Help! I'm stuck on my composition!
Most students find composing hard, and it’s fair to say that the old adage of ‘1 per cent inspiration, 99 per cent perspiration’ is about right. When controlled conditions give a time limit for producing compositions, teachers need an armoury of tactics to get students started, and to unstick them if they get stuck.
This resource aims to provide just that. It could be used in several different ways:
- As the basis for lesson content in the ‘preparation’ part of coursework composing.
- As a collection of tactics that teachers can dip into and select relevant strategies from, in order to help specific problems as they arise.
- As a self-help guide that could be given in its entirety to more independent students.
- As a ‘lucky dip’ of techniques for students to use when they need to be challenged or inspired (you could pick techniques out of a hat or put them into an electronic random word picker).
It includes ideas for getting started, for editing and developing ideas, for taking a composition in a new direction, and for using instruments well, together with a guide to pitfalls to be avoided. Wherever possible, examples of each technique from ‘real’ music are included.