BRONXVILLE, N.Y. -- Bronxville High School orchestra students, who had been composing their own music as part of a project-based learning experience in Denise Lutter’s classes, recently worked with PUBLIQuartet, a professional ensemble of musicians, who helped them revise and refine their pieces.
During the PUBLIQuartet’s visit on Feb. 2, which was generously funded through a grant from the Friends of Music, the musicians played and critiqued the students’ compositions and provided them with an invaluable and enriching experience.
“I wanted the students to explore creativity through the eyes of a composer,” Lutter said. “For many of them, this was the first time they had composed anything, so it was a challenging task. Composing music is complicated because of the way the symbol system works. Students must learn to manage the relationships among musical lines, rhythmic patterns, harmonies, timbres, and textures from their first composition. It is a task that cannot be completed in a linear fashion."
The orchestra students worked in small groups with the quartet members to refine each composition and as a result of the creative and collaborative process, they learned a variety of strategies for composing music.
“The quartet definitely opened our minds as to what we could do to improve our compositions,” senior Ellie Briskin said. “Seeing them take an instrument and play the first thing that comes to mind let us know that it was okay to take risks.”
The collaboration enabled the orchestra students to be creative and innovative, which are skills closely aligned with the dispositions of the Bronxville Promise.
Watch a video about the creative process on the district’s website at www.bronxvilleschool.org.