This study examined the creative strategies employed by elementary children as they compose a song. The purpose of this study was to characterize the strategies of children who were best able to compose songs and to compare these strategies with those used by children who were least able to compose. Sixty subjects, aged 7, 9, and 11, were given 10 minutes to compose a melody on an electronic keyboard instrument. Two judges listened to tapes of the subjects' songs and rated the success of the songs (interjudge reliability = .88). Another set of three judges listened to tapes of the 10-minute composing periods for the 10 highest rated and 10 lowest rated songs. The three judges used observation forms todescribethewaysinwhichthe20subjectsemployedvariouscomposing strategics. Among other results, the subjects who composed the most successful songs were found to use a variety of exploring, developing, and repeating strategies as they composed. The subjects who composed the least successful songs were more limited in the types of strategies they employed. Specifically, the low-success subjects explored new ideas and repeated individual notes and patterns as they composed, but only rarely did they employ strategies to develop their musical ideas. The results raise a series of questions concerning (a) the relationship between creative process and created product and (b) the genesis of compositional strategies in those children who composed successful songs.
"Characterization of the Compositional Strategies Used by Children to
Compose a Melody,"
Visions of Research in Music Education: Vol. 23, Article 6.
Available at: https://opencommons.uconn.edu/vrme/vol23/iss1/6