Effective Methods for Including Composition in the Classroom

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Effective Methods for Including Composition in the Classroom
Lineman, Benjamin D.
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, FL
College of Fine Arts; University of Florida
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
Project in lieu of thesis

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Committee Chair:
Webster, Peter R.
Committee Co-Chair:
Webb, Richard S.


Subjects / Keywords:
Art songs ( jstor )
Classrooms ( jstor )
High school students ( jstor )
Music appreciation ( jstor )
Music composition ( jstor )
Music education ( jstor )
Music students ( jstor )
Music teachers ( jstor )
Musical performance ( jstor )
Musical rudiments ( jstor )


This project examined the scholarly literature on the subject of composition, specifically how to include it in the music classroom. The author utilized some of the best practice techniques and suggestions from the review of literature in his teaching. Three composition projects were attempted, (1) the creation of a CD with original music in high school general music, (2) a teacher-led class composition in a high school special education within music class, and (3) a piano composition in class piano. The author recorded his observations and offers ideas for future project extensions.
General Note:
Music Education terminal project

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University of Florida Institutional Repository
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University of Florida
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Copyright Benjamin D. Lineman. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.


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EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 2 Abstract This project examined the scholarly literature on the subject of composition, specifically how to include it in the music class room. The author utilized some of the best practice techniques and suggestions from the review of literature in his teaching. Three composition projects were attempted, (1) the creation of a CD with original music in high school general music, (2) a teac her led class composition in a high school special education within music class, and (3) a piano composition in class piano. The author recorded his observations and offers ideas for future project extensions.


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 3 Effective Methods for Including Composit ion in the Classroom composing and standards, the implementation of that standard is another story. In a study done by Strand (2006) of Indiana music teachers on their beliefs of including composition in the classroom, 56.9 percent of those surveyed thought the process involved too many skills and activities to make i t feasible. Other reasons were mentioned such as lack of technology (28.2 percent), insufficient equipment or instruments (26.5 percent) and lack of time (9.1 percent) (p. 160) . I have My colleagues acknowledge the benefit of teaching composition in principle but putting it into practice never materializes. This project was born out of a need to address this problem. The purpose of the proposed project was three fold: (1) to draft a rev iew of literature on best practices for including composition in the music classroom, (2) to implement some of those practices in my music classroom , and (3) to document those experiences of implementing composing in my music classroom. After completing t his project I hope to feel more confident in my ability to incorporate composition in my teaching, based on scholarly research and my own personal experience. The project questions that I will explore are as follows : Why should I take the time and effort t o include composition in my teaching? How do students best learn to compose ? How do I include composition in my teaching? How do I assess the creative process of composition?


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 4 Need for the Project Seeing a need to refresh the traditional curriculum, Rei mer (2007) de scribed efforts by educators to revitalize composing in the music classroom by the creation of the Comprehensive Musicianship Project (CMP) hop ed, would correct these faults by stressing listening, composing, and improvising in addition seems there has been little progress in accomplishing those goals. The T anglewood symposium followed in 1967 in response to the Yale Seminar held in 1963. Professional music educators were frustrated by the government funded seminar to analyze school music and offer ed suggestions for improvements. Most of this frustration wa s born out of the fact that the research and seminar was done by musicologists , performers and composers who had little experience with music education. Music professionals wanted a forum to discuss issues that were relevant to their profession and Tangle wood was such an av enue. The symposium lasted for two weeks in the summer of 1967 and out of it was born the Goals and Objective (GO) Project of 1969 . The goals set forth by the GO project for the professional music educator were to implement comprehensi ve music programs in all schools, include all ages in music making , help further the quality of education for future music professionals, and to use the best music education techniques and resources possible (Mark, 2000) . Arou nd the same time the Manhattanville Music Curriculum Project (MMCP) was under way as a response to declining interest in school music. This alternative educational model was funded by the largest federal grant ever given in the field of music education cu rriculum (Moon & Humphreys, 2010) . Twenty two expert consultants made up of music performers, music educators and general educators were consulted during this project. There were also several


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 5 well known composers included on the project, such as Lionel Nowak, Henry Brant, Charles Wuorinen, and James Tenney (Moon & Humphreys, 2010) . Creative strategies for music education was one of the key discussions of this project (Po gonowski, 2001) . To refresh the curriculum, th e p anel music. It posited that musical skills are best learned in this manner. Discovery was one of the four main areas that were revi ewed by the MMCP, finding that one of the most exciting ways to learn and retain learning is by creating. Musical processes that involve the creation of new ideas will help students engage more fully in learning. The 1994 National Standards for Art Educa tion and the new 2014 National Standards both address creating music. These standards were written to describe what a student should learn in a comprehensive education. In each content area, these standards describe what the student should know and be ab le to do. The creating standard is central to music education and gives the student the opportunity to explore his or her creative potential. This is crucial for the molding of a well rounded student. According to the National Standards for Arts Educati on, "Every course in music, including performance courses, should provide instruction in creating, performing, listening to, and analyzing music, in addition to focusing on its specific content. As a result of developing these capabilities, students can a rrive at their own knowledge, beliefs, and values for making personal and artistic decisions. In other terms, they can arrive at a broad based, well grounded understanding of the nature, value, and meaning of the arts as a part of their own humanity" (Consortium of National Arts Education Associations, 1994, p. 42) . Much has been written in scholarly journals about the need for composition in the music classroom. Past MENC president June Hinckley (1999) pondered the idea why such little time was being devoted to the teaching of composition. She stated the process of reading and writing


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 6 as mirror images of each other and made the comparison that the same must be true with performing and composing. She suggested that the early experiences with composition do not have to be difficult but instead activities in sound exploration (Hinckley, 1999) . Vincent and Merrion (1996) what composition would look like with the advent of new technology. They believed composing would not be confined to a highly select group but would be accessible to anyone who so desired. Ye t with the availability the barriers for the creative act of composing but the art of structuring thos e ideas into meaningful compositions will still require musical professionals (Vincent & Merrion, 1996) . Webster (1990) in describing the model of creative thinking in music suggested that t he goals should be composition , performance/improvisation, and analysis (written and listening). Unfortunately performance/improvisation and listening garnered the most attention while composition and analysis were largely ignored in the educational system. Webster (1990) concludes the section by stating (a) n important point for music education is that creative thinking is part of the total curriculum effort and should not be viewed as just a (p. 24) . Sensing the importance of creative thinking in the music education curriculum, several great books have been written in the recent past. Kaschub and Smith (2009) offer a text that h as valuable insight for the music educator on how to include composition in engaging ways in the classroom. The book details both the reason for including composition in the classroom as well Hi (2012) text is a wellspring of information in regards to implementing composing in the music classroom. She argues that


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 7 all music educators have the skill and training to begin teaching composition regardless of specific compositional training. Included is a curricular model for teaching composition, a model that provides an array of composition activities to try in the music classroom. Most recent is the 2013 book edited by Clint Randles and David Stringham with chapters written by well known music education scholars and current music educators. This three part book explores the value of composition being included in the classroom, the theory and practice of inclu ding composition, and sample lesson plans for all grade levels. Despite the obvious responsibility for music educators to include composition in the music classroom, t he study by Strand (2007) serves to highlight the problem, stating that only 5.9 percent of teachers surveyed used composition tasks often in the classroom (p. 154). Based on research such as this and my own personal experience I feel my project address es a common problem shared by music educators. Review of Literature To best serve the musi c educator in introducing composing in the classroom, this review of literature focuses on five themes: (1) the benefits of composing, (2) the philosophical basis for including composition in the music classroom (3) t he best instructional practices for tea ching composition , (4) effective methods for implementing composition in the classroom, and ( 5 ) ways to assess compositions. The Benefits of Composing Music educators might face push back from many sides when attempting to introduce composing into a pub lic school music program that, as Younker and Bracken (2013) suggested, have not changed drastically since their inception at the turn of the last century. Therefore it is


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 8 useful to have valid reasons based on current r esea rch as to why teaching composition in the music classroom is a worthwhile endeavor. Although the act of composing involves an aesthetic experience or creation that has implicit value in and of itself, this experience can also lead to an expansion of t he self. Positive self perceptions of musical ability have been discovered from the aesthetic experience composing produces (Randles, 2010) musicianship is more than if the s tudent were involved with private lesson instruction or other extra curricular music activities (Randles, 2013) . (2003) case study describes the musical benefits of a compositional program implemented from sixth to twelfth grade once a week in band class. Having his band classes create a group composition benefited group dynamics, overall musicianship, and student attitudes (Ginocchio, 2003) . Composin through dialogue between teacher and student (Major, 2008) . Multiple authors have extolled the pride composing has instilled in students (Ginocchio, 2003; Randles, 2009; Robinson, Bell, & Pogonowski, 2011) , g iving them an unique connection with the music they have created. Looking beyond musical self perception, Colwell, Davis and Schroeder (2005) found an improved self concept for hospitalized children who participated in t he process of composition, whether it be art of music . In this study, one group of children used the program Making More Music to create songs and the other group of children created a drawing art composition u sing standard medium. The Piers Concept Scale was used to measure self concept pre to posttest. There was a significant difference between the groups on two categories that indicated an improved self concept for the music group under Intellectual and School Status (Colwell, Davis, & Schroeder, 2005) .


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 9 While it has been shown that musicians score higher on standardized math and reading achievement tests compa red to non musicians (Fitzpatrick, 2006; Johnson & Memmott, 2006) , recent research by Bugos and Jacobs (2012) indicated significant enhancements in arithmetic performance by students engaged in a composition program. Two sixth grade classes, one as a control and the other as the experimental group, received several cognitive assessments pre and post instruction. Their research found a significant improvement in arithmetic on those s tudents who participated in the compositional program versus the control group (Bugos & Jacobs, 2012) . T he P hilosophical B asis In order to learn, students must construct their own understanding of experiences, a perspective kn own as constructivism (Wiggins, 2007) . Each student brings his or her own knowledge to the classroom which the teacher can use as a base to construct new ideas (Richardson, 1997) . If this is th e case, then activities and experiences must be designed so that (Wiggins, 2007, p. 37) . The student and teacher must work together to constru ct knowledge, where the student starts with what tasks he or she can complete. After the initial push of the student, the teacher steps in to offer support or scaffolding. The main goal of this is to get the student to work at his or her potential and gr adually diminish the support offered by the teacher. This pulls the focus away from the teacher and puts learning in the hands of the student (Scruggs, 2009) . The constructivist approach is great for teaching complex skills , understandings , and lends nicely to problem solving. When students are given the opportunity and responsibility to problem solve, such as creating a composition within specified guidelines, it is one of the best environments for students to construct th eir understanding of composition. Since constructivism


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 10 focuses on independent learning leading to a self sufficient learner, this fits well within the construct of creating compositions. One of the most beneficial environments for learning takes place wh en the learner both identifies and solves complex problems (Broomhead, 2005) . Constructivism reveals that if students are to develop accurate understandings of concepts, they need regular and ongoing problem solving o pportuni (Broomhead, 2005, p. 67) . Composition tasks can and should be one of those regular opportunities for problem solving. Best Instructional Practices When implementing composition in the music cl assroom the teacher must be aware of the environment in which it will be introduced. It is therefore necessary to establish a safe and nurturing environment where students feel free to express themselves without fear of judgment (Robinson, Bell, & Pogonowski, 2011) . As Randles and Sullivan (2013) have expressed ways not often explored within the (p. 56) . The diligent music teacher should take great care in structuring an environment that facilitates such creativity. Along with a proper environment, th e language a teacher uses in giving feedback largely affects success in the compositional effort of the student (Randles & Sullivan, 2013) . To ensure a successful foray into composing, parameters must be established to direc t student composition. Brophy (1996) teacher must assess what specific guidelines need to be established for the students. Guided


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 11 composition is a specific step by step procedure that takes the guesswork out of composing and builds student confidence over time. Wilson (2001) suggested offe ring a starting point for the composer (such as a chord progression) and limiting other parameters of the composition. A focused and guided starting point gives the student more freedom to be creative. Wilson (2001) suggested that children playing with a ball on the playground will develop boundaries and rules the same is necessary for the beginning composer. The task of setting boundaries falls on the teacher in order to develop proficient composers. Open ended questions asked by the teacher are effecti ve prompts for composing. When a class discusses a well crafted open imagination, it gives them a vehicle to express their verbal responses in musical ways (Robinson, Bell, & Pogonowski, 2011) . Artistic prompts based on anything real, like personal life experiences, help provide inspiration. Hickey (2012) emerges from an inspiration not simply (p. 62) . Stauffer (2013) suggested a good starting place for composition was through narrative thinking. One of the most basic forms for tel to a composition (Stauffer, 2013, p. 91) . Listening to and analyzing music that interests the students is another way to start thinking about comp osing. Kennedy (2002) in a study of four high school composers noted the significance of listening to music on the composition process. The study described the listening r composing (Kennedy, 2002, p. 101) . Stauffer (2002) found that students would often borrow familiar tunes gleaned from listening that would then become starting points for a composi tion.


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 12 To enhance the listening process, Wilkins (2006) suggested following along with the musical score. This gives a visual representation of the sound being produced and can spark interesting conversation. After li stening to musical examples, Ruthmann (2007) recommended thinking about and talking through the musical process that the composer utilized. Understanding the musical decisions by a respected composer can help the studen t more understanding of music concepts and leads to musical independence (Robinson, Bell, & Pogonowski, 2011) . If these skills are (2007) vision to benefit the student with a comprehensive music education will start to be realized. Evaluation and revision are important to the creative process of compo sing. A suitable environment with proper tools, sufficient groundwork and instructional scaffolding must be established to facilitate group composing. In such an environment students will learn how to revise and extend their initial compositional ideas (Wiggins, 2005) . Kaschub (1997a) described two different situations in which a professional composer was paired with a music class to complete a compositional project. The area that diff ered the most from individual composition was the process of revision. The interactions between students during the revision process resulted in the creation of new musical ideas ( Kaschub , 1997b) . Wilson and Wales (1995) found in a study, using a computer program to discover the level subjects level subjects utilized the editi ng features. Wiggins (1994) noted student groups that composed together successfully used a process of focusing on whole (initial planning), moving to part (development of motivic ideas), and finishing with the whole (r eassembling and practicing). The diligent teacher must be aware


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 13 that often young musicians may not want to go back and revise their work (Hickey & Webster, 2001) to the composition process and modeled by the teacher (Robinson, Bell, & Pogonowski, 2011) . Effective Methods for Implementing Composition Although composing traditionally has been viewed as a solo activity the benefits of sma ll group composition make it a great option for the music classroom. Small groups are a great way to allow students to participate in decision making and feel a responsibility for them (Broomhead, 2005) . Working with other st udents also allows for the creative process of collaboration. New ideas are formed when students have the opportunity to work together (Wiggins, 1994) . Group creativity emerges when students work together to create somethi ng better than and different from what a single person could create alone (Sawyer, 2003) . Group work also gives a forum for students to revise and extend their original ideas, creating a more developed composition (Wiggins, 2005) . Not to say all composing must be done by the individual or in small groups, teacher led class compositions can be an effective way to introduce the concept (Kaschub , 1997) . With this approach, the teacher has the abil ity to guide the creative process and show the students practical problem solving techniques that can be used in later compositions (Ruthmann, 2007) . Once students feel comfortable with the process, teacher led compositions ca n lead seamlessly to small , offering assistance when needed. Ways to Assess Composition Hickey (2001) explores the question of who are the appropriate judges t o rate the


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 14 that is when judges rate the creative work with their own subjective definition rather than use a pre made scale. In this study, she had five groups of judges (music teachers, composers, theorists, seventh grade children, and second grade children) review 12 randomly selected compositions made by fourth and fifth graders on a MIDI based program. The music teacher group were 17 graduate students, ten of which that taught instrumental music, four that taught a mix of instrumental and choral music, and three general music/choral music teachers. Out of the five groups, her work revealed that the most reliable judges are the music teachers , specifically the general music/choral subsection (Hickey, 2001) . Conversely, the group that was least able to come to an agreement on the creativity of the compositions were the composers. This gives ss compositions in the classroom environment. as to how best to do this . Research by Deci, Koestner, and Ryan (2001) has shown that extrinsic rewards, such as grades (2013) on the given task (p. 42) . Hickey (1999) works because they provide feedback to the student, a guide to structure thei r composition , and limit the questioning of a letter grade. Kaschub and Smith (2009) composition be assessed on the basis of how well it adhered to the directions regardless of technical mastery displayed in the product. Hoffman and Carter (2013) suggested to avoid through listening activities.


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 15 Conclusions Whi le it may be initially difficult to include composition in the music classroom the benefits are worth the time and effort. Students who have the opportunity to compose will experience a greater satisfaction with their musicianship and be proud of their cr eative efforts. An approach to composition that is grounded in constructivism will lead to a well rounded musician. When given problem solving tasks, students learn by constructing knowledge based on previous understandings. Allowing students to do comp osition, with scaffolding at the beginning which d iminishes over time , helps them reach their personal potential as a learner. The diligent music teacher realizes and understands that he or she has a huge impact on a A classroom where creativity is fostered and mistakes are welcomed is crucial for successful composition. Guidelines should be given for the beginning composition projects, limiting the variants and allowing for directed creativity. Different approaches may be used to stimulate the creative process, from engaged listening of music to creating stories with sound. Again, the music teacher who is in tune with his or her class will be the best resource for implementing composition in the classroom. Teacher led class composition projects are a great way to introduce the concept and guide students through the process. Group work helps facilitate creative thinking and generates new ideas that the individual would likely not come up with. Finally, when the com position is complete, music teachers are well equipped positive classroom environment, assessments should have limited consequences. Rubric based assessments work well by guiding the composition and offering useful feedback on specific areas of the project. The point of assessment is not just to give a grade but to develop a better


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 16 composer. e feedback that can shape the next composition. Personal Experience with Implementing Composing I have the privilege of teaching high school music in the Rochester City School District. My teaching responsibilities include (1) Music in Our Lives (MIOL), (2) special education within general music, and (3) class piano. After researching effective strategies to implement composing in the classroom and considering other dimensions of this matter as noted in the review of literature above, I wanted to test my newfound knowledge in these contexts . Since my past experience with teaching composing in the classroom was very limited, I was excited to explore this important aspect of music. Below are three vignettes from my attempts at introducing composing, one from each section that I teach. Music in Our Lives Project description. The curriculum for MIOL, the high school equivalent of general music, is broken into several units that all teachers in the district must follow. The individual teacher is given le eway on how to teach the content but specific details must be covered to meet district standards. The first unit that must be taught focuses on careers in music. I decided to incorporate composing within this unit for several reasons. First, the music i ndustry is one area in which my students have real interest so an authentic composing experience would be beneficial. Second, the past ways of teaching careers in the music industry in my district seemed dated and irrelevant. Facts filled in on worksheet s only to be regurgitated on a written test did , especially given the dynamic quality of music industry that includes many aspects of music production . Finally, I know the personal satisfaction that comes


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 17 with creatin and interest in the unit. The end go al of the unit was to create a CD of original music in a group setting. Knowing the final product , I started to backward plan or reverse e ngineer how to accomplish this goal. I felt it was important that this composing task be a group project because working with other people is a skill that needs to be developed and the creative process benefits by i ncluding feedback and revision (Sawyer, 2003) . Essentially each group of students would be a simplified version of a record label with each member assigned a role from the music career unit. I decided to keep the groups small with four students playing the parts o f producer, recording artist, graphic designer and advertising agent. After reviewing the responsibilities of each role with the class (see Appendix A ), students were given the opportunity to state their first and second choice of roles. I assigned each student based on his or her preference to make up groups that included each of the four careers. These groups were then tas ked with the job of creating a CD classes. At the beginning of the year I gave a survey to my students that included a question about what kind of music they liked to listen to. The overwhelming answer was rap and hip hop. Knowing this I wanted to give them the opportunity to create music in which they were interested . I was introduced to Sound ation ( ) in one of my classes at the University of Florida and thought it would be a great program for this project. Soundation , as shown in Figure 1, is an online music studio that allows studen ts to create tracks using over 700 free loops and samples. Students were given instructions on how to set up an account and log into Soundation , see Appendix B. My school is fortunate to have a computer lab with access to


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 18 the Internet so this program was free and easily accessible. The layout of the program is also simple and intuitive, allowing students to quickly acclimate to the process of creating music. Best of all, students are able to access this program wherever there is the internet. If studen ts want to continue creating music outside of class (which is the goal), there is no expensive software that they have to buy. Figure 1. Screenshot of a Soundation project . This figure shows the layout of the program with the studio on the left and loop library on the right. M y o bservations . Since this was the first time I taught a unit like this I wanted to make sure it was relevant for students, included the creative process of composing as a group, and was engaging throughout. As the unit progressed , I would note areas of interest for further th ought. When I announced to the class that they would create a CD containing their own original songs it created an excitement for the project. Several students asked if the songs were really going to be thei r own creation and not just a remix of previous music. When assured that the songs were going to be composed by their group, they thought that was an awesome idea. Another prevailing question after establishing that the songs were going to be originals w as how


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 19 they were going to compose without the ability to read or write music . I used that opportunity to remind my students it was not necessary to read and write music in order to create it. I gave several examples, such as humming a new tune, where mus ic notation was not involved. It was at this point that I introduced the students to Soundation , giving them a brief glimpse at the program. I deliberately kept my introduction to Soundation short and only highlighted some of the main functionalities. I wanted the students to have a chance to explore the program without my approach to composing influencing their creative process (Wiggins, 2005; Ruthmann, 2007) . This seemed to work well and the students had fun ex perimenting with different loops and effects. I noticed that most students would find a loop that they liked and then add subsequent loops to augment the first. Many students would try to find loops that sounded like hip hop or rap songs to which they li stened. A couple of students even went as far as looking up their favorite artists on YouTube for some inspiration. They said they were trying to find a loop that sounded similar to their favorite song. It was great to see these students engaged in acti ve listening, analyzing what instruments and rhythms were present in the music. A small group of students approached the creative process in a trial and error fashion. Several loops were selected (sometimes it seemed at random) and put into different c hannels. The creation was listened to repeatedly while muting and unmuting tracks to hear different combinations of sounds. Loops that did not make the cut were deleted, a new loop was added in its place, and the process started over again. T hese student s had something completely different on their screen every time I walked by. They also seemed to work in small chunks which , once solidified , were rarely changed.


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 20 Even fewer students attempted composing in a logical methodic way. These were the students who layered loops to create their finished song. They would start with a drum or rhythmic loop as the foundation and add a loop to compliment it, such as a bass loop. These students thought about what sounds worked well together and layered them accordi ngly. The finished songs that were created with this method had a cohesiveness that most of the other songs lacked. While other songs at times seemed jumbled and haphazardly thrown together the layered approach created songs that were well thought out an d made sense musically. Form was another musical aspect for which I noticed some interesting developments. I did not specify a particular form that the students had to use because this project was completed at the beginning of the year before we had a ch ance to study it. I also wanted to see what students would come up with based on their past musical experience and the creative process. As a result, most of the songs had no discernable form. Each song had to be at least twenty four measures long and m ost students followed one of two paths. Either the song was twenty four measures of exactly the same loops or twenty four measures of constantly new material with no repetition. A handful of students deliberately tried to incorporate some structure into their song. I believe these students were referencing their knowledge of music they listened to in which verse and chorus was every time it appeared. One student created a short MIDI instrument loop that was used as a the


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 21 same relatively short material. He talked about the listener being able to identify the chorus each time it was performed so that is why it was the same. He intuitively knew the importance of A framework for collaboration was deliberately built into the project . Knowing the importance of review and revision to the creative process, I wanted students to take full advantage of it (Wiggins, 2005) songs , each group member played an integral part in the making of said songs. At the start of the project the group members decided the creative direction they were going to explore. Suggestions were given to the recording artist on what type of songs the group should produce as well as a general theme for each. As the artist composed the songs, he/she would check in regularly with the producer to show what progress was being made. After the producer listened to the piece, suggestions would be offered and changes made. Before any song was considered feedback based on the dir ection the group was pursuing. I watched many groups complete this task with little to no feedback given. Group members would listen to the song, say it sounds great and make no changes. Where I noticed the most reflection and revision was when a recor ding artist called over a friend (sometimes not even a group member) and ask ed them to listen to a specific section of their song. Both students listened together and discussion followed. I found the most effective reflection and revision of a song was b question helped hone the listener in on a section and really focus on giving feedback in that one area (Brophy, 1996;


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 22 Kennedy, 2002; Robinson, Bell, & Pogonowski, 2011) . It also sparked discussion about section s that the artist had not mentioned specifically. On numerous occasions I heard student listeners e ensued and changes were made to the composition. When I teach this unit again, I will include in my directions the process of and allows for constructive col laboration. To assess the composition project, I used a combination of three tools. The first was a quick self evaluation, as shown in Appendix C , the students would complete each day. It helped students gauge whether they were on task and completed all the assignments. The second was a self reflection, as seen in Appendix D , which the students filled out after the completion of the project. It gave the students the opportunity to reflect on their work and suggest any changes they would make for future compositions. The third was a rubric, as shown in Appendix E , that I completed at th e end of the project. This rubric focused on group dynamics and adherence to project elements. Project extensions . This project worked very well with my high school stud ents and I would teach it again next year. Next time I will include more guidelines at the beginning of the (Brophy, 1996) . Even though the project will likely occur at the beg inning of the year it could be a good way to introduce concepts like form, instrumentation and style (Younker & Bracken, 2013) . I would also like to lead the class through a class composition using Soundation . This would mode l how the program functions as well as give the students an idea how to approach the creative process. This would serve as scaffolding to get the students accustom to composing, the next step being group work (Scruggs,


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 23 2009) . As stated above, I would stress the importance of asking specific questions in order to illicit specific feedback. I could model this while working on the class composition example, demonstrating how to ask specific questions about the piece. Since Soun dation has the ability to create original MIDI loops using a keyboard editor, I would like to explore the students combining the prepared loops along with their own created loops. The students could create a loop to compliment the prepared loops, giving t hem a problem solving opportunity (Scruggs, 2009) . Finally , I will have every student create a composition for the project, not just the recording artist. Although each group member had the opportunity to give feedback and ha ve input on the tracks, they did not experience the composition process. It would be valuable for each student in the group to compose a track for the CD. Not only would this give them the opportunity to compose, I think it would help give a sense of own ership a nd pride to the final CD project (Randles, 2009) . Special Education General Music Project description. I teach several sections of a 1 2:1:1 (12 students, 1 para professional, and 1 classroom teacher) self contained special education general music class. Since the abilities of the students vary widely , I thought a teacher led class composition project would be ideal. In order to teach this, I knew I would need a software program that was easy to use, visually appea ling and interactive. One online program that meets all the stipulations is Incredibox ( ). I was made aware of this program during my coursework. Incredibox , as shown in Figure 2, features animat ed characters who can be given various articles of clothing that , once chosen , starts a beatbox loop. The articles of clothing are on the bottom of the screen and dragging one of them over the animated figure starts the loop. The program allows for up to seven loops going at the same time and one can change the loops (clothing) to


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 24 create different combinations of sound. All of the loops work well together so anything that is chosen sounds cohesive. The program also allows for recording so one could watc h their composition in real time after completing it. Figure 2. Screenshot of Incredibox . This figure shows the animated elements as well as the four loop categories . I started the project by introducing the program to the students and demonstrating how it works. I dragged a few articles of clothing on the animated figures and then asked for students to suggest which ones I should choose. Once comfortable with how the program works, I had the students come up to the SMART Board and experiment. The y practiced dragging the clothing to the characters , starting the loops, and deleting the loops. The class was ready to start composing. I explained to the class that we would create our own song using Incredibox and record it so we could hear it when do ne. I gave a couple of guidelines for the composition that were easy


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 25 to follow. Each person would have the opportunity to choose one loop, the loop must be chosen within two measures of the song and if all seven characters are used then delete one and ch oose a loop. Since the creation of the song occurs in real time, we did a brief practice run to make sure the students understood the guidelines. To start the composition I had students make a single file line in front of the SMART Board. When I said g o, the first person in line would select a loop and I would hit the record button. After selecting a loop the student returned to their seat to watch the other students. Once the song was complete, I pressed the record button again to stop the recording . As a class we watched the composition and I asked for feedback. I also had the class try two variations on the composition, one that allowed each student to work through the line twice and another where each loop had to be selected within one measure. My o bservations . Incredibox was the perfect program to use for this composition project. As soon as I displayed the website on the SMART Board students were curious as to what would come next. The little details like colorful graphics and how the animat ed characters eyes follow the cursor added interest. After I dragged the first few articles of clothing onto the animated characters , students were asking if they could try. The learning curve was very quick and even students with limited fine motor ski lls were able to participate . Students with dyslexia were able to participate in the program because it is image based with very little words on the screen. The biggest problem for this group of students was dragging the items of clothing to a character clothing item to the character on the far right who had nothing on. Students with behavioral issues were completely engrossed by the program that they did not cause any distractions. The fast paced nature of the program combined with the opportunity to create music held their


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 26 attention the whole time. The students who were in a wheelchair were able to get close enough to the SMART board, which is low enough for them to reach, and participate as well. They had no issue with dragging the clothing items. When a student first tried the program he or she would pick a loop based solely on what what loop each article of clothing produced. Then students were picking articles of clothing based on what sounds they liked. A few students star ted to organize their sound based on the type of loop. In the program, there are twenty different articles of clothing divided equally into four groups. The four groups are identified by the type of loop : Beats, Effects, Melodies, and Voices. The studen ts who were consciously thinking about organizing their song picked loops from various categories. For example a student would start with a loop from the Beats, add an Effects loop and finish it with a Melodies loop. This led to a good discussion about l ayering sounds and picking ones that worked well together. I used the analogy of a layered cake to describe how sounds can be combined. I drew a picture of a piece of layered cake on the board and labeled the layers carrot, strawberry and chocolate. I a sked if those seemed like flavors that would taste good together. Most students agreed that combination would not taste right. I inquired about a better flavor combination and was given chocolate, vanilla and peanut butter. I explained that just like th e carrot, strawberry and chocolate cake combination did not sound agreeable to the palate , some sounds or instruments do not go well together also. A song made completely of the Beats loops might not be that interesting. When appropriate sounds are layer ed it adds interest and depth to


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 27 the song. I suggested they listen to their favorite music and take note of how the sounds are organized. I used a simple rubric, as seen in Appendix F , to assess the students while they were engaged in composing. This s imple yes/no rubric focuses on observable attributes, such as keeping a steady beat. Creativity was never overtly assessed. The group composition process was used to introduce the students to creating their own music, which was highly successful. Studen ts asked me to send the finished composition to their classroom teacher so they could show what they were able to create. Soundation has the ability to save the composition and give the user a link which when clicked shows the composition. The recorded c omposition is web based and plays back like a movie, displaying the order of items being added to the characters along with the loops. I sent the link to the classroom teachers via email so they could view the completed composition. Project extensions. I n the future, I would play several songs for the class and talk them favorite songs and also give them a basic idea on how to listen critically to music. If done at the beginning of the unit, it might help students create a more diverse composition. After completing the whole class teacher led composition, I would like to explore composing in small groups. Each small group could have a laptop and work to cr eate a composition. This seems like the next logical step in the scaffolding process. Another idea would be to record students making their own loops (clapping a rhythm, beatboxing, singing, playing an instrument, etc.) and use them to make a composition. This could be done with Audacity ( ) where the loops could be recorded and then mixed together in Soundation to create a composition. Finally , I would like to include


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 28 evalua tion and revision in the next composition project. This would work nicely in the small group work where students could ask specific questions and refine their original composition. Class Piano Project description. As I progressed through my school music program I never had the which is fine but I wish I had had the chance to perform my own piece. I wanted to give my piano class that experience , so I created a comp osition final project. This project included composing, practicing and performing an origin al song for the end of the year recital. It was a perfect way to assess all topics taught throughout the year in an engaging way (Hic key, 2012) . Knowing the importance of placing guidelines on composition, I made a handout that described the project and what was expected (Brophy, 1996) . On this handout , as seen in Appendix G , were instructions on how l ong the composition must be, the form, chord progressions, accompaniment patterns and expressive elements of the piece. I laid out these guidelines for several rea sons. First, I wanted to avoid a student composing something very quickly just to get the p roject done. That is why I specified the length of the composition and including expressive elements. I wanted quality work that the student put effort and thought into. Second, I wanted students to incorporate the concepts we learned throughout the yea r. Spelling them out in detail helps students recall the concepts and review them at the same time. Third, the guidelines help direct the student so the task does not seem too overwhelming. By giving them chord progressions as a starting point, the stud ent can focus on creating an interesting melody with the pre existing chord structure (Brophy, 1996). Students were required to use Finale to write their composition. Throughout the composing project students had to


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 29 check in with me and report their prog ress. I was also available during class to answer any questions or give feedback on a composition. My observations. Most students had a hard time starting their composition, not knowing what direction they wanted to take the piece. Even with the sample chord progressions students had trouble thinking of a melody to go over them. I tried to encourage the students to think of their composition as a story, with a beginning, middle and end, and write a soundtrack to an experience they had. This seemed to help a majority of the students start and for the few that were still stuck, I took a different approach. I gave them a fragment of a melody, usually only a couple of beats, and asked them to complete the melodic line. Having a concrete starting place fo r those students seemed t o get the creative process underway (Hickey, 2012) . Two general types of compositional styles emerged as I observed the students. First were the students who played a melody on the keyboard before inputting it into Finale . These students would have an idea of what they wanted to play, try it out on the keyboard, make any changes, play it again and try to transcribe it into Finale . The problem arose when students played a melodic motive that they liked but could not figure o ut ho w to notate it. I was asked on multiple occasions to listen to the melodic fragment and tell the student how to input it into the program. I suggested that students use the MIDI feature of the keyboard, play their motive into Finale , and let the program notate it. This was easier said than done. In order to successfully accomplish this, the student had to play their melody in real time without making any mistakes. Finale was so sensitive to what the student played that any slight deviation from the giv en tempo created very complex rhythms that made no sense. In the end, there was little progress made with playing the melody into Finale so I would usually help the student notate the melody or at least get them started.


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 30 The other group that emerged were the students who rarely played their keyboards while composing. These students would input their ideas directly into Finale without playing it first on the keyboard. With these students, a different problem arose. This group generally did not have any trouble notating their piece, the difficulty surfaced when the student tried to play it on the keyboard. The student would write a very complicated section which sounded great when the program played it back but the student had no clue how to actually pla y it. This was a problem student. I tried to encourage the student to simplify what was written and then see if it was playable on the keyboard. My interacti ons with these two groups of students raised an interesting question. Was I There have been times when I have composed a piece that I could not play, eithe r because of the difficulty or because it was written for an instrument that I did not play. In the end, I think it was worth the effort to have the students compose something and play it. The pride and satisfaction that the students garnered from perfor ming their own piece was awesome to see. I heard several of the students after the recital enthusiastically telling family and friends that they composed one of the pieces they played. The pride in their creation was clear (Ginocchio, 2003; Randles, 2009) . To assess the compositions, I used the rubric as seen in Appendix H . A majority of the rubric assesses playing technique which was worked on throughout the entire year. Half of the point value was determined b y the student following the guidelines for the composition. I did not include any assessment on the creativity of the work. I did not want to discourage creativity, especially since this was the first time any of the students had ever composed. Instead, I focused


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 31 on the technical aspects of the playing and following project guidelines. This also freed me from making subjective judgments and focused on the objective material (Hickey, 2013) . Project extensions. This composition project was a great way to finish the year and include all the musical concepts studied in the course. In the future, I would love to include collaboration. Perhaps two students could compose a piano duet together or small groups could work on a collaborative piece. Seeing how m uch collaboration benefited my other projects I know it would work well with the piano class as well. I need to experiment with Finale to adjust the sensitivity of the MIDI input so students could play the keyboard to notate their piece. I also would lik e to explore non traditional notation options, such as graphic representations of the alternative to traditional notation. A few of the students had their piece com pletely memorized and had a hard time transferring it to Finale . These non traditional notation options would alleviate that burden. Conclusion After completing this project, I feel confident in my ability to teach composition in the music classroom. In response to the project questions I posited at the beginning of this endeavor I have made the following conclusions. First, I will strive to make composition an integral part of my teaching . I see the importance of incorporating this creative activity and will devote the time and effort to make it happen. Second, I set the tone for student learning of composition by my classroom environment . I will strive to create an environment where the student feels comfortable to be expressive by utilizing the b est practices and techniques I researched and implemented in this project. Third, I can incorporate composition into almost any lesson . With a little forethought and planning, I can use composition activities to teach a myriad of musical


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 32 concepts. Fourt h, I will use a variety of assessment methods (rubrics, self evaluation, group feedback) and make the student aware of how they will be assessed . The goal of assessment is to give the student useful feedback that can further his or her development as a mu sician. I am excited to teach these units again and look forward to implementing the changes I have thought about. I also want to encourage my colleagues to incorporate composition in their teaching by sharing my experiences with them. I h ope this will lead to a new appreciation for composing and foster an environment of creativity within my district.


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 33 References Broomhead, P. (2005). Shaping expressive performance: a problem solving approach. Music Educators Journal, 91 ( 5), 63 67. Brophy, T. S. (1996). Building music literacy with guided composition. Music Educators Journal, 83 (3), 15 18. Bugos, J., & Jacobs, E. (2012). Composition instruction and cognitive performance: results of a pilot study. Research & Issues in Music Education, 10 (1). Colwell, C. M., Davis, K., & Schroeder, L. K. (2005). The effect of composition (art or music) on the self concept of hospitalized children. Journal of Music Therapy, 42 (1), 49 63. Consortium of National Arts Education Associations. (199 4). National standards for arts education: what every young american should know and be able to do in the arts. Reston, VA: MENC. Deci, E. L., Koestner, R., & Ryan, R. M. (2001). Extrinsic rewards and intrinsic motivation in education: reconsidered once ag ain. Review of Educational Research, 71 (1), 1 29. Fitzpatrick, K. R. (2006). The effect of instrumental music participation and socioeconomic status on Ohio fouth , sixth , and ninth grade proficiency test performance. Journal of Research in Music Educatio n, 54 (1), 73 84. Ginocchio, J. (2003). Making composition work in your music program. Music Educators Journal, 90 (1), 51 55. Hickey, M. (1999). Assessment rubrics for music composition. Music Educators Journal, 85 (4), 26 32+52+33.


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 34 Hickey, M. (2001). An app lication of amabile's consensual assessment technique for rating the creativity of children's musical compositions. Journal of Research in Music Education, 49 (3), 234 244. Hickey, M. (2012). Music outside the lines: ideas for composing in k 12 music classr ooms. New York: Oxford University Press. Hickey, M. (2013). What to do about assessment. In M. Hickey, A. Koops, C. Randles, D. Stringham, L. Thornton, C. Randles, & D. Stringham (Eds.), Musicianship: composing in band and orchestra (pp. 39 49). Chicago, I L: GIA Publications, Inc. Hickey, M., & Webster, P. (2001). Creative thinking in music. Music Educators Journal, 88 (1), 19 23. Hinckley, J. (1999). Are our composers all decomposing? Music Educators Journal, 85 (6), 6 8. Hoffman, A. R., & Carter, B. A. (201 3). A virtual composer in every classroom. Music Educators Journal, 99 (3), 59 62. Johnson, C. M., & Memmott, J. E. (2006). Examination of relationships between participation in school music programs of differing quality and standardized test results. Journ al of Research in Music Education, 54 (4), 293 307. Kaschub, M. (1997a). A comparison of two composer guided large group composition projects. Research Studies in Music Education, 8 (15), 15 28. Kaschub, M. (1997b). Composition in the choral rehearsal. Music Educators Journal, 84 (1), 28 33. Kaschub, M., & Smith, J. (2009). Minds on music: composition for creative and critical thinking. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Education.


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 35 Kennedy, M. A. (2002). Listening to the music: compositional processes of high school composers. Journal of Research in Music Education, 50 (2), 94 110. Major, A. E. (2008). Appraising composing in secondary school music lessons. Music Education Research, 10 (2), 307 319. Mark, M. L. (2000). MENC: from tanglewood to the present. In C. K. Mad sen (Ed.), Vision 2020: the housewright symposium on the future of music education (pp. 5 22). MENC The National Association for Music Education. Moon, K. S., & Humphreys, J. T. (2010). The manhattanville music curriculum program: 1966 1970. Journal of H istorical Research in Music Education, 31 (2), 75 98. Pogonowski, L. M. (2001). A personal retrospective on the MMCP. Music Educators Journal, 88 (1), 24 28. Randles, C. (2009). "That's my piece, that's my signature, and it means more...": creative identity and the ensemble teacher/arranger. Research Studies in Music Education, 31 (1), 52 68. Randles, C. (2010). The relationship of compositional experiences of high school instrumentalists to music self concept. Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Edu cation, 184 , 7 18. Randles, C. (2013). Why composition? In M. Hickey, A. Koops, C. Randles, D. Stringham, L. Thornton, C. Randles, & D. Stringham (Eds.), Musicianship: composing in band and orchestra (pp. 5 14). Chicago, IL: GIA Publications, Inc. Randles, C., & Sullivan, M. (2013). How composers approach teaching composition: strategies for music teachers. Music Educators Journal, 99 (3), 51 57.


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 36 Reimer, B. (2007). Comprehensive education, comprehensive music education: a new vision. Music Education Research International, 1 , 1 12. Richardson, V. (Ed.). (1997). Constructivist teacher education: building a world of new understandings. London: Routledge. Robinson, N. G., Bell, C. L., & Pogonowski, L. (2011). The creative music strategy: a seven step instruction al model. Music Educators Journal, 97 (3), 50 55. Ruthmann, A. (2007). The composers' workshop: an approach to composing in the classroom . Music Educators Journal, 93 (4), 38 43. Sawyer, R. K. (2003). Group creativity: music, theater, collaboration. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Scruggs, B. (2009). Constructivist practices to increase student engagement in the orchestra classroom. Music Educators Journal, 95 (4), 53 59. Stauffer, S. L. (2002). Connections between the musical and life experiences of young composers and their compositions. Journal of Research in Music Education, 50 (4), 301 322. Stauffer, S. L. (2013). Engaging creative music thinking through narrative thinking frames. In M. Hickey, A. Koops, C. Randles, D. Stringham, L. Thornton, C. R andles, & D. Stringham (Eds.), Muscianship: composing in band and orchestra (pp. 89 105). Chicago, IL: GIA Publications, Inc. Strand, K. (2006). Survey of Indiana music teachers on using composition in classroom. Journal of Research in Music Education, 54 ( 2), 154 167. Vincent, M. C., & Merrion, M. D. (1996). Teaching music in the year 2050. Music Educators Journal, 82 , 38 42.


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 37 Webster, P. R. (1990). Creativity as creative thinking. Music Educators Journal, 76 (9), 22 28. Wiggins, J. (1994). Children's strateg ies for solving compositional problems with peers. Journal of Research in Music Education, 42 (3), 232 252. Wiggins, J. (2005). Fostering revision and extension in student composing. Music Educators Journal, 91 (3), 35 42. Wiggins, J. (2007). Authentic pract ice and process in music teacher education. Music Educators Journal, 93 (3), 36 42. Wilkins, M. L. (2006). Creative music composition: the young composer's voice. New York: Taylor & Francis. Wilson, D. (2001). Guidelines for coaching student composers. Musi c Educators Journal, 88 (1), 28 33. Wilson, S., & Wales, R. (1995). An exploration of children's musical compositions. Journal of Research in Music Education, 43 (2), 94 111. Younker, B. A., & Bracken, J. (2013). Interdisciplinary collaboration with composit ion. In M. Hickey, A. Koops, C. Randles, D. Stringham, L. Thornton, C. Randles, & D. Stringham (Eds.), Musicianship: composing in band and orchestra (pp. 51 66). Chicago, IL: GIA Publications, Inc.


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 38 Appendix A Handout describing student roles in the music careers composition project Recording Artist Tasks 1. Set up a free account and record the email and password (on handout) 2. Create at least 2 songs for the CD (you may make more if you have time) a. At least one of the songs has to have an i nstrument (made in the program), singing or rapping in it b. Each song has to be at least 36 measures long c. Each song must have at least 4 channels d. Each song must have a title 3. Burn the final CD after the whole group approves the songs 4. Fill out a Self Evaluatio n and Producer Evaluation every day Graphic Designer Tasks 1. Create the artwork for the CD insert (all four sides) a. Make a black and white rough draft to show the group for their approval b. The final CD insert artwork must be in color and match the theme of the album c. The insert must include: i. Album Title ii. Name of Group iii. Group Member Names iv. Song titles with track numbers


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 39 2. Cut out the CD insert and place it in the CD case after the whole group approves of the design 3. Fill out a Self Evaluation and Producer Evaluation ev ery day Advertiser Tasks 1. Create a poster, flyer or business card that promotes the CD and your group a. The advertisement must be in color and match the theme of the album b. The advertisement must include: i. Album Title ii. Name of Group iii. Group Member Names iv. Descriptio n of the Album v. Any other important or relevant information 2. Book a 7 day tour on the East Coast a. perform b. Write down addresses and contact information for each venue c. Fill in the chart of when and where you will be performing d. Make sure that the venues are close enough to each other so your group could drive between them in less than a day 3. Fill out a Self Evaluation and Producer Evaluation every day Producer Tasks 1. Check in with every group member each day


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 40 a. Record what they have accomplished b. Record what they will work on the next day 2. Be involved in all aspects of the CD creation process 3. Make a schedule of when things need to be done and make sure group follows the schedule 4. Give final approval to all members before final product is created 5. Fill out a Self Evaluation and each group member evaluation every day






EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 43 How to Save a S ong in the Studio 1. 2. A pop up box will come up with a place to put Song Name. 3. 4. MAKE SURE YOU ARE SAVING YOUR SONG OFTEN AND BEFORE YOU EXIT THE PROGRAM! How to Login to Soundation Studio 1.


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 44 Appendix C Handout for Student Self Evaluation Self Evaluation for CD recording project (circle one number per line) Monday Focused for the whole period Never 1 2 3 4 5 All the time Completed assigned tasks Never 1 2 3 4 5 All the time Worked well with the group Never 1 2 3 4 5 All the time Tuesday Focused for the whole period Never 1 2 3 4 5 All the time Completed assigned tasks Never 1 2 3 4 5 All the time Worked well with the group Never 1 2 3 4 5 All the time Wednesday Focused for the whole period Never 1 2 3 4 5 All the time Completed assigned tasks Never 1 2 3 4 5 All the time Worked well with the group Never 1 2 3 4 5 All the time Thursday Focused for the whole period Never 1 2 3 4 5 All the time Completed assigned tasks Never 1 2 3 4 5 All th e time Worked well with the group Never 1 2 3 4 5 All the time


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 45 Friday Focused for the whole period Never 1 2 3 4 5 All the time Completed assigned tasks Never 1 2 3 4 5 All the time Worked well with the group Never 1 2 3 4 5 All the time


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 46 Appendix D Handout for Student Self Reflection Self Reflection on CD Project Please answer in complete sentences. 1. Explain what your task was (producer, artist, designer, or advertiser) and what you did to contribute to your group? 2. What was on e thing you felt like you did well? 3. What was one thing you could improve on for the next project? 4. Explain how your group worked together. 5. Why is it important to study music careers? 6. How did it feel to create your own music? 7. If you could g o back and revise your composition again, what would you change?


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 47 Appendix E Rubric for Grading Composition Project Rubric for CD recording project Developing Competent Sophisticated Score Teamwork (25 points) Did not work well with team members and rare ly collaborated. Little or no respect was given to other members Worked well together most of the time, collaborate most of the time. Was mostly respectful of other members. Worked well together to achieve objectives. Contributed in a valuable way to the project. High level of mutual respect and collaboration. Contribution (25 points) Completed little to none of the tasks and evaluations Completed most of the tasks and evaluations Completed all of the tasks and evaluations in a timely manner Quality o f Work (25 points) Little to no effort was put into the final product, which lacks any thoughtful construction. Final product is completed with an adequate amount of effort, and is adequately constructed. Final product shows a great deal of effort and is o utstanding in construction. Inclusion of all project elements (25 points) Final product lacks any project elements Final product has some project elements Final product has all project elements Final Grade:


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 48 Appendix F Rubric for assessing s pecial education group composition Yes No Was on task Able to keep a steady beat Able to pick a loop Showed comprehension of musical elements Engaged with other students Able to rationalize choice of loop


EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 49 Appendix G Handout describin g the final composition project for class piano Using Finale , you will write your own piece of music for the piano that you will perform during our May recital. This composition should highlight all the techniques and material that we have learned so far. Here are the requirements for the assignment: 1. Composition must be at least 24 measures long 2. It must be in ABA or AB form 3. Expressive markings must be included 4. It cannot be in the key of C Major 5. Both the melody and accompaniment must be interesting and de monstrate good technique 6. The left hand accompaniment cannot be just whole notes 7. You must use at least one rhythmic motive and one melodic motive 8. You may use the chord progressions below or your own if preapproved by Mr. Lineman Chord Progressions (you may use any inversion) I IV V I vi IV V I I V vi IV I V IV I I iii IV V vi IV V I I iii IV V vi IV I V vi IV iii V vi IV I V IV iii ii I IV I V/V V




EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR INCLUDING COMPOSITION IN THE CLA SSROOM 51 Appendix H Rubric for final composition in piano class Poor Fair Good Excellent Fingering (10 points) St udent never plays with the correct fingering Student sometimes plays with the correct fingering Student usually plays with the correct fingering Student always plays with the correct fingering Steady Beat (10 points) Student never keeps a steady beat Stud ent sometimes keeps a steady beat Student usually keeps a steady beat Student always keeps a steady beat Notes (10 points) Student never plays the correct notes Student sometimes plays correct notes Student usually plays correct notes Student always plays correct notes Rhythms (10 points) Student never plays the correct rhythms Student sometimes plays the correct rhythms Student usually plays the correct rhythms Student always plays the correct rhythms Musicality (10 points) Student never plays the piece with appropriate expression Student sometimes plays the piece with appropriate expression Student usually plays the piece with appropriate expression Student always plays the piece with appropriate expression Adhere to composition guidelines (50 points) Student did not follow any of the guidelines Student followed 1 2 of the guidelines Student followed 3 5 of the guidelines Student followed all of the guidelines