Middle School Musicians: Composition in General Music Education

Samantha Foss

July 18, 2023

Middle School Musicians: Composition in General Music Education

In music education, middle school is a critical stage for nurturing young musicians and fostering their love for the art. Composition stands out as a transformative and empowering element among the various components of a comprehensive music curriculum. By incorporating composition into middle school general music education, educators can unleash students’ creativity, strengthen their musical skills, and cultivate a deeper connection to the world of music. This article explores the significance of embracing composition in middle school general music, highlighting its numerous benefits and offering practical insights for educators.

Unleashing Creative Expression

The composition allows middle school students to unleash creative expression and explore their musical voices. Students can channel their emotions, thoughts, and experiences into a tangible artistic form by composing their music. They can experiment with different melodies, harmonies, and rhythms, crafting compositions that truly reflect their individuality. This process of self-discovery and artistic exploration nurtures students’ self-expression, boosts their confidence, and encourages them to embrace their unique creative abilities.

Strengthening Musical Skills

Engaging in composition strengthens students’ musical skills and understanding. Through composing, students gain practical experience with essential elements of music, such as melody, harmony, rhythm, and structure. They learn to apply theoretical knowledge practically and meaningfully, developing a deeper understanding of how these elements work together to create engaging music. The composition also hones their listening skills as they evaluate and refine their compositions based on their desired musical outcomes. The process of composition enhances students’ technical proficiency, interpretive skills, and overall musical fluency.

Encouraging Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving

Composition nurtures critical thinking and problem-solving skills in middle school students. When students compose, they face decisions and challenges at every process step. They must analyze musical choices, consider the desired mood or message, and find creative solutions to achieve their artistic vision. Composition requires students to think critically, experiment with different approaches, and overcome obstacles. These experiences foster their ability to think creatively, make informed decisions, and adapt to changing circumstances—a valuable skill set that extends beyond music and supports their overall cognitive development.

Fostering Collaboration and Communication

The composition provides opportunities for collaboration and effective communication among middle school students. Group composition projects encourage students to collaborate, share ideas, and contribute to a collective musical vision. Collaborative composition nurtures teamwork as students learn to actively listen, respect differing perspectives, and negotiate creative choices. Students develop essential interpersonal skills through this collaborative process, such as empathy, effective communication, and cooperation. These skills are transferable to various social and professional contexts, preparing students for future success.

Cultivating Lifelong Musical Appreciation

Middle school students develop a lifelong appreciation for music by engaging in composition. As they create their compositions, students gain a deeper understanding of the artistic processes and decisions involved in music-making. This understanding cultivates a sense of respect and admiration for the works of renowned composers. By nurturing their creativity, students become more active participants in the musical world, engaging as listeners, performers, and future contributors. Composition ignites a passion for music that transcends the classroom, enriching their lives and fostering a lifelong connection to the transformative power of music.

Embracing composition in middle school general music education empowers students to unleash their creativity, strengthen their musical skills, develop critical thinking abilities, foster collaboration, and cultivate a lifelong appreciation for music. By incorporating composition into the curriculum, educators provide students a platform for self-expression, artistic exploration, and personal growth. Through composition, middle school students become active participants in their musical journey, equipped with the skills and passion to embark on a lifelong engagement with the vibrant world of music.