Composition in Band Class

What is all this about the flipped classroom – it’s all the rage! Well, in my meandering mind and wonderings about how to flip the band room I came up with this idea…..

I gave my students the assignment that they need to compose a melody each an every week from now until the end of the school year. Every monday they will turning in their creative genius masterpieces!

So far, this is week 3, I have been very impressed with the 5th grade especially! I had one specific kid volunteer to play her piece for the class – turns out she had written a piece not just for her but actually written out the parts for 4-5 of her friends as well!

The kids are using pencil and paper (you know tech that we have all become very familiar with!) – some are using NotateMe (this is pretty cool to see them in the first parts of class before rehearsal starts to be sitting there drawing out notes on their iPhone!) and some are using NoteFlight. Some are using SoundCloud to record their pieces first before they write it out.

Most are writing pieces for the instrument they play in band – my daughter is one though who is writing for guitar and voice because she is taking private lessons on guitar. (I will also make sure she does flute later though!) She came down stairs the other night, guitar in hand,  and asked if I wanted to hear what she had written… of course my response was “of course!” I was pretty impressed when she sang for me! She then took it to her guitar teacher who was even more impressed. He decided to scratch the song they WERE going to perform for our upcoming show and work this piece up! He came in and we whipped up a quick demo in Logic…. Take a listen and see what you think….

https://soundcloud.com/tpshimmons/everything

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3 thoughts on “Composition in Band Class

  1. This is so neat! Are you using a rubric to evaluate the compositions (formative assessment)? We’re trying to develop a composition unit for band students in our district. Maybe instead of a limited-time unit, composition should be something that is a part of our class long-term. Please share more about this project. Thanks!

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