I’m so excited to be starting the Tim Topham TV Podcast by interviewing my good friend and Australian teacher/composer/presenter, Daniel McFarlane and we’ll be chatting all about student composition: how to help students create music at the piano from scratch and how to develop their own ideas further.
It doesn’t matter if you’re completely new to working on composition with your students or whether you are already doing some composing, you’re going to get a lot out of this episode. I learnt heaps!
Daniel has created a big niche for himself in the international piano publishing industry in the last five years by creating highly-appealing original music in a style that is very much based on groovy rhythms, chords and patterns, so I figured he was going to be the perfect person to help us understand more about student composition.
I don’t know about you, but I often have students come to lessons with a tiny fragment of an idea that they’ve made up on the piano. It might be the simplest melody, a few chords or a bass line.
Nothing that you’d really call ‘music’…yet!
What do you do next? Do you help them make a melody? Do you write more chords? What if they don’t want to do anything else? How do you build upon what they’ve already done without taking over?
And what if you really want to help your student compose music from scratch, but don’t know where to start?
If you haven’t explored Daniel’s music yet, then make sure you check out some of the posts below.
His music suits students of all ages and is excellent for teaching purposes as you can easily discuss patterns and chord progressions and it will help students with rhythms.
I’ve already blogged extensively about Daniel’s music as I have been a big fan since I came across his work soon after starting this blog in 2010.
Some of the posts that I’ve written are:
Interested in following-up on any of the points Daniel raised today?
Please leave your comment/question below.
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Tim Topham is the founder and director of TopMusic. Tim hosts the popular TopCast show, blogs regularly at topmusic.co and speaks at local and international conferences on topics such as pedagogy, business, marketing and entrepreneurship. Tim has been featured in American Music Teacher, The Piano Teacher Magazine, California Music Teacher and EPTA Piano Professional. Tim holds an MBA in Educational Leadership, BMus, DipEd and AMusA.