Minds on Music: Composition for Creative and Critical Thinking

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9781607091936: Minds on Music: Composition for Creative and Critical Thinking
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This textbook enhances preservice and practicing music educators' understanding of ways to successfully engage children in music composition. It offers both a rationale for the presence of composition in the music education program and a thorough review of what we know of children's compositional practices to date. Minds On Music offers a solid foundation for planning and implementing composition lessons with students in grades PreK-12.

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About the Author:

Michele Kaschub is coordinator of music teacher education and graduate studies at the University of Southern Maine School of Music. She has actively worked with young composers and their teachers in general and choral settings for twenty years.
Janice Smith is undergraduate coordinator of music education at Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College, City University of New York. Prior to coming to Queens she had a thirty-year career teaching music in the public schools of Maine.

Review:

Reflective, energising and informed, this book should be core reading for all wishing to know more about teaching and learning composition, along with entrants to the profession. Michele Kaschub and Janice Smith provide comprehensive and contemporary understanding of music composition rooted in genuinely educational contexts which reach in and beyond the classroom to the contemporary musical world in all its richness and diversity of practices. Combining the latest research with practical ideas and tasks,this multi-dimensional book sets out to inform, inspire and equip music educators of our time... (Pam Burnard, University of Cambridge, UK)

An excellent resource for drawing out the composer in every child as well as drawing out the child in all of us. (Thomas Priest, Weber State University, UT)

This book makes an important contribution to the literature about composition within school music programs. It thoughtfully examines the cognitive underpinnings of the composition process at every age level, and offers practical suggestions for designing projects that will be successful with students at a variety of levels. It is well researched, and likewise draws upon the extensive experiences of the authors. Beginning and seasoned teachers alike will find much to think about in this book. (Paul Siskind, Professor of Composition and Theory, Crane School of Music, SUNY-Potsdam)

In this book, Kaschub and Smith address an issue of great importance in the development of a 21st century music curriculum. They argue―most forcefully, thoroughly and thoughtfully―for the proposition that all children should be encouraged to compose music. Their work is truly pioneering, and their volume fills a need that has been present for quite some time. At every level of the PK-12 spectrum, Minds on Music provides valuable observations, insights into student psychology, introductory comments on notation, memory, musical form, instrumental timbre and the like. There are also a number of fascinating "scenarios"―a sampling of creative assignments, at each educational level―which should go a long way toward dispelling fears, on the part of both student and teacher, about entering this uncharted territory. One hopes that Minds on Music will be read by many music education professors and school music teachers! (Elliott Schwartz, composer and professor emeritus, Bowdoin College)

This excellent book is important for music educators, composers and musicians dealing with composing in the class and in communities, but also for parents interested in the creativity of their children. Minds on Music focuses two basic ideas: "composition can be taught," and "children learn to compose by composing." The authors address important and diverse research fields and present models for teaching composition from early childhood to high school. I recommend this book to everyone who is focusing on composing with young people. (Vit Zouhar, Palacky University, Olomouc, Czech Republic)

Established authors and music educators, Kaschub and Smith partnered with the National Association for Music Education to publish this book on the importance of children composing music. . . . Including valuable tables and charts, the book covers five age groups and highlights child development and musical progression. . . . This well-researched volume will benefit music educators, cross-curriculum advocates, and students of all ages. Recommended. (CHOICE, December 2009)

The teaching and learning of composing in schools is so much ingrained into the English National Curriculum that it takes a book such as this to jolt British readers out of an established mindset, and to consider alternative ways of doing things....this book serves two audiences: academic researchers investigating the construct of educational composing, and teachers who wish to introduce or develop their classroom practice in this area....it offers a welcome addition to the literature on classroom composing. (British Journal of Music Education)

Minds on Music is a thorough, highly effective guide to facilitating composition activities and assessing student progress in preK-12 school music programs. This book would be most useful to novice teachers starting a program, composers who are new to teaching, and experienced composition teachers seeking fresh ideas. It is well organized, lending itself to quick reference use as well. (Music Educators Journal)

Reflective, energizing and informed, this book should be core reading for all wishing to know more about teaching and learning composition, along with entrants to the profession. Michele Kaschub and Janice Smith provide comprehensive and contemporary understanding of music composition rooted in genuinely educational contexts which reach in and beyond the classroom to the contemporary musical world in all its richness and diversity of practices. Combining the latest research with practical ideas and tasks, this multi-dimensional book sets out to inform, inspire and equip music educators of our time. (Pam Burnard, University of Cambridge, UK)

This penetrating and illuminating book is a perfect blend of theory and practice. The authors eloquently explain the vital role that composition must play in music education and they provide practical, accessible techniques for teaching it in our schools. An indispensible resource for music teachers and researchers at every stage of their careers, it belongs on all of our bookshelves. (Daniel Deutsch, founding chair of the National Association for Music Education’s Council for Music Composition)

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