This week, Kathryn and Theresa interviewed David Getz about how he incorporates music composition to spark student creativity. David is a high school orchestra teacher in central Illinois. He has also coached cross country, conducts a local youth orchestra, and recently published a book with F-flat Books, Unlocking Student Creativity Through Composition. As someone who was encouraged to compose and improvise at a young age, David recognizes how influential those experiences were. He now works to provide those same opportunities for his own students. 

Exploring Music Composition to Spark Student Creativity

Music Composition in the Classroom

Throughout the episode, David discusses composition both in the context of his orchestra classes and an after-school club. He shares numerous strategies to incorporate student composition and creativity in the music classroom. Some topics included: 

  • The creation of his after school “Composers’ Guild” which is open to any student in the school, not only those in band, orchestra, or chorus
  • The process he uses to teach music composition 
  • How learning about composition affects students in their performance ensembles  
  • Creating a “creative atmosphere” – a culture where students feel they can be creative 
  • How rehearsing less can pave the path for more creativity and independence 

I really want to do things that establish that culture where kids walk into my classroom and they feel a creative atmosphere…when they walk into the orchestra room, they feel like, ‘this is a place where I can be creative.’

David provides great, actionable strategies for anyone interested in incorporating more creativity and music composition in their music classes. Be sure to check out the full interview on YouTube or your favorite podcast platform. You can also listen right here, on Spotify Podcasts!

Connect with David and learn more about his work:

Interested in learning more about creativity in the music room? Check out these past episodes:

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