Music by Kids for Kids
Music by Kids for Kids is an exciting composition curriculum especially designed for computer labs equipped with MIDI keyboards. American Composers Forum invited composer and educator Janika Vandervelde to create the curriculum and accompanying templates.
Music by Kids for Kids fills the gap in the music classroom between performing and composing music. In English class, students are encouraged to write their own prose and poetry. In art class, students are invited to pick up a brush and paint their own picture. The purpose of Music by Kids for Kids is to provide tools for 7th through 12th grade educators to incorporate composition and notation software into their classrooms.
Music by Kids for Kids Download Directions:
The curriculum and templates for Music by Kids for Kids is available as a zipped file for download. Click on the link below to download to your desktop or a CD. Download Now!
This link will download all you need to start incorporating the Music by Kids for Kids curriculum in your classroom. After downloading, upload your students' compositions to the wikispaces site.
For PC Users:
- Save the file to your desktop. After downloading, open the file "MBKFK.zip."
- Double click the application "pptview."
- When prompted to extract all files, click "Extract all."
- Extraction wizard will unzip the file into a new folder.
- Open the unzipped "Music by Kids for Kids" file.
- Double click on "pptview."
- PowerPoint Viewer will open the Music by Kids for Kids show, and clicking on links within the program will open the curriculum or template files.
Note: All files must be extracted for the "pptview" application links to work properly.
For Mac Users:
- After downloading, open the file "Music by Kids for Kids"
- Double click "MusicbyKidsforKids.ppt"
- View slide show.
- The curriculum and template files will be available through links within the PowerPoint file.
If you are having problems, try working directly from the files within the folder. Start with "Introduction.pdf" then move through the five PDF units. The template files are referenced within the text for the pertaining unit. Or, PC users click here to work directly from the PowerPoint file online.
Introduction to Music by Kids for Kids: Overview
What is this curriculum?
A composition tutorial for teachers and students created under the auspices of the American Composers Forum.
Who is this curriculum for?
Middle school and high school students. Beginning-level composers. Music educators looking to enrich classroom experiences.
How should this curriculum be used?
In a classroom setting. As an independent study guide for individuals or small groups of students.
What materials are required?
Computers equipped with music notation software. (The curriculum is optimally designed for use with Finale 2006.)
How long does it take to complete this curriculum?
There are five units. Each unit takes six to eight class hours to complete.
What musical activities do students engage in?
Reading, analyzing, describing, notating, listening to, improvising, composing, arranging, evaluating, playing, and singing music.
What do students produce?
Five original compositions.
Learn about the author, Janika Vandervelde
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: I'd like to see something for younger students!
A: While the curriculum and templates provide great direction and guidelines in teaching composition, it is adaptable to your unique teaching situation. An enterprising educator could certainly modify the existing lessons to work for younger students.
Q: I teach piano - is there a lesson in the curriculum for creating compositions for piano (or another specific instrument)?
A: The curriculum and templates are structured around specific compositional concepts. For example, the first unit, counterpoint, asks students to write a piece consisting of multiple, independent lines of music that are played simultaneously among a flute, clarinet, and bassoon. The goal of that first lesson is to create a piece of music that has distinct, independent contrapuntal lines out of a small amount of raw material. Once the students understand these compositional concepts as introduced in the lesson, then it would definitely be feasible to ask them to compose a piece for solo piano, or, you could modify the lessons to suit your needs and instead of asking them to compose counterpoint for flute, clarinet, and bassoon, have them compose two lines, one for each hand, that are contrapuntal in nature. The curriculum focuses more on how to compose within certain defined parameters, and focuses less on composition for a particular instrumentation.
Q: What if I don't use Finale?
A: The curriculum comes in PDF format with accompanying Finale templates. These templates could be adapted to whichever music notation software program you currently use with a little additional set-up time to format new templates.
These clips are from August 2008 summer professional development workshop sessions at the Perpich Center for Arts Education with Minnesota educators.
- Getting started
- Addressing the Standards
- Lesson Length
- Table of Contents
- Vision, Voice, and Virtuosity
- Software Requirements
- Technology Tutorial
- Unit 1
- Choral Blueprint
- Choral writing
- Text rhythm
- Raw material
- Chord expansion
- Midi choral compositions
- Performing choral compositions
- Choral performance
- Pledges Example of piece created with students from the Perpich Center for Arts Education.
The following are audio examples from the August 2008 summer workshop sessions at the Perpich Center for Arts Education. Workshop days were split into three days to explore composing techniques and performing in instrumental groups, as an Orff ensemble, and in a choral trio.
- Instrumental Group 1 Composition
- Instrumental Group 2 Composition
- Orff ensemble composition
- Choral composition 1
- Choral composition 2
- Choral composition 3
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