Piano Teacher's Guide to Creative Composition.
* Piano Teacher's Guide to Creative Composition, by Carol Klose. Hal Leonard Corporation, 2011. www.halleonard.com; 80 pp., $9.99.
As a music composition teacher for the last 30 years, I've encountered instructors who are eager to teach composition, yet feel nervous, unqualified and uncertain that they can incorporate it into the student's weekly lesson plan. After reading Piano Teacher's Guide to Creative Composition by Carol Klose, I was delighted to see that she does an excellent job of addressing these concerns. Even for a seasoned composition teacher, there are many nuggets of encouragement and wisdom to be gained from reading this excellent, concise text.
The book is organized in a straight-forward, logical sequence, beginning with "laying the groundwork" for teaching composition to discussing "compositional tools," "mapping a composition" and finishing with a step-by-step discussion of the weekly composition lesson plan and refining of the composition.
The Introduction is particularly good because it presents the core value of teaching composition--stimulating creativity in our students. Part One is excellent because it gives the teacher many helpful tools to get started in the composition process. Although I would not personally follow the idea of "mapping" as described in the book, I can see that some teachers might find it valuable. The sections dealing with the lesson plans and refining the composition are clear and well-written. The examples used throughout the book are appropriate and beneficial. Cover to cover, the book is a step-by-step method for teaching composition, while still allowing for creativity and freedom between teacher and student.
There is a need for a teacher guide like this in the marketplace. It is well worth the investment for all piano teachers.--Reviewed by Regina Carnazzo, NCTM, Omaha, Nebraska
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