Music Composition

We offer this in the lab, but have you considered that composing music is an art all on its own? This is a skill we try to train, by giving small parameters and allowing the student to choose what that looks like.

There are so many interesting things about musical composition. What is the beginning? We hear so much music every day but so many of us with a radio haven’t considered how much goes into the pieces we enjoy so much.

Restrictions, or limits that help define this piece of music, are tempo, time signature, key signature, and instrument(s) that may be playing.

Before you get to melody or harmony – that first note might be high or low, high or middle or low range, loud or soft, and it may change over time.

This will be the same process for following notes. Endless possibilities make beginnings easier than endings for most people. It might always sound different than what’s in your mind, but know that all of us face this problem. Inspiration may strike but it must be saved at inopportune times, and we still need to learn to finish those bits.

Musical theory allows a musician to connect melody, harmony, and form. Composition needs to be broken into pieces to be learned. At MTMS, we break composition down and theory so every student has this opportunity.

Sound Branding

Originally I looked into jingles, so that’s part of my main focus today.

Jingles may have started as early as 1600. Before radio and television, some products had sheet music to be part of the branding.

I’m fascinated what that would have sounded like back then.

Depending on the age, if i ask you to name a favorite jingle, you might talk about State Farm Insurance or Folger’s or Oscar Mayer. However, in recent years it’s been changing to more pop song crossover than the older straight forward jingle.

It didn’t just include current pop songs but also classics – I Heard It Through the Grapevine for selling raisins.

Within the last 20 years, jingles have changed from commercials, which were ever-present on tv and radio, to pop songs that might actually hit the charts themselves. Remember I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke?

Even traditional themes have become more subtle to today’s younger generations. Sound Branding has a long history and will likely keep evolving as our advertising needs do. I’m sure we will all hear it when it arrives.

Next Week is Thanksgiving!

MTMS is taking next week off in observance of Thanksgiving. Take this opportunity to play something you enjoy for your friends and your family. When we take a week from lessons, it is great to keep up your practice. Choose something you used to struggle with but made it through or something that just makes you smile.

Always remember that music is fun. Learning is great, and occasionally it can be easy to forget when you’re stuck in a single piece of music that maybe isn’t coming together the way you want. You can take a break from the piece, and play things you enjoy to remind yourself why you wanted to learn this instrument in the first place. Enjoy your family next week, too, because that’s what holidays are all about.

November Themes

Music History: The Harlem Renaissance was a period in the 1920s that celebrated Jazz. Now 100 years later our music history station is going to be focusing on that. Listen to some very famous examples and meet some of the most famous musicians of the period!


Composition: Matching our Music History station, composition is going to be covering the Harlem Renaissance! Listen to some of the famous music from the time and even try making some of your own!


November Young Students Blurb: This month, we have brand new autumn-themed coloring pages for our young students! We also have a note naming game that has really good practice for students working on the notes on the staff!