The creative exercises and improvisational games collected in this book were designed to help students of all abilities feel comfortable creating new music. They have been road tested as part of the Music Creators Academy
, a virtual summer music experience founded in 2020 to provide middle and high school students the opportunity to continue making music during the COVID-19 pandemic. For two weeks at the end of July, students collaborated in small and large groups to create new works for virtual ensembles. Though some of the students at the academy had previous improvisation and composition experience, many of them did not. The resultant final concert was performed live on Zoom and featured seven world premieres composed by students and faculty. The feedback from parents, students, and educators has been overwhelmingly positive. They love that we have taken all the scariness out of composing!
Whether your classroom is virtual or in-person, these exercises can be successfully used with student groups of all sizes and experience levels. They can lead to your students creating their own pieces to perform, or they can simply be used to teach musical skills and concepts. We believe in the power of creative music making to foster collaboration and to instill camaraderie and community. We are excited for you and your students to gain musical insights and make memories through the process of inventing new music together.