By: Megan Prats
A student that composes a well-written song on her own has achieved the ultimate in music because composition requires an intimate understanding of the elements of music and
creativity. This article is details how to teach the student to compose a song in accordance with the 2learn® Method.
For all musicians, song composition should start with the first layer of music – time. Starting here is not only advantageous, but in many ways it is necessary because music does not exist without it. Thus, it is important to explain to the student that time is composed of two elements – the time signature and the tempo. For the time signature, you should teach the student how to read time signatures so that she can create the time signature(s) that best fits her song.
As for the tempo, explain to the student the relationship between speed and space between the beats. Then, allow critical thinking development to help the student put all of the pieces of the puzzle together for herself.
Next, it is time to move onto the second layer of music – rhythm. Teach the student rhythmic notes in their most basic forms so that the student can understand them in any time signature.
Finally, for the melodic instruments, it is time to teach the third layer of music – melody. The bare bones of melody can be broken down into scales. The scales determine what notes are in a key and how the chord progressions proceed. Thus, I’d highly recommend teaching the scales via the following formulas so that the student can locate any major or minor scale on her instrument:
Whole step – Whole step – Half step – Whole step – Whole step – Whole step – Half step
Whole step – Half step – Whole step – Whole step – Half step – Whole step – Whole step
In general, when delivering the substance to the student, you want to break it down into its most basic parts because when you do, it allows the student to rely on her critical thinking skills to do the majority of the work. Once that substantive foundation has been laid, it is time to work on Creativity or Thinking “Outside of the Box” development to turn substance into a work of art.
© Megan Prats 2014