Pop music composition starters for your General Music classroom



You want to incorporate composition into your classroom but you don’t know where to start. Start here. This is a step-by-step look at how you can make composition a part of your General Music classroom using pop music topics from the last 100 years.

This presentation gives you sequential examples of 12 composition assignments you can choose to weave into your General Music curriculum as you see fit. Feel free to modify the concepts and use them for your own purposes.

  • Folk Music Composition
  • Blues Composition
  • Rockabilly Composition
  • Rhythm and Blues Composition
  • Rhythm and Blues Accompaniment Improvisation
  • 1950s Chord Progression Composition
  • Disco Loop composition
  • 1970s Bass Line Improvisation
  • Rap “Where I’m From” Composition
  • Loop-based DJ compositions
  • Sample Composition
  • Remix Composition

There is also information on grading pop music compositions, gallery walk assessments, my view on standard notation, rationale for doing this type of assignment, and more.

This session was originally  presented at the 2015 New York State School Music Association Winter Conference.


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Pop music composition starters for your General Music classroom

3 thoughts on “Pop music composition starters for your General Music classroom

  1. 12 bar blues is a great way to get started! They can sing chord roots, incorporate different locomotor/non-locomotor movements, and easily improvise on top. Thanks for sharing!


    1. I incorporated boomwhackers for chord roots this year for the first time. There is so much to do in that unit if you want to take it a different way for your classroom. The Blues are great.


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