Two Resources to Stir Up Creativity in Your Studio


How do you start brewing musical imaginations? It helps to find resources that inspire. If you are struggling with where to begin your creative journey beyond the page and how to spark musical imaginations of your students, one of these could be the perfect cup of tea--or coffee!

Colorado Composesstatic1.squarespace

What: Feeling like you need a support group to get you up and running with composition? Consider The Colorado Composes Project.  The goal of this unique AND global opportunity is to assist music teachers and students in the process of composition through educational opportunities and a supportive community.

The grant-funded project provides monthly themes around which to create, tutorial videos featuring modern-day composers/teachers, a mentorship program and more via a virtual community.

Colorado Composes has partnered with  Noteflight Crescendo, a powerful and user-friendly, on-line music notation system. The Crescendo product is an upgrade from the free version of Noteflight. Because of the Noteflight online format, students can share and enjoy compositions with fellow composers.

Colorado Composes  invites teachers and students into a community where they are nurtured through the composition process. Susan Olgivy, an expert teacher, composer and Clavinova guru, is the September composer providing an inspiring tutorial to jumpstart students' imaginations. It was an honor for me to be the August presenter to kick things off. Yes, the project has started but it's not too late to sign up.

Here's the list of projects for each month:

  • September:  Off to School-composer basics to begin with Susan Ogilvy
  • October:   Spooky Modes- with Susan Ogilvy November:   Giving Thanks-using words to compose with Martha Duncan Hill
  • December:   Sleighbells & Toys- Chord Progressions with Holly Tripp
  • January:  Winter Blues- with Bradley Sowash
  • February:  Plays Well With Others-an intro to writing for ensemble with Andrew Eales and KEYBAND!
  • March: March Madness-writing an anthem for sports teams.  A special prize for the  composer-winner of the new Switchbacks Football Club Anthem.
  •  April: The nature of things-writing music in honor of Earth Day or in an impressionist style.
  •  May: Carnival-celebrating student composers and their projects.

The Colorado Composes Project is a one-of-a-kind opportunity and it's not just for Coloradans. Don't let the title keep you from joining!

For: Teachers and their students (virtually anywhere) who wish to develop composition skills under the direction of top-notch instruction and mentors.

Date: September 2015 - May 2016

Time: Ongoing

Location: Online

Cost: $30 for teachers, $20 for students (includes a Noteflight Crescendo account!)

Registration: Follow this link.

Dennis Alexander Workshop

What:  The Musicians Society of Denver is a growing group of teachers and music enthusiasts interested 1440539551specifically in the art of composing. They are sponsoring  Mr. Dennis Alexander as a guest presenter for their October workshop. This unprecedented four-hour workshop will give insight into Mr. Alexander’s dynamic teaching and composing.

Follow this link for a detailed schedule.

The good news, the event will be live streamed so even if you don't live in Colorado you can enjoy the workshop. Stay tuned for details on how to access the footage.

For: For music enthusiasts, teachers and students who enjoy Dennis Alexander's music, want to learn more about him as a composer and who wish to learn first-hand tips on how to develop or refine composition skills.

Date: October 4, 2015Alexander_Headshot

Time: 2:00-6:00pm

Location: Wash Park CMA/Wash Park UCC, 400 S. Williams St. Denver 80209

Cost: $20 for teachers, free for students and families

Registration: Follow this link.

Bonus: Door prizes generously provided by Alfred Music.