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Composing ideas

The past weeks have been busy focusing on working at schools for Middle School Festivals and finally got done on Saturday, playing for 40 band and vocal students. When I got home, I needed to rest. Now life is a bit back to "normal".

When teaching people to play piano, we must always think of ways that will help each student succeed. Once we start learning how a student learns, we can always provide ways to help them succeed. One of the ways I try to "teach" and share from personal experiences and observations, is composing. In fact, even with beginning piano students, I use some games and activities to help them create a song. They really enjoy the ideas.

You could find "My Song" from, a colorful sheet where students can write in note names below the basic quarter, half and whole note rhythms. She also has other easy preprimer and staff composing options to get them started and different holidays.

Crazy Critters, from is a great game idea where they pick a bizarre story line using an angry alligator, an excited antelope and two other characters. They all have a cause and effect and makes anyone laugh. They might get their pants caught on a fence, get tossed from a tetter-totter, then they will will promptly fall asleep or start to hiccup. After the students pick three of the cards, I go the piano and create an idea that might compare to the unusual situation. Definitely worth checking out. Plus I give the students a chance to create an idea. They really enjoy it.

Check out, where Jennifer (Eklund) Beaty has many recourses that are helpful for composing. My favorites are Write It Down and Let's March Composition. The ideas are for beginners to early intermediate. Worth checking out.

There are so many other options, yet if you have questions on how to do it, please check out Wendy Stevens She is filled with so many ideas on her site that will help others develop the confidence too compose.

On the next blog I want to share about a student who has been bitten by the composing "bug" and she really loves it. So proud of her trying these new things. Her music is so different and not conventional. She is really outdoing herself with these ideas. Can't wait to share more. In the meantime, how do you teach and work on composing and improv? Would enjoy hearing your ideas.

Thanks for your support.

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