Liverpool Over the last few weeks, members of the Liverpool Middle Orchestra have been hard at work composing an ode to nature.
As part of Symphoria’s educational outreach program, the seventh and eighth grade musicians from LMS were asked to think about the sounds they hear in nature and write an eight-measure phrase using the New York State School Music Association’s Level 1 and 2 sight-reading guidelines. Once the phrases were compiled, the students sight-read each one and selected two themes — one written by LMS seventh-grader Zoyie Baldwin and the other by eighth-grader Catrina Tulowiecki — to use as the foundation for their own musical composition.
Once a draft of the composition was completed, three members of the Symphoria — Kit Dodd, Allan Kolsky and Sonya Williams — stopped by LMS to talk with music teacher Becky Dodd and her orchestra students about ways to enhance what the seventh- and eighth-graders had written. They also shared some of the pieces that Symphoria will perform during its next Young Person’s concert, “Sounds of Nature,” on March 1. The completed musical composition will make its debut at that same show (the LMS Orchestra will perform via video).
The Symphoria members emphasized the importance of “creating a conversation” between instruments to help bring a composition to life. They also encouraged the seventh- and eighth-graders to think about the qualities found in different nature sounds and encompass those same qualities in their work.
Williams told the students that writing a musical composition was a lot like making a pizza. Pizza, she said, has three basic ingredients — dough, sauce and cheese — but additional toppings give the pizza a different taste. The same can be said for music — each piece has similar elements, but when you add accents to the notes played it can give the music a different sound and meaning.