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Creative Composition for the Classroom - ebook


Initial – Grade 8




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Creative Composition for the Classroom (digital edition) is a practical resource aimed at aspiring composers, those teaching creative music-making or composition, and instrumental teachers wanting to add more creativity to their tuition, as well as those choosing to present an original composition of their own in Trinity grade exams

James MacMillan and Jennifer Martin draw on their wealth of expertise, offering the reader a window into their techniques and demystifying the concept of musical creativity. They provide the keys to unlock students’ imaginations, giving them the tools and confidence to develop their ideas and share them with friends, teachers and family. Critical thinking is encouraged through a range of individual and group activities, musical examples and analysis, with concise hints and tips, compositional techniques and suggestions for listening included along the way.

The ideas presented can easily be adapted for a variety of learning situations with topics including pitch, rhythm, timbre, pulse, harmony, decision-making, instrumentation and structure. Graphic representations of musical structures teach young composers to visualise their work more holistically before embarking on their writing, while a printable worksheet, available to download, acts as a checklist for making compositional choices.

This volume combines technical rigour with imagination and creativity, allowing all educators and learners to expand the scope of their lessons, whether formally studying composition or simply wanting to add some creative music making to their curriculum.

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James MacMillan and Jennifer Martin are composers who have worked within the formal and informal education sectors since the 1980s and 1990s. At this time professional orchestras were developing new roles within their communities and the teaching of composition in schools, adult training centres, rehabilitative programmes and community centres became a core extension to a composer’s life. The authors have been involved in the development of this work over the last 30 years, through their work in Scotland and internationally, yet it is through their work at James’s festival, The Cumnock Tryst, that they have now defined a fresh approach to supporting music teachers and their pupils across East Ayrshire, offering encouragement as they write new music of their own. Their highly lauded approach is presented in this new publication.


James MacMillan

Jennifer Martin



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