Students in Susan Nace’s Study of Music class composed original pieces during the shelter-in-place as part of their studies. These pieces were later recorded using a variety of methods and posted online for analysis. Students also commented on their pieces, detailing their inspirations, processes and the tools they used to create their music.
“I enjoyed working on my composition once I got an idea to go off of,” said Kyra Hawk, grade 9, whose piece was written for her father and brother, both French horn players. “I was impressed by what I could compose, because I never thought of myself a composer of any sort.”
Freshman Anthony Zhao found that working from home afforded him a more flexible schedule, and he used Apple’s GarageBand software to compose his piece. “Some challenges I have faced are learning to compose in a new software and creating effective beat drops,” he said. “When I began, I barely had an idea of how to use GarageBand, but now I am able to compose music in GarageBand.”
For her piece, written for violin and cello, Katelyn Abellera, grade 9, enlisted the help of violinist Sawyer Lai and cellist Abby Tcheng, both grade 9. “First, I came up with the main melody. Then I came the bass part, where I took into consideration harmonies, parallel, similar, contrary and oblique motion that we learned about in theory,” she said.
For those who wish to see and hear these pieces, the students’ works have been uploaded to a public folder accessible by all.