P2 - C2

Compose by developing musical ideas within simple given structures and applying instrumental skills

Show learners how to build on ideas from their own improvisations and pieces in their repertoire. Starting points can be simple structures, e.g. A B A, literary or visual stimuli, or musical devices found in repertoire, e.g. a melodic pattern, pentatonic scale.

Whilst instrumental lessons are not a substitute for curriculum music, they do provide opportunities for learners to extend ideas that originate from classroom lessons. Instrumental teachers have particular expertise that helps learners to explore the technical and expressive potential of the instrument.

Ask learners to explore musical ideas using their instruments, jotting down the main points.

Encourage learners to evaluate their work during their lessons. Give specific feedback about musical details and help them to overcome particular problems.

Help learners to refine and notate their compositions, possibly using technology if appropriate.

Notation programs and digital audio workstations are useful tools to support the recording and refining process. Structural coherence and balance are more important than how many notes or bars a piece contains. What matters most, however, is that musical creativity becomes a habit – and one that learners enjoy.

Promote opportunities for learners’ compositions to be performed alongside other pieces that they are learning.

Set activities over a number of weeks. These can be undertaken as part of learners’ practice and reviewed in each lesson.