Composing Together II: The Development of Musical Ideas with Teachers and Students

Tessandra Wendzich, Bernard W. Andrews


Contemporary Canadian pieces are uncommonly performed and studied in school music programs due to their complex nature. The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board and the Canadian Music Centre commissioned composers to write a piece of educational music in a multi-year, multi-site research project entitled Making Music: Composing with Young Musicians. The musical pieces were written in collaboration with teachers and students. The following research question was addressed: How can musical ideas be conceptualized and developed with students and teachers? Through composition reports, the composers indicated the importance of listening to students. Listening enabled them to know with what the young musicians were familiar and helped the composers discern the students’ instrumental abilities. Musical ideas were also developed when students worked individually and in groups. Furthermore, composer-teacher feedback as well as teacher facilitation spawned a healthy flow of musical ideas. The findings will be of interest to music teachers, post-secondary music educators, composers and Canadian music publishers.


educational music; music composition; music creativity; pedagogical music

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