This book is intended to introduce concepts about music composition to band and orchestra students of all ages and engage them in actual creative composing projects. The National Core Arts Standards (2014) emphasize that students should be engaged in the "creative practices of imagination, investigation, construction, and reflection in multiple contexts." These lesson plans attempt to accomplish that challenge in the context of large group band and orchestra ensemble classes using composition activities and projects.
Dr. Alexander Koops is an Associate professor of music at Azusa Pacific University, Director of the Azusa Conservatory Community Music School, Fulbright Scholar, and recipient of the CMEA John Swain music education award. He regularly adjudicates and clinics middle school and high school bands and orchestras, leads composition workshops and professional development, and is a published author. Dr. John Whitener is an Associate Professor of Music at California State University Northridge where he teaches music education courses in addition to teaching middle school band at Jordan Middle School, Burbank, and working as a professional composer. He has received numerous teaching awards including the Bravo! Award given by the Los Angeles Music Center for teaching excellence in Music Education and the Outstanding Music Educator of the Year for CMEA, Southern California Division.
Effectively, Composition concepts for band and orchestra: Incorporating creativity in ensemble settings written by Alexander Koops and John Whitener, begins with listening for silence. Elements of found objects, body percussion, and a variety of repertoire lists are present in lesson plans from the beginning of the text and move educators and students through details of instruments, clefs, and imagination. Teacher guides, coupled with lesson plans, are focused toward different aspects of grade level and consider student interest. Clearly presented are advanced options supporting highly engaged students as well as beginning options for both teachers and students. Listening options, assessment rubrics, and opportunities for deeper learning through activities supporting musicianship include glossaries, improvisation, and real life skits. All are layered with concepts such as tension and resolution and integrated for student learning. While the title appears to focus the reader toward creativity, the creative act is a focus of composing with young people (the word "children" is not found here and three references to "choral"). This is a text not to be missed and may be used with any ensemble, in foundational learning, universities, or K-12 classrooms in any variety of creative ways. Expect Composition concepts for band and orchestra to transform your teaching.--Lisa A. Crawford, CMEA State Council: Creativity and Composition Rep, UCLA Geffin Academy As all great teachers know, the best way to introduce any subject to students is by making it fun and interesting. Koops and Whitener's composition method does both in a result-driven way that will peak the interest of students of all levels.--Richard Meyer, author of Ethnicity and the American Cemetery This book should be in the possession of every teacher and teachers teaching teachers engaged in the delivery of musical experiences for any age and circumstance. It is not a detached theoretical scrutiny of creative musical processes but a practical hands-on guide to inclusive very clear no-nonsense creative thinking that can and should be applied to all class and ensemble contact. The book doesn't posture or pontificate about creativity and it's very pertinent and real existence in the lives of all of us, were we to look, but opens the door and leads us through aspirational possibilities exemplifying points of departure and means of sustaining the journey keeping our daily work alive and kicking! It's a fabulous resource for all of us, composers, conductors, teachers, players and anyone out there with a wish to engage and make a difference in this world where the arts help deliver a fully aware, open and communicative member of society! Bravo all...and thank you!--Bill Connor, Professional Film Composer, Executive committee for British Association of Symphonic Bands and Wind Ensembles
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