thirdGradeComposersA rich music education has long been part of the Nueva experience, from musical performance to music history. This year, every third grader had the opportunity to add composition to that list of musical experiences.

Music teacher Maggie Eggert teamed up with the Young Composers and Improvisers Workshop (YCIW), a New York nonprofit dedicated to inspiring a love of composition among young students. Through this partnership, third graders had the opportunity to seek guidance from a professional composer and explore the process of creating a melody from scratch.

“We finally got some lightbulbs to switch on when we took the time to listen to each other’s pieces and give feedback,” said Maggie. “Students developed a more critical ear, and I could see that reflected in their work.”

Over the course of the semester students began to pay more attention to tempo and structure. Through YCIW, students had access to Noteflight, an online composition platform with an extensive library of learning modules that allowed every student to go at his or her own pace. This flexibility for learning differentiation allowed students with more advanced musical experience to develop longer, more intricate compositions, while those newer to note reading had the tools to complete a satisfying first project.

On Monday, May 15 students had their first opportunity to hear their original pieces interpreted by an ensemble that included parent and student musicians. Students’ arrangements include one to six instruments, including the flute, violin, French horn, and trumpet, among others.

In addition to this performance at Nueva, a few students have elected to submit their pieces to the Western European Symphony Orchestra (WESO) in Lisbon, Portugal. Through this collaboration, WESO will record a live performance of student pieces later this year.

Check out the video below to see highlights from the premiere performance of these original works by our own Nueva composers!



Third Graders Premiere First Musical Compositions from The Nueva School on Vimeo.



 May 19, 2017




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