Composition Resources for Teachers and Students

General Resources

Over the years, Music-COMP has developed resources for teachers to use in their classrooms as they work with their students to teach composition. All of these worksheets and handouts are carefully designed by our mentors, who are all professional composers, to help give you and your students a leg up as you begin creating original music. Most of the worksheets are designed in such a way that they can be applicable to all age groups. 

Music-COMP is pleased to offer these resources for free, but if they are useful for you please do consider a donation to support the development of future resouces. 

Teacher and Student Composition Guides, Worksheets and More

#1. Instrument Ranges and Score Layout
A handy chart showing the ranges of common instruments and the proper way to format an orchestral score

#2. Thinking Beyond The Notes
A pre-composition planning worksheet to use before a single note is written

#3. What Makes a Melody?
A guide to composing your own melody suitable for all ages. We break down the hallmarks of a well crafted melody using Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Beat It and Stairway to Heaven as examples. 

#4. The Correct Way to Write Rhythms
Doy oul ike i cecr eam? That's how a rhythm that is written incorrectly will appear to a musician performing your music... so how exactly do you write rhythms that are clear and easy to read? This guide developed by our mentor Zach Sheets shows how to turn confusing rhythms into rhythms that are nothing but sunshine, puppies and rainbows.  

#5. Dynamics and Articulations
Do adding dynamics and articulations to your music really matter? How much of a difference will they actually make? 

#6: Piano Tips for Young Composers
How do you get started writing for the piano? What are some of the typical ways we see composers using the piano in a melodic, harmonic and rhythmic setting? This guide gives examples of ways to begin writing a piano part that is fun to play and works well for your music. 

#7: Words of Wisdom from a Drummer
Drums...perhaps the coolest of all the instruments and perhaps the most confusing of all instruments to write music for. This guide, developed by performer and composer Andy Gagnon will help you learn how to write for the drums. 

#8: Choosing a Text and Copyright Guidelines
Is that poem you're using in your new choral piece legal? How do you figure that out? Where do you find legal poems and words to set to music? All your questions will be answered in this guide. 

#9: Setting Text to Music
After you've chosen the words you want to use, this guide will help you figure out the first steps in making music out of your text. 

#10: Preparing Your Score for Performance
Before you give your music to the performers, what do you need to do? Here's a checklist of things to help you make your music ready to be performed. 

#11: Post Composition Reflection Question Bank
Your students have all finished up their new compositions, and maybe even have heard them what? Use this question bank to create your own post-composition reflection to help your students bring the creative process to a close and look back on what they've learned. 




For just a few dollars per month, you can help ensure students will be writing music with Music-COMP for years to come. With your support, students throughout Vermont will continue to see their music come to life!