Composition, Music Camps, Printables

So, You Want To Be A Composer? – 2012 Summer Camp Details

Last week, I held my second summer music camp for my piano students!  It was called, “So, You Want To Be A Composer?”  I am so excited to share with you some details about our camp.  We had a really great week!

Here’s where all the magic happened:

I borrowed some keyboards from my students (I was surprised how many I got…because they all have acoustic pianos too) so I could set up a few composing workstations with headphones (from the dollar store).  Total, we had 4 keyboards, my acoustic piano, and an iPad with a keyboard app.  🙂  Having this many stations was really important so that our composition “free time” was productive.

Here’s a photo of our camp folders:

Inside the folder is our workbook, “Elements of a Great Composition.”  The two pockets of the folder were perfect for storing our composition drafts and copies of pieces we studied (legal copies — of course! — from

I set up a couple of tables in my living room.  This is where we did our “Quick Start Compositions” and our workbook.  We gathered around the piano on our carpet squares to listen to and study pieces from both great classical composers and living composers.

Composing is hard work!  🙂

We also created a musical instrument every day.  Guess what we made in this photo!  🙂

Here’s a photo of one of the many “quick compositions” we made throughout the week:

On the last day of camp, we had a “Composer Showcase” for the last half-hour.  We invited parents/siblings to join us for a “gallery time” of viewing all of our compositions, followed by a “recital time” where we performed some of our favorites!

Here is a photo of where we hung up all of our painting compositions, with the Glass Xylophone nearby so parents could try out the compositions.

On the last day, students also received a certificate saying, “Congratulations!  You are now a composer!”  🙂

I hope to share more about the different “quick start compositions” soon, and also some examples of the pieces we worked on throughout the week.  Also, stay tuned for later this week, when the complete lesson plans (with workbook, composition worksheets, staff paper, etc.) will appear in the Color In My Piano Shop!  🙂  UPDATE: The lesson plans are now available in the shop! Also, view a post with a peek of a student composition and a freebie from the lesson plans here.

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12 thoughts on “So, You Want To Be A Composer? – 2012 Summer Camp Details”

  1. Looks like so much fun, Joy! I am going to buy a copy of your lesson plans as soon as you put them up! 🙂

  2. I’d love to see the lesson plans for my Composing Composer Camp in a couple weeks! Thanks for sharing pictures.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing these awesome camps! I’m also going to get a copy of both camps for next year and try these in my studio. So thankful for your website!!

  4. This looks like such a great time! Do you have any other suggestions for obtaining that many keyboards for the week? I have some friends who would probably be willing to loan theirs, but I can’t help but worry about what would happen if I came up short still.
    Any ideas from personal experience on how to test out the waters for a “first time camp holder?” I would love to dive head first into this adventure, but I would need to get a lot of things confirmed first. Such as, I doubt my apartment complex would like if I had 8 children in here “composing” and making noise (being children, basically) at once. I’m sure I could use space in my church if I needed to, though. I’m also wondering how I would go about seeing who is interested in participating in this. Do you simply ask parents if they would be interested in the future? I know this would be a fantastic event, but I’d be a little worried that if I don’t have enough students sign up, I’d be losing some money on the event. I don’t expect to make a huge profit on my first camp event, but I’m sure my husband would appreciate if we at least “broke even!”

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