Tag Archives: composition

Composition and Notation, Part II: Moving to Traditional Notation

If you haven’t read Part I, have a look there first. At some point, the graphic notation will start to prove difficult. Students who are making more conscious, precise decisions about dynamics, pitch, and rhythm will need an equally precise … Continue reading

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Composition and Notation, Part I: Don’t Sweat the Small Staff

I used to get very frustrated trying to teach notation or getting students to accurately notate their compositions on the staff. But I’ve changed, and so can you!* Don’t get bogged down with notating compositions. It kills the creative flow. … Continue reading

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Composing with Body Percussion

It’s a frustrating thing the day you realize that your Grade 4 students are still confusing beat and rhythm, and that they don’t read rhythms quite as well as you imagined they should. I dare say—and feel free to challenge … Continue reading

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Composing with Legos

Legos are great for so many reasons. But this year I discovered one more. The most basic LEGO Duplo bricks come in lengths of 2 and 4, which is perfect for all the work we do with 4/4. This wasn’t new … Continue reading

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Expression and the Elements of Music

In Grade 2, I do a focus on the elements of music, reviewing many familiar terms (tempo, dynamics, pitch) and introducing new musical terminology as well. It’s the common PYP cycle of analysis and synthesis: We break the music down … Continue reading

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Trying out GarageBand

I’m dabbling more and more in Apple’s ubiquitous GarageBand now. I used to think it was too complicated for my primary school students (without spending more time than it’s worth, anyway). But as I started playing with it, with very … Continue reading

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