This winter and spring our students will be composing their own music. We are super excited about this project because it was the brainchild of a student of Emily's.
On a particularly troubling news day, one of my students expressed in both exasperation and frustration that he didn't know how to make a difference. He said that he was only a kid and he was taking piano - what could he as a kid and a music student do to change the world. I thought about the problem and then suggested he look at music from Band-Aid and the benefit concert for Haiti, suggesting that music can make a difference, even if just raising awareness about an issue. I came home and was still bothered by the "I'm only a kid" part of my student's frustration and spoke with Greg about the problem. After some discussion, we landed on a benefit concert. We were going to have all of our interested students either compose or arrange music on a theme (of their collective choosing) and then we would compile all of the sheet music into a book and record all of the students performing their pieces. Later in the year, we would have a concert where we would sell tickets for a small fee (something we don't do for our regular concerts), and at the concert sell the compilation CD and music books of original work. Students would perform their original compositions for an audience - making them truly the stars of the event. All money raised from this process would be donated to either a school needing new musical instruments or to the Children's Aid Society Art Therapy program.
The students grabbed onto this idea with enthusiasm! I was inspired by their commitment. About a month before Christmas we collected ideas for 2 weeks and then voted on the ideas every week until the break and the theme the students reached was "weather". All of the compositions and arrangements will be based on a weather theme.
Throughout January and February we will be composing our own music, in March and April we will record and then in May or June , we will have our concert. We are super excited about this project and will keep all of you updated on what we are doing!