In the next step we'll outline a method for beginning with a melody. However, what makes our approach a progressive one is that students are not limited at anytime by the curriculum. They are encouraged to use their prior knowledge and experience when composing their piece. In a class of 25 students you may have a handful of kids who have taken piano lessons for many years or already know how to improvise etc. These students are free to begin their piece in whatever way they see fit. There are huge benefits of allowing students to contribute in this way. Because students can easily share and access each other's work they will learn from each other!
There are obviously many ways a composer could begin a piece of music. It's important to acknowledge this with your students. We have found that beginning with melody helps young composers make decisions about harmony, form and orchestration. Arguably, melody is usually the most identifiable characteristic of a composition. Above all else we encourage our students to create something about their piece that is memorable. For most students melody is the easiest concept for achieving this goal.
Reply to this topic What do you think? with your thoughts on beginning a composition this way. Do you have other ideas or thoughts about how young composers could begin their piece?