Composing in Music
to news overview

Composing in Music

Primary students have been creating their own music in various ways during this unit. Students have all been able to enjoy the experience of expressing themselves through music by singing or playing their own compositions individually or with each other. 

By Jennifer Diepman, music teacher

In grade 4, students were given the challenge of creating a compositional piece using the instruments at school with very few guidelines set out for them. Each small group started out by deciding on the message of their music and then students continued to write down their ideas and plans. Using the creative process, students are always encouraged to evaluate what they try out before investigating new possibilities. Then the cycle repeats itself with a new plan, experimentation and evaluation. 

Reach for the stars

‘Reach for the stars so if you fall, you land on a cloud.’ That was one example of a message meant to inspire others to just try things out in life and to not worry about failing. Another group created a complex rhythm that they wanted in their music, but did not know how to write it all down yet. By starting with what the students knew, we were able to build on that to write out the entire rhythm. Many students who already play an instrument were excited to hear that they could use these instruments in their compositions. All of the group compositions will be performed at the end of the unit in the music lessons.

Young Composers Project

In collaboration with TivoliVredenburg, grades 3 and 4 have been working on class compositions with workshop leaders since January. The theme of this year’s Young Composers Project is based on the planets in our solar system and outer space. The students have been very creative in coming up with ideas for the performance. The weekly workshops are a great way to focus on a concert that will be performed with five professional musicians.

Once school is in session, there will be more workshops before the final performance, which has been postponed. This way the classes can finalise their ideas together with their workshop leaders. The parents and caregivers of the students in grades 3 and 4 will be notified by email when there is a new date for the final performance and the school calendar will also post the new date for those who would like to attend this amazing performance!

Living Room Concerts

This period of online learning has been an opportunity for early years and primary students to create songs and perform them in their living rooms, for their family. After following a lesson based on a theme, students composed their own music at home. In KG, students used a rhythm instrument or body percussion to keep a steady beat during their composition. Grade 1 students made up songs about their favourite things about the season of spring.

After grade 3 learned more about timbre, the unique sounds made by each instrument and voice, they created their own music by incorporating a variety of timbre into their pieces. Grade 2 will be composing in the next lesson of their “Feel the Rhythm” online unit and grade 4 students will be writing lyrics to a 12 bar blues pattern. Those students who have emailed videos of their original music to their music teacher have been receiving feedback on their creative compositions as well. Hopefully students will continue giving Living Room Concerts for family at home in the future!