Learning Composition at the Piano Academy

Learning to compose – writing your own music – is one of the activities in the computer lab that our students love the most! One of our students recently spent some time with her solo teacher and in the computer lab to create a piece called “Springtime March” that she submitted for her school’s Reflections contest. (Reflections is a contest by the school PTA that invites students to create original artwork, music, and writing and gives awards to the top submissions.) Kate started her piece with this year’s theme: “What’s Your Story?”


Along with her teacher, Kate read through the composition workbook that students use in the theory lab to learn the basics of composing a new piece – motives, repetition, sequence, and harmony are some of the first few topics. The workbook is called “The Curious Case of Muttzart and Ratmaninoff” and takes each student through 12 lessons to write an original piece and solve a mystery!


Once Kate had written out an outline of her piece by hand, the theory lab teachers helped her write out her composition in Finale Songwriter, a notation software that our students use to put their awesome ideas on paper! The computer connects to a digital piano with a midi cord and the notes appear as students play them on the keyboard. With a little help, Kate got her piece printed out in about half an hour!


We also have a couple of students performing their own compositions in this Saturday’s recital. We love seeing our students create and express in such a fun way!