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Teaching Music Composition

Hi fellow teacher of music composition!

So you know where I'm coming from, I've just started teaching a few private students in Vienna. I've been at it for about 2 years.

My doctoral thesis is the "teaching of music composition," and I am looking to use this site not only as a "place" to offer information, but also as a place to learn and grow.

My doctoral project, specifically, is a cross-section of how music composition is taught now. For more information, read about the teaching of music composition dvd series, which describes my research in greater detail.

I'm gathering the standard texts regarding music composition, which I might list here in the future: Hindemith, Schoenberg, etc. Also, I will soon be gathering more "off-beat" literature such as:

Kind of funny, no? An idiot's guide! Ha!

I'd like to say that I'm really here to learn from you guys about "how to teach music composition." I'm still gathering literature on the topic, and I'd love to enter into discussions at my forum about literature, methods, etc.

Frankly, I generally have an incredulous feeling when my students leave their lessons somehow happy and fulfilled. They come with worries, thoughts, sketches, goals, and they leave having taken a few steps forward. Right now, I'm doing a lot of training where I have my students play one line and sing another simultaneously...I'll also play theory and aural skills games at the outset of the lesson. Keeps me on my toes too!

If there's one thing I've noticed so far, it's that it helps to really listen to the student. It's incredibly important to be honest about what you know and what you don't know, even though, sometimes, questions help you realize that you know things you didn't think you did! Ha!

Helping students access appropriate literature is a very important role. Most importantly, I think it is the responsibility of the teacher to "see" the potential in each really believe in the student as a composer, as someone able to overcome whatever obstacles may be "in the way" of completing the it insecurity about its "quality," or simple "technical know-how."

If you've read about my doctoral project, I've already completed one of the interviews with Erich Urbanner, and Christóbal Halffter is likely the next interviewee...come on back, as I will likely be posting updtes on my doctoral project!