imgresMy three little friends became quick composers as they gathered around, arranged their 4 musical cards and couldn’t wait for their turn to enter the codes into the computer and “hear” the orchestra play their composition. With three choices, Marimba, Orchestra or Both, the girls really liked Marimba combined with the Orchestra. “What are we going to name our piece?” Everyone offered a title, “Ocean,” and “Water, but “Rain” won out and then we printed out our sheet music. Mom was especially excited that her girls were reading music and could play their compositions on the violin at home. Created by world-famous composer and cellist, Maestro Philip Sheppard, Compose Yourself allows anyone to play with music as the 60 transparent cards (Treble clef with 3 kinds of notes) each have 4 options for adding to your piece as they can be flipped over or around to upside down. Flip cards or switch the order and play again to see if you like it better. One of the joys of this inventive, creative, fun learning game is that it is so simple to play with. Kids can easily create and revise their music, experimenting with rhythm and notes. Each card of 4 notes is highlighted as it is played so kids are honing their listening skills as they read music, watching the notes go up and down on the scale or change the beat. Tips from the Maestro challenges kids to add words to their song, as well as think what the tune could be used for–lullaby, scary movie or relaxing evening. Language skills are closely associated with music as kids have to listen and read rhythms, write lyrics for their songs, and name them. And speaking of confidence-building, my 10 year-old friend said, “I feel like my composition sounds like it’s from the movie, “Malificent!”

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