For Mrs. Mary Mincy, Middle/Upper School piano teacher, the challenge was figuring out how to continue her Upper School piano class virtually, which was made especially challenging because only one student had a piano at home. So, she decided that instead of learning how to play the piano to make music, the class would create and write their own music.
The class began learning about the “secrets” composers use to write music. They studied compositional secrets including motifs, sequences, altered sequence, augmentation and retrograde. “It sounds confusing, but really it isn’t - it’s just like reading music, you just have to know the key to the code!”, Mrs. Mincy tells her students.
With no pianos readily available for students to use, Mrs. Mincy got creative by investigating different apps available that could give her students the ability to make music. After comparing the options, students began using Garage Band, a fully equipped music creation studio app. She then challenged the class to use the techniques discussed to make music. They all started with the same musical melody, or “motive,” and then chose from the different compositional techniques studied to create their own original composition using the app.
“When you annotate and analyze your music you really see what’s going on, I really RESPECT the music!” was one student’s comment about working on this project.
“The class has a couple of weeks to work on their compositions to test different things and refine their creation,” said Mrs. Mincy, “so we are “in progress at the moment.” Stay tuned!