Music Composition – 6th – 12th grade, Fri. 10:00 AM with Anne McClintic

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Required Text/Materials:
• Fundamentals of Piano Theory Preparatory Level by Keith Snell and Martha Ashleigh (link to purchase on Amazon: )

• Free account with

Summary: This class will introduce music composition while furthering skills in music literacy. We will focus on using Western, modern staff notation and solfége. There will be a brief introduction to other forms of notation, including Byzantine Notation as used in Orthodox sacred music. The course will include music notation, music decoding and transcription, and composition of songs. We will also explore modes such as Phrygian, Dorian, and Mixolydian. Upon completion of this class, students will be able to do the following:

• Read and write music notation and rhythmic patterns.
• Exhibit beginning- to intermediate-level skill in decoding melodies and chord progressions. • Sight-read basic, melodic passages on scale degrees, solfege syllables (Do-Re-Mi’s), and basic rhythms.
• Understand the history and usages of the seven Western music modes used in music composition.
• Understand how to interpret signs, symbols, and terminology in sheet music. • Be able to listen to, analyze, and describe the structural format of music.
• Be able to compose a song in binary forms such as ABA.

What to Expect:
• Music-learning should be fun and encouraging, so the class will be taught with a lively emphasis on games, hands-on activities, and group interaction.

  • Workshop activities rather than lectures will be the backbone of the course, and classes will run 40-45 minutes, in order to give the students plenty of time to explore activities, play music, and share ideas.
  • Homework will be due once or twice a week, requiring on average 20-30 minutes per assignment, and will consist of handwritten assignments, online game-based assignments on and similar websites, and assignments.
    Prerequisite: Experience in a choir or prior music lessons is recommended. Students who have completed prior Music courses in St. Athanasius Academy will be well-prepared for this course.
    Follow-Up: After completing this course, students can take additional years of Music Composition, enroll in the Music Appreciation course, or both. Music Composition students receive customized help on their individual projects throughout the course, so additional years in the class are beneficial.

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