Sometimes students seem so worried about composing – they worry they’ll play the wrong notes, they’ll forget the melody they played over and over at home, or maybe they just hesitate to share something so personal for fear of it being not perfect! With a few of my perfectionist students, I’ve found that composing with little pieces of advice and writing down the melody before they get nervous at lessons can help. So today I’m sharing a composition activity inspired by my recent intermediate piece, “Cliffs of Ireland”.

As students learn 5ths and 6ths, it’s neat to hear how much the sound changes just by moving one note. This is the inspiration for this activity – begin with the written left hand but feel free to change it. Maybe add a new accompaniment pattern or move it to an entirely new key!

Many of my students gravitate to Major positions, probably because their method books and scales tend to be in Major for a long time. So this activity often perks their interest with the haunting minor chords! Enjoy.

Download: CliffsComposition