I was never taught composition early in my music study and this made it a greater challenge later on, when I had to learn theory in a manner detached from what I was playing. So, I’ve decided to get my students to improvise and create their own music right away. I start them off with a very open form so that they can just play with sounds and put them together however they like. As they progress, I teach them chords, structure, rhythm, etc., as needed and in a way that helps them accomplish what they want. It’s even better when I can point out what they very naturally did in relation to theoretical concepts. I gotta say, it’s so much fun hearing what goes on in their heads. I can hear how they bring together what they’ve learned and get a sense of stylistic preferences. It’s also exciting to hear what happens when they’re on the edge of what they know and are on the cusp of grasping the next musical idea.
Here are some of my young students’ compositions, composed in years 1 to 3 of lessons. Some have multiple tracks, so see if you can scroll down on each student’s set. A couple of students also have recorded their performances of music they studied during the course of our lessons.
Hope you enjoy!