Composer Stacy Garrop on teaching with Hyperscore

Composer Stacy Garrop was invited by the Ying Quartet’s David Ying to lead a series of Hyperscore composing workshops for the 2011 Skaneateles Festival. The resulting works were performed by string quartets at the Festival. In an interview with us, Garrop shared some of her lessons learned from mentoring non-musicians to compose music using our software. You can listen to her in the video.

Some key points:

  • Teachers need to be committed so that the kids won’t  just put it down after one day. Teachers who are passionate about the project will communicate that passion to their students.
  • With high school students, you may run into the problem that many students know notation and may try to replicated note for note the music they already know.
  • The visual representations of music in Hyperscore gets kids excited and is helpful.
  • You need to break things down into building blocks. Design lessons around what’s important in music and what’s meaningful in music.
  • The colors helped isolate different elements of music and provide a way to talk about their different functions in the music.
  • People who are already in a creative field really get it.
  • I created lots of exercises to help people learn about the tools in Hyperscore. For example, we did an exercise about range.
  • Everyone needs a goal. Before my first workshop, I gave people small assignment that they can have ready for me to  look at and a goal for the end of each workshop.
  • Make sure you know what the equipment needs are. A good sound system is important!
  • Also really important – You need enough computers so that the kids can be working on their pieces while I’m going around the room. If I have enough time, they can get enough work done during a class to get feedback at the end of class.

Garrop remarked that she found it “very enlightening” to talk with much younger students. Overall, it was a “really fun” experience for her.

If you are interested in inviting Stacy Garrop to lead workshops in your school or organization, she may be reached via her website at http://www.garrop.com/

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