“Let music belong to everyone.” Zoltan Kodaly
What? Letting grade 1 students COMPOSE THEIR OWN MUSIC?
Actually … YES!
Suppose in an art class we gave a child a paint brush and then said:
“You can paint, but you must only use these colours. You also must exactly replicate this picture!”
This is exactly what we’re doing in music class when we say:
“Here is how to perform three blind mice on the piano”
There is no creativity in this type of lesson. It is replicating what someone else has done before.
In art lessons for Grade 1 we would not do that! We would give them a blank sheet of paper. We might prompt the students with an idea, and then we would let them create. Anything they created we would praise and reward.
So in music we need to re-think our approach. We must encourage children to create their own music, within set frameworks.
Most teachers aren’t trained in the area of composition. Most teachers aren’t composers, however you don’t need to be.
Just follow some simple ideas like this one.