I’m pretty insistent that you include improvisation in your lessons. I’m less emphatic about teaching composing, but I still think you should strongly consider it.

Students need to understand that music is not just something they play. It’s something they can create

In my own studio and in the work I do helping teachers, my mission is to give every student the opportunity to feel successful with music. Many of us love written music and feel successful performing it. But ultimately, that’s not going to be the right path for many of our students to feel connected to music. 

Getting your students to compose their own pieces can provide one more door for your students to walk through. The more doors you provide to them, the more chances you give them to become lifelong musicians. 

There are other benefits of composing, too. 

Composing projects can be fantastically motivating for students. Every year we do one big composing project in my studio and I compile all of their pieces into a professionally printed book.

This is a wonderful moment for them to see their name in print and see what all the other students have composed as well. For many of my students, this is their favourite part of the year. 

Working on compositions, whether longer pieces and projects like this or micro-compositions you incorporate along your student’s journey, also give you a wonderful opportunity to teach tons of theory in a disguised way. Students who are averse to workbooks are often more than happy to notate their pieces and learn the rules and conventions needed to do so accurately.

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