A composition can be thought of as a story told with sounds. It is a series of events that lead somewhere and then resolve. It includes patterns that are repeated and patterns that contrast. Here some strategies for composing with children.
- Use a familiar story. Think of a story and divide it into a sequence of episodes (a storyboard). Choose sounds and patterns to go with each episode. Put the episodes together into a larger composition.
- Use an actual book. There are three types of sounds that could be added to a book. The first is sound effects. Carefully placed and performed, these can enhance the story without being distracting. The second is expressive music. These are sounds that reflect and enhance various moods throughout the book. The third is the underlying beat. This won't apply to all books, but sometimes books have a clear rhyme and rhythm. These might be enhanced with a background steady beat or groove.
- Interesting patterns. Develop interesting short patterns on musical instruments. Repeat the patterns. Add more instruments to those same patterns. Develop contrasting patterns. Link one pattern to the next. Link even more patterns. Bring back older patterns. Repeat the same patterns with some sort of variation. The possibilities are endless.