Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, INNODOCT 2019

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Mary Ellen Haupert

Last modified: 10-04-2020


Music composition is embedded into the Viterbo University music theory curriculum to promote active engagement of musical materials.  The project accomplishes three basic complementary outcomes:  1) Students will be able to creatively apply and develop the foundations of music theory learned in their first year of university-level music study, 2) Students will develop proficiency using music writing software, and 3) Students will overcome their fear of composition and gain confidence as musicians. Students are taught foundational concepts during the first four semesters of music theory; these concepts are creatively applied and developed in the gestation and birth of a musical composition that is original and personal.  Meaning and purpose, combined with guidance and encouragement, sustain these freshmen and sophomore students over a five-month process of framing a concept, composing music, editing their scores, and finally rehearsing and performing their works.  The “concept” for the 2018-2019 freshmen and sophomore music theory students was a collaborative venture with Gateway Christian School, which is part of Project Gateway in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Poetry written specifically for this project by Grade 7 students was collected and given to Viterbo University students for setting; the learning outcomes, as well as the benefits and global focus of the project will be the focus of this paper.

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