Reflections Projects at Piano Lessons

Reflections is a nation-wide program, sponsored by the schools. Students around the country use a common theme for inspiration as they create their own work of art. This year, a couple of our piano students decided they wanted to compose their own music! Marie and James, long-time students of Piano Academy, each composed a piece related to this year’s Reflections theme: “Within Reach”. I had an opportunity to watch Marie input her song into Finale, a music writing software. I also took the chance to interview James and Marie after their piano lesson about their experience with their Reflections projects!

James’ piece is titled, “High Flyin’ Fun”. It is composed for the Xylophone. He told me, “Since I already know the piano pretty good I thought I could do it on my xylophone. I’m in a percussion class.”

“What percussion class is this?” I asked.

“It’s at school,” James replied. Both James and Marie play multiple instruments. Marie’s composition is for viola, which she plays in addition to piano. Titled, “Reach for the Sky”, this is Marie’s first written down song. “I’ve fiddled on the piano before, but never wrote it down.” James said this is his first time actually writing out a song too.

“How did you come up with the title of your song?” I inquired.

Marie responded, “I thought about the theme ‘Within Reach’, and it popped into my head!”

“What did you enjoy about composing your own piece of music?”

“I could basically do whatever I wanted. Just write it how I wanted, express my emotions how I wanted, and not what someone else wanted.” Marie made sure to add expression and dynamic markings to show the emotion she wanted.

When asked what the hardest part of composing was, James said, “It was hard to figure out the sections. I did an A section, a B section, another A section or a C section for the end.”

“Would you write your own song again?”

“I don’t know,” James replied. “Maybe I would do it again!”

Whether or not Marie and James become composers in the future, we are excited to see them exploring their musical abilities and talents! The mission of Utah Piano Conservatory is to develop both talent and testimony. As students engage in projects like composing for Reflections, they develop their talents. We are thrilled to support our students in such activities!