Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#1253526 - 08/21/09 04:25 PM When to start studying composing?
MA Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 302
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
My son probably has some talent in composing. Last semester, he "composed" a little melodic tune on the piano in a practice room. Then he played it to his sister and asked her to play it while adding harmony/chords himself. I was amazed but soon forgot about it.

After a couple of months of summer break from the piano, he has resumed his piano lesson. A few days ago, he played another "composition" in D minor, which sounded like a chord progression. There is a beautiful melody within the progression, and he played it with such a phrasing and articulation that it sounded just wonderful.

He is 6 years old and has studied piano for almost a year. His piano lesson is 1 hour long but usually goes 15+ minutes over. He is finishing up a 3-movement sonatina, and has started a Bach invention, a waltz by a Russian composer, and a modern rhythmic/jazzy piece. He will get a Chopin piece next. He reads music well and can sight-read some early advanced pieces HS.

I wonder whether I should let him formally study composing with a composer/teacher. His piano teacher thinks that it might be a good idea but warns that too much theory too early might limit his imagination and creativity. I can wait and let him explore on his own for now. Which way should I go?

Top
(ad) My Music Staff
Check out the new way to manage your music studio
#1253535 - 08/21/09 04:32 PM Re: When to start studying composing? [Re: MA]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5422
Loc: Orange County, CA
Never too early to start composition lessons! All kids should be encouraged to compose music.

It's always interesting to write stuff down now, and then go back to those pieces later on, once the theory is learned.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#1253625 - 08/21/09 07:14 PM Re: When to start studying composing? [Re: AZNpiano]
dumdumdiddle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1263
Loc: California
I see you live in California. Is your teacher a member of MTAC? There are two programs his teacher should definitely check out: Composer's Today and Improvisation. There's a syllabus for each with leveled activities and assignments. Here's the link to their website: http://mtac.org/

I would encourage perhaps improvisation first (creating pieces without notating them), but I have even my youngest students (4's and 5's) do simple melodic composition. Then we add chords, etc... It sounds like your child is creating music at a level beyond his theory knowledge.
_________________________
Music School Owner
Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
Member of MTAC and Guild

Top
#1253705 - 08/21/09 08:53 PM Re: When to start studying composing? [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4750
Loc: South Florida
Most important, if possible:

Make sure his creations get notated so that there is both a record of what he has done and a means to return to things later. When students show this kind of interest in lessons, I immediately begin showing them how to get it down in notation. That means a lot of help in the beginning, but it is worth it.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

Top
#1254157 - 08/22/09 05:20 PM Re: When to start studying composing? [Re: Gary D.]
MrsCamels Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/18/09
Posts: 176
Loc: Los Angeles
I agree with Gary D. notation is huge when it comes to composing. I begin composing with my students immediately. Notating what you've written tends to be more difficult than creating it. So, as you're looking for what's next for your son, make sure he's notating.
_________________________
Teaching since 2004
Private studio owner since 2008
www.ecsorota.com

Top
#1255579 - 08/25/09 01:03 AM Re: When to start studying composing? [Re: MrsCamels]
MA Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 302
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Thank you all for the advices!

dumdumdiddle: my son's piano teacher is not a member of MTAC. Maybe I should look for a composer/teacher in MTAC. My son hasn't been taught theory formally, so the music he has created is beyond his theory knowledge as you suspected.

AZNpiano, Gary D. and MrsCamels: you all stressed the importance of notating the music. Does it matter how it's done? We have a digital piano that can record whatever my son plays in MIDI, which can be transferred to a computer and read by music software to create the score.

Top
#1255692 - 08/25/09 09:04 AM Re: When to start studying composing? [Re: MA]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11439
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I don't think it is too early to start composition lessons, but that all depends on the composition teacher. You'll need to find a teacher that will encourage his creativity and help him to recognize basic composition principles without telling him what to write. Also, the notating part will be extremely difficult for him at this time -- he's still new to writing words! -- and so the composition teacher has to keep that in mind. I think a good teacher would allow him to be free to notate however he likes at first, and then gradually get him to notate correctly.

As far as translating a recording on MIDI to notation software, the problem with this is your son does not play precisely enough - no one does - to match what he computer can understand. Therefore you'll end up with 32nd rests and other oddities in the score which will make it almost illegible. The best thing to do is have him write things down by hand first onto staff paper, then copy it into the notation software by hand. This will really help his reading ability along and he will get faster at it the more he does it.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

Top
#1256250 - 08/26/09 02:34 AM Re: When to start studying composing? [Re: Morodiene]
MA Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 302
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Morodiene,

Thank you very much for your input! I will keep it in mind if I decide to let my son study composing now.

Quote:
As far as translating a recording on MIDI to notation software, the problem with this is your son does not play precisely enough - no one does - to match what he computer can understand. Therefore you'll end up with 32nd rests and other oddities in the score which will make it almost illegible.


Very good point! It seems that there is no shortcut in notating. I will let him try to write some of the pieces he learned last year to see how it goes.

Top

Moderator:  Ken Knapp 
What's Hot!!
Our latest Issue is available now...
Piano News - Interesting & Fun Piano Related Newsletter! (free)
-------------------
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
106 registered (aesop, Atrys, AndrewJCW, AZ_Astro, 35 invisible), 1454 Guests and 9 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
75581 Members
42 Forums
156273 Topics
2295022 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
picking a fight: how many movements in op.110?
by beet31425
22 minutes 55 seconds ago
Old Wurlitzer (circa 1940s) baby grand, Worth Picking Up?
by Paul678
Today at 10:38 PM
Swamp Cooler and Air Conditioner- Use only One of them!
by Paul678
Today at 10:33 PM
Need progression lesson
by Maarkr
Today at 09:23 PM
What's "Héroïde-élégiaque"?
by Goomer Piles
Today at 09:01 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission