- This book is written to provide lesson plans or exploratory activities for the music teacher who wishes to incorporate meaningful, creative compositional exercises in the general music classroom, the music appreciation classroom, or the piano studio.
- The purpose of the book is to provide inspiration, additional ideas, creative activities, and contemporary techniques for the innovative teacher.
- Photocopiable pages are provided.
- All lesson plans include Exploratory, Composition and Performance sets.
- The lesson plans are written as general guides for the teacher and are not grade specific.
All lessons can be adapted to suit multiple age and ability levels.
- Teachers are encouraged to adapt lessons: include own materials, connect to concepts
studied in the curricula, and utilize additional resources.
- Lesson features include
- Standard notation: pitch, staff notation, letter names, rests, note values and basic theory such as measures, bar lines, time signatures, etc., are covered.
- Graphic notation: Twentieth-Century techniques, graphic notation, alternative music symbols, found sound, body percussion, electronic sounds, and digital techniques are included.
- Compositional techniques: repetition, sequence, motif, phrase, 4-measure phrase, form, augmentation, diminution, inversion, etc., are explored.
- Technology: ringtones on phones, composition apps, computer software, online tone- generators, voice memo apps, video, and slide show presentations are included.
- Multi-media: Compositions include speaking parts, drama, images, slide shows, story, technology, live or recorded performance, spatial components, etc.
- Harmony: several lessons include chordal work (mainly the primary chords I, IV and V) to start establishing the idea of harmonic progression.
- Graphic Organizers: Most lessons include graphic organizers either to serve as work charts for the student groups, to clarify listening analysis or the format of the composition, or simply to plot out initial ideas for a composition. Teachers are encouraged to pursue multiple forms of organizing initial, pre-composition ideas, e.g., Venn-diagrams, flow charts, bullet points, etc.
- Novelty: Student engagement is at its peak when novelty and variety are present. To this end many lessons have included fun, surprise and novelty elements.