on 1130563395
Posts: 745
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 10:34 pm
Location: Mo.

Postby 108-1121887355 » Tue Nov 22, 2005 8:21 pm

I like the way you think...and teach. Composing is an important part of the musical experience. When the student is "fooling around", he is listening and learning. Today, a 5 1/2 year old was 'fooling around' and as usual I asked if he could play the same melody each time so he was sure he liked it, I would write it in a manuscript book. He did and I did. He learned about measures, bar lines and rhythm. He also saw the notes on the staff. He has only had a few months of lessons and plays rote. He was playing fast so needed some 16th notes. We have done some rhythm with my "pizza pie" with whole, half, quarter and eighth and so today we had to make some 16th notes. He clapped and 'ran' the rhythm and then named his song (4 measures) "Fasty Song". Last year a 6 year old chose a poem of 4 lines about winter and composed a song. writing it out at the lesson was a great learning experience. He had the strong beats right on the proper words, 8 measures, with part of a repeated theme.
Not all of my students compose well, but I try to give them some help. It really needs a group of over an hour to get a good start. Several can work together to compose. It is good. Taking lesson time IS hard. I have not used one book, but ideas from several. It would be good to have one that was more organized. I just follow the student's lead. I do a great "question and answer" early in the first year and as needed. I play a short theme and the student finishes it and visa versa. It starts a thought of composing. I will check out the book you mentioned.
Now, if I could convince some parents to allow time for "fooling around", I would be very happy.
Joan :laugh:
User avatar

Return to Piano Methods Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest