Resources

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

PDF Resources

  • #1. Instrument Ranges and Score Layout

    A handy chart showing the ranges of common instruments and the proper way to format an orchestral score

    #1. Instrument Ranges and Score Layout
  • #2. Thinking Beyond The Notes

    A pre-composition planning worksheet to use before a single note is written

    #2. Thinking Beyond The Notes
  • #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.

    #3. What Makes a Melody?
  • #4 The Correct Way to Write Rhythms

    Doy oul ike icr 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.  

    #4 The Correct Way to Write Rhythms
  • #5. Dynamics and Articulations

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

    #5. Dynamics and Articulations
  • #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.

    #7: Words of Wisdom from a Drummer
  • #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.

    #8: Choosing a Text and Copyright Guidelines
  • #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.

    #9: Setting Text to Music
  • #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.

    #10: Preparing Your Score for Performance
  • #11: Post Composition Reflection Question Bank

    Your students have all finished up their new compositions, and maybe even have heard them performed....now 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.

    #11: Post Composition Reflection Question Bank
  • #12: Tips To Talk and Communicate With Your Mentor

    Maybe you're wondering what to you say to your mentor? Especially if this is the first time you've worked with Music-COMP or written a piece of music before, these tips will help you get the most out of your experience. T

    #12: Tips To Talk and Communicate With Your Mentor

Podcast Resources

  • Podcast #1: Creating a Melody

    In this podcast, we look at the building blocks used to compose a melody and ways to start creating your own melody. 

    1-CreatingAnEffectiveMelody.mp3
    Audio file
  • Podcast #2: How to write your own melody

    Where do you start when you write your own melody? This podcast looks at real life example of a composer breaking down how they began writing a theme. 

    *Please consider becoming a member to access this podcast and many more valuable resources.

  • Podcast #3: Composing Using A Motif

    How DO composers write successful pieces and what makes a successful piece of music anyway? The simple answer is. . . there IS no simple answer.

    3-ComposingUsingAMotif.mp3
    Audio file
  • Podcast #4: Composing Using A Sequence

    Our subject today is the sequence. A sequence is a musical idea, usually melodic in nature, which is used several times in succession, each time beginning on a different pitch. The repetitions need not be exact imitations of the original idea but must be close enough to be easily recognizable.

    4-ComposingUsingASequence.mp3
    Audio file
  • Podcast #5: Developing Ideas Using Repetition

    I hope this particular podcast will begin to answer the question: okay, I've written a theme, now what? There are two basic answers to the question. You can repeat the material partially or completely.

    *Please consider becoming a member to access this podcast and many more valuable resources.

  • Podcast #6: Development Using Contrast

    This is the sixth in a series of podcasts addressing different aspects of music composition. It is also the second of two podcasts which discuss a couple of ways of developing material you've created.

    *Please consider becoming a member to access this podcast and many more valuable resources.

  • Podcast #7: Creating An Effective Bassline

    This is the seventh in a series of podcasts dealing with various elements of music composition. Up to this point we've dealt mainly with ideas at the top of the house, that is, melody and different ways to structure and develop a theme. Today we're going to the basement and will discuss the house's foundation, otherwise known as the bass line.

    *Please consider becoming a member to access this podcast and many more valuable resources.

  • Podcast #8: Putting It All Together

    In the first seven of these podcasts we've discussed some ideas about how to construct an effective melody using tools such as a motif or sequence, how to develop material once you've created it, and how to create a bass line to go with the melody.

    *Please consider becoming a member to access this podcast and many more valuable resources.

Resources

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